The coronavirus (COVID-19) is considered to be an external factor that affects teachers’ attitudes toward online professional development. Therefore, this study investigates the use of virtual communication in an online professional development program through the lens of teachers’ attitudes toward technology. This study was conducted in 15 schools across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the COVID-19 pandemic. A teacher training program called The Ta’alouf Inclusion Special Education, one of the initiatives of the Al Jalila Foundation (AJL), aimed to train teachers, promote inclusion, and support children with special educational needs and disabilities. Participants (teachers, school leaders, learning support assistants, social workers, and department heads) received 24 hours of virtual training sessions on numerous topics related to inclusive education and special educational needs and disabilities.
A concurrent mixed-method approach was utilized to collect quantitative data from participants using an online survey and qualitative data using interviews. The study results reveal that the quarantine of COVID-19 did not affect teachers’ continued professional development. On the contrary, teachers felt the ease of using technology and the usefulness of the topics mentioned, which formed their positive attitudes toward using technology and led to their engagement and continuation of developing professionally either during or after the pandemic.
|January 1, 2024
|January 3, 2023
|Published in Issue
|Year 2024 Volume: 25 Issue: 1