February 1, 2004
During the summer and fall of 2003, Education Development Center's Center for Children and Technology (CCT) undertook a formative evaluation of the Intel Innovation in Education institutes. The institutes are one- to two-and-a-half day district-level trainings intended to introduce professional development providers to the online resources and curriculum available at the Intel Innovation in Education website, and to prepare them to provide trainings to their colleagues focused on these resources.
About the Intel Institutes
The Intel institutes can include a combination of the following resources/tools:
- Ideas Worth Borrowing - Adapting ideas from online resources developed by other educators.
- It's a Wild Ride - Developing technology-supported projects.
- Seeing Reason - Using an online tool for investigating cause-and-effect relationships.
- Design and Discovery - Learning about a design and engineering curriculum for middle grades.
- Emerging Technologies - Learning about how emerging technologies can be used in the classroom.
The institutes were designed to prepare teacher-trainers to deliver local professional development workshops focused on these resources in their school districts. According to the Intel in Education institute website, an institute is comprised of the following programmatic components:
- Designed for those responsible for providing professional development in effective use of technology to support student learning;
- Delivered in a technology lab where participants experience the same active, hands-on learning that effective teachers provide for their students;
- Comprised of a series of 2 to 3 hour workshops over 1-2 days;
- Led by experienced facilitators with backgrounds in classroom teaching, school leadership and effective technology integration.
Interested schools, districts or regions can sign up to host an institute by filling out an institute proposal on the Intel Innovation in Education Institute website, and agreeing to provide a coordinator who will be responsible for all on-site arrangements including the location and preparation of a facility and the recruitment and registration of participants. This coordinator also works closely with Intel staff to design an institute that is relevant to the needs of the local area.
Three institutes were held during summer 2003. In addition to these institutes, Intel staff have continued to conduct workshops at conferences, and one regional technology coordinator has held an institute at her local education association (LEA) as a recruitment strategy for future seminars and more in-depth training around the Intel Innovation in Education resources, specifically Seeing Reason.
About this evaluation
This report presents findings and recommendations based on data collected between July and December 2003 from the three Intel institutes. The primary goal of this formative evaluation was to observe the institutes and closely follow institute participants to investigate how and whether they felt prepared to use these resources with other colleagues and in their classroom as a result of their experience at the training. Specific research objectives for this evaluation were the following:
- Document the delivery of the institutes and of the locally-led trainings. What types of teachers (by grade level, content area, level of prior experience with technology) are participating in the institutes, and in the locally-led trainings?
- Document teachers' responses to training experiences. Do participating educators perceive themselves to be well-prepared to lead local trainings after participation in an institute, and if not, what further forms of support do they need? How do institute participants plan to make use of what they learn? What do locally-trained teachers learn from the trainings? Do teachers leave the trainings planning to make use of what they learned, and if so what are their plans?
- Gain an understanding of how teachers are using the tools and resources presented in the workshops in their classrooms. How do teachers and/or professional developers who attend institutes make use of what they learned - do they use the resources themselves, and/or do they lead further trainings? Do participants in local trainings make use of what they learned from institutes or workshops in their classrooms? To what extent does how teachers use the tools and resources reflect the models of use presented to them in workshops? What logistical or conceptual issues are most prominently shaping teachers' use of these resources and tools?,