Enhancing Professional Development in Special Education Through the Web, by Jennifer A. Gold
The National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP)
The National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at the Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), seeks to promote the use of assistive and instructional technologies by practitioners to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities. Ultimately, NCIP wants educators to aid one another in translating knowledge into practice to benefit students with disabilities (Zorfass, Corley, Remz, & Ethier, 1994). One way NCIP hopes to accomplish this goal, is through the use of the Internet.
NCIP has designed an innovative Web site that integrates a collection of resources and discussion forums about the use of technology and special education. Taking advantage of the hypertext environment of the Web, NCIP's site integrates both resources and conversations on a single platform. The five major components of NCIP's model of professional development are as follows: