Teaching science in the 21st century: Virtual professional development
Improving science programs for students means improving professional development for their teachers. As curriculum materials and instructional programs evolve, educators need to know how to use new textbooks and materials based on inquiry and on cognitive research. They also need to know how to establish collaborative learning environments in which teachers can learn and grow while studying these new materials (Nelson 2006). What does this mean for professional development? What are the new tools and strategies that can meet the demands of a new workforce, one raised on 24/7 access to technology, to information, and to peers? Most of us are familiar with the term “online professional development,” but we would say that our experiences with it have been less than satisfactory.