Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John Ritz

Committee Member

Michael Kosloski

Committee Member

Robert Lucking


School divisions have been implementing interactive whiteboards, as well as other instructional technologies, in ever-increasing numbers with the intent to improve student performance. The benefits of these technologies have been hotly debated, with some researchers claiming that interactive whiteboards improve student achievement, while others claim that the technologies have no effect on student progress. Other researchers concluded that interactive whiteboards are tools which can improve student achievement only if they are used effectively. Research has further suggested that teachers need high quality professional development that incorporates both formal and informal elements to assist teachers incorporate interactive whiteboards into the K-12 classroom. The purpose of this study was to develop a model for providing effective professional development for teachers for incorporating interactive whiteboards, into the K-12 classroom. Three research objectives guided this study: (1) identify best practices for providing teacher professional development that incorporates formal training, (2) identify best practices for providing teacher professional development that incorporates informal training, and (3) integrate best practices for professional development into a model for incorporating interactive whiteboards, into the -12 classroom.

Data for this study were collected from a review of literature to identify best practices to create a draft model of professional development and from a survey of Virginia Society for Technology in Education members who serve as instructional technology resource teachers to refine the proposed model. Forty instructional technology resource teachers completed the survey. Closed form questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Open-form questions were analyzed and coded to identify themes.

The findings of this study suggested that professional development for incorporating interactive whiteboards and other instructional technologies should be carefully planned prior to implementation and should utilize both formal and informal methods. Best practices dictated that professional development should be sustained, ongoing, hands-on, job-embedded, scaffolded, individualized, differentiated by technology skill level of participants, differentiated by subject/grade level, and evaluated routinely using a variety of methods. The study determined that the professional development should conform to theories of adult learning by providing choices and relevancy, include troubleshooting tips, foster awareness of the many features of the interactive whiteboards, go beyond technological fluency but also focus on pedagogy and lesson planning, be validated through portable credentials, have administrative buy-in, provide time for reflection and practice, reflect budget constraints, provide options to overcome barriers to engaging in professional development, and identify ways to motivate learners.


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