Integrating ICT into Teacher
European Education Decision
The experimentations carried out by the different partners of the
FETICHE project were based on the use of information and
communication technologies (ICT) in order to improve open and
distance learning (ODL) in teacher education. It was both an aid for
teacher education, enabling educators and trainees to keep in contact
during the school practice, and enhancing collaborative working
between educators, trainees, and tutors, but also a way to integrate
new technologies as a content in teacher education. In teacher
education, ICT is both an object and a tool. But it should not be a
new subject: it has to be integrated in the whole teaching/learning
process of all subjects, across the different school levels.
From the experimentations, we have made observations and analysis,
and we have shared the reflection among the six partners in the
project, taking into account their expertise and experiences. The
present guidelines are the fruit of this work; they are adressed to
teacher education institutions, policy makers and decision makers
(national and local authorities) in european countries: they may help
the teacher educators who want to integrate information and
communication technologies in their teaching and practice.
The Guidelines are directly related to the three main objectives
of the action plan for a european education initiative
" Learning in the information society ": provide access to
technology in schools, train the teachers, produce tools, resources
1. Policy: a strong signal is a necessary
starting point from decision makers.
ALL teachers must now be trained in the use of ICT in
education. This needs changes at different levels, in classes, in
schools, in educational structures, etc.
Political and socio-economic conditions for change are
essential. Decision makers must give a clear insightful input to
give direction to ICT into education.
Both national and school curricula should acknowledge the role
of ICT in pedagogical practices.
Teacher trainees and educators need stimuli. Decision makers
should feel responsible for these stimuli, and for their
The "missionary spirit" is no longer enough in order to
develop integrating ICT into education; strong policies and
concrete action plans are needed.
2. Concepts: a step into a new
A clear conceptual understanding of ICT is necessary before it
is put in action. One must develop an "ICT culture", with its
diversity. The concept of ICT should be an integral part of the
curriculum in teacher training.
Educators should take into account the attitude and
psychological state of mind of teachers, regarding ICT. Resistance
to change must be acknowledged as a part of school democracy.
Teachers must not just use ICT tools, but also accept new
concepts of teaching and learning.
Effective use of ICT relies on the desire of participants to
engage. Consider teachers motivation: motivation for using ICT;
ICT as a tool to develop motivation for learning and teaching.
Having every one motivated needs a range of different
possibilities, of different activities, of different levels of
Teachers should think about links between society/community
and the classroom; and be aware of the external influences; design
appropriate environments, taking into account the local
Teacher education now has a wider access to information and
higher responsibility to deal with this new situation, keeping a
critical attitude towards conflicting information.
Teachers must be producers, not only consumers of information
3. Curriculum development and open learning:
new and integrated tasks and activities.
Teacher education curricula need constant redesign, in terms
of content and methodology.
Implement training activities that serve as hints for
teachers' future work. In their training, student teachers should
have experience of activities which can be re-used and further
Time is necessary ! and free time is necessary. Give time to
people, to decision makers, to users. Make a clear statement about
the length of time needed. Have time for free access to resources,
self-service activities, etc.
Most teachers are enthusiastic, keen on learning new things.
They may be fearing technology, but communication technology seems
to be less threatening than computers were.
It is essential that teachers discuss within their own subject
the role of ICT in their pedagogy.
Integrating ICT in teacher education must be activity based,
task oriented and problem centered, with a view to project based
Teachers must be encouraged and supported to learn
autonomously, rather than always be trained.
It is essential that a range of ICT projects continues to be
developed within teacher education.
Teachers must adapt evaluation materials by using ICT.
4. Experience for yourself new ways of learning
Make teacher trainees, educators and tutors have their own
experiences of ICT tools:
Make them experience by themselves learning something new in
their own subject through ICT; make them experience by themselves
learning in new ways (collaborative learning, learning by
project...). It is only if they experience it by themselves,
during their training, that they will be convinced that it can
work with pupils. Projects should be integrated into the
development of teacher education. To work collaboratively and not
be fixed to tied static knowledge, there must be a re-thinking of
Train the trainers ! And consider that all the competencies
and abilities needed from trainees are first needed from educators
! All teacher educators must have a comprehensive understanding of
the use, role and significance of ICT within the pedagogy of their
5. Networks, classrooms and institutions:
combine on-site and networked activities for collaborative working
and pedagogical integration.
Consider the class as a changing concept: originally, it was
less expensive to have several pupils with one teacher, and easier
to have them at the same moment at the same place. With ICT, new
types of classes may be implemented: distance classes;
asynchronous classes. Use all the possibilities, the new as well
as the old ones: distance and local, synchronous and asynchronous.
ICT requires changes in the structure of teaching sessions.
Teachers must recognize there are other sites for ICT learning,
such as the home.
Open and Distance Learning is more effective when combined
with on-site instruction.
With ICT, the class is a collaborative group, and not only a
collection of individuals. Use and experiment with the
collaborative potential of ICT for pedagogical projects.
Pedagogical integration encourages cooperation between
teachers, teacher educators and student teachers as well as
6. Teacher education, practice and tutors:
articulate practice and theory through networked
Practice is an essential part of teacher education, but it
must be strongly linked with fundamental and theoretical input.
ICT may help this linking, making tutors and educators work
together on a collaborative basis.
The role of tutors (experienced teachers who accompany and
tutor the trainees in classrooms, especially during practice
periods) is fundamental. They must be involved in the process of
integrating ICT in teacher education.
Use communication tools and techniques to develop a more
intimate teacher-student or student-student relationship.
Communication is much easier when the users have met before;
opportunities for this should be included.
7. Conditions: certain levels of equipment and
human resources are necessary in order to produce
ICT, like videoconferencing, help organizational integration
by making geographical, educational and administrative boundaries
Technical conditions, equipment, facilities are necessary.
Proper technical infrastructure is necessary for ICT to progress.
First of all, a network access and multimedia facilities in every
Schools and teacher education institutions should keep up with
a technological development, in order to give teacher education a
sound basis for the integration of ICT and pedagogical
Human professional resources are necessary as well, in
training institutions and in schools. Technical and human support
competencies must be contexted within teacher education.
Heads and Principals must create conditions where there will
be incentives to use ICT. And they should challenge teachers to be
involved in ICT projects.
More generally, decision makers should be persuaded to promote
Teacher educators must be involved in an ongoing evaluation of
the training process.
There must be Internet providers specific for education in
Pre- and in-service training Internet tools for all teachers
must be developed.