Pittsburgh’s educators must be familiar with technology so that they can integrate it successfully into their classrooms. Teachers who use technology in their daily lives are more apt to use it comfortably their classrooms (Gorder, 2008). Professional development programs are very helpful if they are comprehensive and collaborative. The effort to bring technology into the classroom affects student outcomes positively. Pittsburgh universities are addressing this issue.
Incorporating instructional technology into lesson plans is an effective way to introduce students to technology. A solid plan will assist the educator in being organized and professional. Effectual classroom technology programs attract good students and good educators. Molenda (2009) argued that for technology to advance in higher education, the successful program will have to draw good students, teach them well, and place them in rewarding positions. This academic productivity is an important goal in our strained economy (Molenda, 2009).
In order for instructional technology professional development training to be successful long-term, the institutional leadership must be involved collaboratively in the training process (Garrison & Akyol, 2009). Technology can be seductive, and having a community framework helps to keep educators grounded. An effective training program will allow intense learner concentration, educator use of technology, collaboration between educators and administrators, and long-term pedagogical and technical support (Wells, 2007).
Pittsburgh’s institutions of higher learning are staying on top of technology and are providing instructional technology programs. Duquesne University offers a certificate, a master’s, and a doctoral program in instructional technology (Duquesne University, 2009).
The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine offers the Laboratory for Educational Technology. The lab features programs such as a virtual patient authoring and a web-based application that allows educators to view various learning tools for course management (University of Pittsburgh, 2011).
Carnegie Mellon University also welcomes educational technology by providing the Office of Technology for Education. The office offers resources and information for using educational technology (Carnegie Mellon, 2011). Meeting the technological demands of our time is important for educators and for learners. Pittsburgh’s educational leaders are providing the programs and resources needed.
Carnegie Mellon. (2011). Teaching with technology. Retrieved from www.cmu.edu/teaching/technology/
Duquesne University. (2009). Instructional technology. Retrieved from www.duq.edu/instructional-technology/
Garrison, R., & Akyol, Z. (2009). Role of instructional technology in the transformation of higher education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21(1), 19-30.
Gorder, L. (2008, Spring). A study of teacher perceptions of instructional technology integration in the classroom. Delta Pi Epsilon, 50(2), 63-76.
Molenda, M. (2009, April). Instructional technology must contribute to productivity. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21(1), 80-94.
University of Pittsburgh. (2011). School of Medicine: Laboratory for Educational Technology.
Retrieved from http://let.pitt.edu/
Wells, J. (2007). Key design factors in durable instructional technology professional development. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(1), 101-122.