Book Review

Transforming Classroom Practice

Professional Development Strategies in Educational Technology

edited by Arlene Borthwick and Melissa Pierson, International Society for Technology in Education, Eugene, Ore., 2008, 199 pp. with index, $44.95 softcover

School districts across the country continuously struggle with upgrading their technology program. Designing a professional development plan to address the ever-increasing available technology is often at odds with the notion of fully training staff and students to use the more basic technology to its fullest extent.

Transforming Classroom Practice

Transforming Classroom Practice: Professional Development Strategies in Educational Technology
is a collection of essays that addresses this tension and highlights professional development programs designed to expand the use of instructional technology.

Editors Arlene Borthwick and Melissa Pierson begin with comprehensive background on the basic tenets of professional development, adult learning theories and creating an organizational climate necessary for a successful districtwide training. This background helps the reader to better understand the selection of case studies that follow.

Borthwick is an associate professor at National-Louis University in Chicago, and Pierson is an associate professor of instructional technology at University of Houston.

A variety of technology-related professional development programs implemented in sundry school districts are presented in the main body of the book. The authors of each study emphasize the influence of the district’s need, staff ability levels, financial capacity and proximity to institutions of higher education and/or large corporations on the development of training programs in using instructional technology.

In addition, the various approaches highlight the difficulties associated with creating a comprehensive technology-related professional development program.

The book will help to discover programs or parts of programs that can be modified to create innovative and successful technology-focused professional development.

Reviewed by Edythe B. Austermuhl, superintendent, Deerfield Township School, Rosenhayn, N.J.