Methods Used to Determine Technology Competence for Virginia Teachers
Hayes, Linda Scaparra
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By July 1, 2003, all Virginia public school teachers must demonstrate proficiency on technology standards mandated by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The responsibility for verifying each teacher’s level of proficiency was delegated to the local school divisions. Public schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia were not given specific direction on how to provide staff development or assess instructional personnel in technology skills except to suggest different web sites on the Department of Education’s home page. The Virginia Department of Education commissioned a study to assess the availability and use of technology in Virginia’s public schools (Virginia Department of Education, 1998a). Recommendations from the study suggest that Virginia should maintain high proficiency standards for teachers and administrators and should consider statewide prototypes, although no prototypes have been recommended by the VDOE. The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the various methods utilized to assess instructional personnel across the Commonwealth of Virginia on technology standards. A survey was distributed electronically to the directors of technology in each school division in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Methods of assessing instructional personnel, perceptions of effectiveness and cost effectiveness of each method, incentives to meet demonstrated proficiency on the technology standards, and percentage of teachers meeting demonstrated proficiency on the technology standards were assessed on the survey instrument. A 79% response rate indicated that workshops, college courses and portfolio assessment were the methods most used in Virginia public schools. The most effective methods were reported to be workshops, mentoring, performance assessment and college courses. The most cost efficient methods were reported to be portfolio, and signed demonstrative proficiency statement. Recertification points and certificates were the most frequent incentives given to those who demonstrated proficiency of the technology standards. Sixty-nine school divisions reported 80 to 100% of their instructional personnel have demonstrated proficiency on the technology standards as of June 2002.
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