Leveraging technology to improve professional development opportunities for early childhood administrators leading quality improvement: identifying current practices in Delaware

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University of Delaware
The use of technology in education is increasing in Early Care and Education (ECE) programs as a tool for improving program quality in many interesting ways (Donahue, 2003). Participation in a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) has become the standard by which ECE programs obtain the knowledge and resources to improve quality with grant funding and affordable professional development (PD). In Delaware, the program administrator, whose role is dynamic, demanding, and critical to the success of the program, leads this journey in the ECE setting. While administrators are required to complete PD annually, little empirical research has been dedicated to the process by which they acquire new knowledge, skills and dispositions (Sheridan, 2009). There is a need to understand how well prepared they are to engage with new forms of PD, which typically leverage technology to offer flexibility, cross state collaboration, and self-paced learning that is appropriate for busy adult learners. This study found that administrators in Delaware have access to technology and that they are eager for more exposure and training related to using it at work. Additionally, the results showed that they are generally comfortable with technology and use it currently. Results also showed that administrators are interested in more technology- mediated PD options to support their quality improvement (QI) journey.