Creating Technology Leaders Through Professional Development: The Regional Educational Technology Assistance Program

June 1, 2002

The Regional Educational Technology Assistance (RETA) program is a teacher-driven professional development initiative that has been educating New Mexico teachers in the use of learning technologies for the past four years. Since its inception the RETA project has directly served thousands of teachers in New Mexico. An important characteristic of the RETA program is its use of teachers to train other teachers. Since teacher-instructors understand classroom culture and the demands of teaching, their guidance is often more relevant and credible to teacher-participants. In this paper, we discuss the impact of the RETA model on the collegial behaviors and changing leadership roles of its participants and instructors. We will present findings which indicate that, as a result of their involvement in RETA's ongoing professional development workshops, participants and instructors: a) increase their collaboration in technology-related matters with other teachers in their schools and, b) assume leadership positions in their schools and communities.