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Tech Expert: Which Comes First, Training or Professional Development?

What should come first, training or professional development? The truth is that these should be given in two steps in the technology-integration process.

So says Eric Patnoudes, instructional technologist, in an article on EdTechMagazine.com. In this article, Patnoudes explains the difference between two steps and offers tips for rolling out technology in schools.

"Considering the value of corporate educator certifications such as Microsoft Innovative Educator, Google Certified Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator reminds me of an age-old question: 'Which came first: the chicken or the egg?' Allow me to explain," he wrote. "When I moved from being a classroom teacher to an instructional technologist, training and professional development was my bread and butter. Soon after, I became a Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer and Expert Educator. Corporate certifications are a natural progression for many educators looking to beef up their résumés and improve their credibility."

Patnoudes wrote that it is "crucial to differentiate between the two."

"I view training as the how — a user manual on devices, software, apps or websites," he continued. "Click here to do 'x,' share a doc by doing 'y,' etc. Training is necessary because teachers must know what the tools are, what they’re capable of doing and how to operate them."

"I look at it like this," Patnoudes wrote. "Teachers want training because it makes them feel more comfortable with how to use the technology. But they desperately need professional development in order to understand why to use it. Understandably, it’s difficult to think about altering your teaching if you’re not comfortable operating the tech. Hence the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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