August 1, 2004
As a professional development effort, Intel Teach to the Future holds a unique position within the education technology community. It is one of the largest providers of ongoing, technology integration-oriented professional development to teachers in the country. Over the three years of implementation examined in this study, the program has provided direct professional development to more than 100,000 teachers in the United States. Between 2000 and 2003, Education Development Center's Center for Children and Technology (CCT) has extensively documented how Intel Teach to the Future has helped teachers understand how technology can be used to support project-based pedagogy and has influenced districts' approaches to instructional technology. This report summarizes three years of program evaluation and highlights findings regarding the impact that this program has had on educators, the students they teach, and the schools and districts in which they work.
About Intel Teach to the Future
Intel Teach to the Future was designed to provide a professional development experience that would prepare teachers to use technology with their students. The developers of the Intel Teach to the Future program began with two equally weighted goals, one related to the type of impact they wished to have and one related to the scale of impact. The first goal was to improve the integration of technology into K-12 classrooms. The second goal was to train 100,000 teachers in the United States in three years and to create "critical masses" of trained teachers within participating schools and districts. Intel anticipated that if a significant segment of a given teaching population was trained, this cohort of trained teachers would exert a strong influence on the overall school or district approach to technology.
The curriculum used in the Intel Teach to the Future trainings was developed in 2000 by the Institute for Computer Technology (ICT; www.ict.org) and Intel Corporation. It focuses on the use of widely available software in the context of inquiry-oriented and project-based teaching and learning, and stresses the alignment of curricula with standards. The 40-hour training sequence is delivered through a train-the-trainer model, with senior trainers from the Institute training Master Teachers from local districts or consortia of districts, who are then expected to train Participant Teachers in their districts. The training uses Microsoft productivity software, focusing primarily on how to use Windows-based versions of PowerPoint and Publisher to support students in creating presentations, web pages, brochures and newsletters. The training also discusses pedagogical and classroom management challenges associated with using technology with students, as well as conducting research on the Internet, and intellectual property issues.
This report examines only the "Classic," or original, version of the program implementation. In 2001 Intel began making the program available more broadly, and with fewer incentives, through the "Expansion" implementation model. The 2001, 2002 and 2003 End of School Year surveys were very similar but not identical. Many findings reported here cite 2003 data - unless otherwise noted, findings for individual items asked over multiple years were broadly consistent from year to year.
CCT's evaluation of the U.S. implementation of Intel Teach to the Future was conducted over three years and has drawn on a range of methods to investigate practitioners' response to the program, the local complexities of program implementation, and the program's impact in individual districts, schools and classrooms.3 The goal of the evaluation was to provide formative feedback to program staff in order to inform program improvement and to look longitudinally at questions of implementation quality and program impact.
Reseachers employed a variety of methods over the course of the three-year period, including End of Training surveys, an End of School Year survey, observations and site visits, phone interviews, and case studies.
Findings from the three years of evaluation tell a multi-layered story about how Intel Teach to the Future has influenced teachers' knowledge and practices associated with the integration of educational technology into the classroom, and how the program has been leveraged within school districts to support teachers in their efforts. The evaluation of Intel Teach to the Future has identified four key ways in which this program has had an impact on the teachers and districts it reached. Each of these broad conclusions is grounded in multiple, specific findings from surveys, classroom and training observations, and interviews.
- Teachers feel prepared to integrate technology after this training.
- Teachers do something new when they return to their classrooms.
- Teachers' involvement in project-based technology integration is focused and sustained over time.
- Establishing district relationships helps create conditions for success.
The full report discusses these findings in detail.