Your statement that the reasons are as varied as the educators is interesting since I will be researching instructor experiences with technology in blended learning courses. If your prediction is true, I may have a very interesting study. However, I was just reading an interesting article by Bryan Moseley and Daniel Dustin (2008) called Teaching as Chaos. Chaos theory suggests that chaos exists if we cannot predict behavior or outcomes. According to the article (Moseley & Dustin, 2008), learning in a classroom follows the chaos theory. Would using technology via blended learning fit in with the chaos theory?
Moseley, B., & Dustin, D. (2008, Summer). Teaching as chaos. College Teaching, 56(3), 140-142. Retrieved August 28, 2008, from EBSCOhost database.
I don't know enough about Chaos Theory to offer a confident answer but your question has me thinking about it. Despite the best-laid plans of a teacher, there is an element of chaos in any classroom (triggered by any number of events happening in and around the classroom). Blended learning evolves with time and evolution is change (and I think this is the basis of chaos theory, isn't it?)
How does this link to PD?
Perhaps faculty will move away from learning how to manage the software and hardware and they will more toward asking how best to use technology (and whether or not it's required) for themselves and for their learners.
Perhaps electronic PD is part of that new conversation.
Bevan (2006) came up with the chaos theory as he considered the following questions at a secondary school:
- What research-based knowledge do you use?
- How do you use it? (p. 55)
- Effective approaches to assessment
- Improved strategies for revision classes
- Informed responses to school transfer (from Primary to Secondary)
- Computers as tools for learning
- Effective implementation of staff development
- turbulence caused by the 'stone in the stream';
- resolved, in turn, through channel depth;
- the fluidity of the stream: 'water not tarmac'; and
- the purposeful direction: 'it goes nowhere'. (p. 60)
Bevan, R. M. (2006, July). Turbulent flow into smooth stream: Transferring research knowledge between academic environments and practitioner contexts. Reflecting Education, 2(1), 55-72. Retrieved August 29, 2008, from http://tinyurl.com/56ndfx