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Issues in Educational Research, 2018, Vol 28(2), 487-510
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A professional learning model supporting teachers to integrate digital technologies

Rachel Sheffield, Susan Blackley
Curtin University, Australia

Paul Moro
Datacom Group Ltd, Australia

Contemporary teachers have an obligation to support and scaffold students' learning in digital technologies and to do this in authentic contexts. In order for teachers to be successful in this, their own competency in digital technologies needs to be high, and their own 21st century learning skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and problem solving need to be well honed. Teachers are challenged to understand not only the associated digital pedagogical practices and content knowledge, but also to be familiar with how the technology components can be best used to support learning (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2013). This paper reports on a 2016 pilot project that incorporated the key components of highly effective teacher professional learning to leverage transformational change: on-site, over-time, through a community of practice and building the confidence and competence of teachers to implement the technologies curriculum (Jimoyiannis, 2010; Rodrigues, 2005; Wenger, White & Smith, 2009). This project supported 28 primary and secondary school teachers from regional Western Australia to collaborate through a distributed digital learning network or a guided Professional Learning Network that was called a "cluster" to develop and reflect upon their digital capabilities.
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Authors: Dr Rachel Sheffield is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Curtin University, and is a passionate science educator. She researches and publishes in STEM education and professional identity, and has won several Faculty, University and National awards for Teaching Excellence, and an Executive Endeavour Fellowship undertaken in Laos.
Email: rachel.sheffield@curtin.edu.au
Web: https://staffportal.curtin.edu.au/staff/profile/view/Rachel.Sheffield

Dr Susan Blackley is the Director of Student Experience in the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University, and also is a Senior Lecturer in the School of education. Her research interests are STEM education, robotics, digital professional portfolios, and professional identity. She is a passionate advocate for STEM education.
Email: susan.blackley@curtin.edu.au
Web: https://staffportal.curtin.edu.au/staff/profile/view/Susan.Blackley

Mr Paul Moro is a highly experienced Technologies Consultant who is currently working as a private entity, but formerly (and during this project) worked for the Datacom Group Ltd and previously held positions of leadership in education authorities in Digital Technologies curriculum development.
Email: paul.moro@outlook.com

Please cite as: Sheffield, R., Blackley, S. & Moro, P. (2018). A professional learning model supporting teachers to integrate digital technologies. Issues in Educational Research, 28(2), 487-510. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/sheffield.pdf

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Created 5 Apr 2018. Last revision: 5 Apr 2018.
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