Educational Technology for Teacher Professional Development

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The Department of Education is holding a lecture to be given by a prominent American senior specialist in Educational Technology.

Mary Burns brings more than 20 years of experience in teaching, curriculum development, teacher professional development, Website and database design, qualitative research and evaluation, and instructional design—primarily in educational technology.

Her work in the US at EDC includes online instruction, evaluation of online programs and digital content, school-based coaching, and research on virtual schools. Internationally she has worked on EDC projects in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East focused on facility design, creating online content, teacher training, evaluations, developing teacher training curriculum, and technology planning and program design.

Ms. Burns has developed a variety of educational curriculum for teachers, principals and Ministry of Education officials in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa. At Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (Austin, TX) she was the lead developer on Active Learning with Technology, a 90-hour teacher professional development portfolio that received the 2001 award for Technology Excellence in Professional Development from the National Staff Development Council. She has developed teacher training curricula and facilitator guides for the Ministries of Education of Jordan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Ghana and Tajikistan. In 2003, at the Tec de Monterrey (Mexico City), her semester-long curriculum on advanced writing was adopted as a prototype by the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities. In 2004 Ms. Burns developed a teacher-training package for the Ministry of Education of Jordan that was the only teacher training package accepted on its first submission—“without revision.” In Indonesia, Burns created EDC’s technology-based professional development package Developing Active Learning with ICTs. She designed EDC’s one-computer classroom program and school-based coaching program, a five-month hybrid program that prepared Indonesian educators to work as classroom technology coaches. She also worked with a reading specialist to design the nation of Mali’s first-ever online course to teach university faculty how to teach balanced literacy approaches. She is presently leading EDC’s teacher professional development and curriculum development efforts in India and Pakistan.

Since 1997 Ms. Burns has also provided professional development in the area of technology and improved instructional methodologies to teachers and teacher trainers in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa. To do this she has worked extensively within schools, assessing teacher needs; creating teacher professional development activities based on such needs; and providing hands-on, long term teacher professional development and extensive classroom-based follow up. She has evaluated online learning programs for state education agencies, Ministries of Education, USAID and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; has consulted for the World Bank, Relief International/Schools Online, the American School Foundation of Mexico, numerous private schools and Dell Computer Corporation.

Ms. Burns has conducted numerous technology-based evaluations and research and co-authored 2 books and over 30 articles, book chapters and monographs on ICT-embedded teacher professional development for such publications as Educational Leadership, The Journal of Staff Development and the Kappan. Burns is coauthor of Technology as a Catalyst for School Communities; Connecting Student Learning and Technology; Using Technology to Train Teachers: Appropriate Uses of ICTs in Developing Countries and, most recently, the chapter “’The Wisdom of Practice’: Web 2.0 as a Cognitive and Community-Building Tool.”

Burns received her BA in international relations and Romance languages from Boston College, an EdM in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University, and an MA in Latin American studies and an MS in community and regional planning from the University of Texas.

Event organizer: Dr. Iman Osta, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Department of Education