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Web-based Professional collaboration for Educators

             Technology plays an ever-increasing role in modern education. Over the last five years we have seen the development of National Educational Technology Standards for pre-service teachers and the U.S. Department of Education's Preparing Tomorrows Teachers Today grants to provide technology development for educators. (Sloinski, 2001) This has been followed with an emergence of teacher education committees and policies in organizations throughout the world. The article reviewed makes the correlation between Educators engaging in Web-based collaboration and the development of subsequent, future professional practices. Sloinski (2001) "believed that pre-service teachers would benefit from participating in Web-based professional collaboration, which in turn would lead to more student-centered and more innovative instruction." One might ask, why this is an important issue? When the economic impact of technology is broken down, the importance of teacher acquisition of related skills will only continue to become more necessary.
             According to Sloinski (2001), who referred to a 1999 Market Data Retrieval report, "school districts, on average, spent five billion dollars on educational technology in" 1999, yet few have "yielded any significant benefit." Despite the money spent on technology, "a recent U.S. Department of Education survey of 4,049 teachers, found that only 20 percent of classroom teachers felt well prepared to integrate technology into their classroom practice while 40 percent felt adequately prepared. (Sloinski, 2001).
             Sloinski (2001) felt that "education students don't have the opportunity to participate in environments that effectively integrate technology into practice. A reference made to Becker and Riel's (2001) study from the University of California, Irvine's Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations found that "without a substantive longitudinal virtual collaboration experience, teachers will not be prepared to engage in a meaningful virtual collaborative partnership upon entering their own classrooms.

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