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Volume 22, Number 4
July/August 2006

Online Professional Development for Teachers

An interview with Chris Dede


As demands to improve teacher quality increase, online professional development programs have proliferated to meet a variety of needs. But little is known about best practices in the design and implementation of these programs. In Online Professional Development for Teachers: Emerging Models and Methods (Harvard Education Press, 2006), Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and his colleagues analyze the strengths and limitations of selected models of online professional development in areas related to math, science, engineering, and technology. Harvard Education Letter contributor Andreae Downs spoke with Dede about issues in the design and implementation of online professional development.

How does online professional development compare with face-to-face professional development?

It’s a widely held misconception that any form of online learning is second best to any form of face-to-face learning. What research shows us is that online learning and face-to-face learning complement each other in interesting ways.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.