C. Integrating ICT to improve Learning and the Management of Learning
At this stage, teachers are fully integrating ICT in all aspects of their professional life to improve their own learning and the learning of the schools students. The teacher uses ICT to manage the learning of the students and themselves. They use ICT to assist all students to assess their own learning in achieving specific personal projects. It is natural to collaborate with other teachers to solve problems and to share experiences as they become able to tell and analyse their own experiences (meta-competencies). ICT are not a problem, it is an opportunity.
Specific examples are provided in Appendix C of how ICT is being used to integrate subject knowledge and skills from across the curriculum to achieve individual learning objectives for students and teachers. The examples illustrate how this can be achieved for the individual class teacher working with a single class to that which can apply to the whole school.
There are general competencies and abilities common to all approaches to the integrating ICT in to learning and the management of learning. The focus of professional development will be on the pedagogic confidence and competence of teachers, building upon their previous training and professional development in applying ICT to teaching. The professional development in this stage will be encouraging teachers to collaborate in developing their curriculum and identifying innovative pedagogy. The opportunity for students and teachers to experiment to identify preferred learning styles and differentiated pathways is encouraged. Integrating ICT across the curriculum to enhance learning and the management of learning leads teachers to an understanding of how to transform their practice and the learning of their students. The general competencies include and build on those at the applying stage.
- to understand why, when, where and how ICT tools will be contribute to the learning objectives. To choose from among a wide range ICT tools the ones which are the most appropriate to stimulate students learning.
- choosing ICT tools and pedagogy that integrate ICT into the whole curriculum.
- choosing and recommend ICT tools and pedagogy appropriate to the individual students learning objectives.
- emphasising the quality of the students productions and the contribution to individual learning goals and levels of attainment.
- planning a whole learning programme that allows a range of ICT tools and pedagogy to be used as and when required.
- choosing tools and pedagogy that allow the teacher and student to manage their own learning.
- to manage whole school and classroom based environments, and team work to achieve learning objectives.
- managing learning environments that contribute to the use of different ICT tools and pedagogy.
- understanding the differences between pupils according to their competencies using ICT, to have available strategies to manage differences in progress.
- managing technical breakdown or difficulties in using ICT to minimise impact on planned lesson objectives.
- creating learning situations such that students manage their own learning.
- integrating ICT based and non-ICT based media, such as books and video, into learning programmes.
- assessing the levels of attainment of individual students when working collaboratively.
- to integrate multimedia presentations into whole class, group or individual teaching and learning to increase access to learning programmes.
- ensuring the most appropriate media are built into learning programmes to ensure the learning is accessible to all students
- irrespective of ability, special need or preferred learning style.
- varying the kind of presentation, documents or other media according to the main goals and the chosen pedagogy.
- analysing a presentation for legibility, structure, coherence with the objectives, adequacy to the students.
- to analyse multimedia learning environments.
- utilising web based learning spaces and environment.
- including CD-ROMs, hypermedia, web sites, video and audio, courseware.
- assessing activities contribution to the learner and the lesson objectives.
- analysis of the specific contribution of ICT tools to individual students learning.
- to support students to find, analyse and synthesise information from disparate internet and school based learning environments.
- supporting individual and groups of students to construct complex searches.
- supporting students managing, criticising, synthesising and presenting learning processes and products using ICT tools.
- to integrate a range of communication to collaborate with colleagues, with students and other learning communities beyond the school.
- to use ICT more and more efficiently, continuously taking part in professional development and participating in pedagogical experiments and developments.
- participating and to be active in groups working about the use of ICT
- using ICT tools (forums, conferencing, bulleting boards, email) to collaborate in the improvement of teaching and learning and management of learning processes
How to organise Teacher Development in Area C?
The kind of teacher activities described in this area of development are cannot be obtained by courses, seminars or workshops. These forms can be used as appetizers to inform teachers about integrated use of ICT but one cannot expect teachers to be doing this due to a one day course only. Most effective in this area is teamwork and educational leadership within the school. Where teacher communities in area B can be built on teachers from different schools, the communities in this area should involve only or at least some teachers from the same school within different subjects. Because the way of working in an integrated way is so different from what most teachers are used to, it is very important to share experiences, have a common goal and task, have involvement and equal input and have people to lean to if things are not going as you expected.
A good starting point for teacher development in this area is to form a group of enthusiastic people within the school. Later on that can be extended to larger communities of people from different school and even different countries.
In this area there are very good experiences in involving students themselves into the work of the community. They can have responsibilities for the activities as well and even have expertise (e.g. in ICT) which is needed in the project.
Do not forget
- One of the roles of a teacher is to help children to transform information, which is everywhere and in enormous amount on the Internet, into knowledge, which only exists in human brains, and into the wisdom to transform their own lives and the communities to which they belong.
- As ICT put the stress on teamwork and collaboration for the teachers, teacher training and professional development will be organised not for individuals but for teams, that are local and global, where learners are co-learners.