D. Supporting Integration by a «Resource Person» for Teachers and Students
Integration of ICT into a school needs (as in all other areas) human resources to support users work and needs. Hence, there must be experts or specialist teachers who will spend a great amount of time acting as «resource persons» or ICT co-ordinator. Without this human support, integration will not take place, whatever good the other factors are allowing ICT use and integration.
Sometimes this person is also the one who actually teaches informatics at a lower or advanced level. But this task can also be taken care of by another teacher. Also, the more specialised ICT curriculum Units in vocational education will be taught by specialised teachers. We do not fully describe the demands for actually teaching the subject informatics or vocational ICT subject, because that would lead to vast description which also depend very much on legislation and curriculum objectives in the different countries.
Here we will elaborate on the more essential role of the «resource person» or ICT co-ordinator.
These are requirements for this person:
- to collaborate with the management and administration.
- to be precise, in agreement with the management, their role, availability, and modes of intervention according to act to.
- to regularly inform the management about the progress of activities and projects to come.
- to spread out the results of the experiments undertaken inside and outside the school.
- to develop a global reflection on needs and on means, about ICT support to teaching and learning.
- to be responsible for the policy towards technical infrastructure.
- to be responsible for the availability and usability for computers and networks.
- to be the intermediate person between school and hardware or software providers or between school and other educational institutions.
- to support teachers in integrating ICT to their own practices.
- to propose lines of development for integration of ICT: to suggest, to show examples, to give appetisers to use ICT.
- to help teacher to be trained, in accordance to their needs and demands by proposing training resources, by assuming training sessions and by making possible the sharing of knowledge and experiences between teachers (on the basis of their personal competencies).
- to accompany sometimes teachers during their courses inside the classroom, to secure them and to support them.
- to help teachers to become more and more autonomous when faced with troubles and failures of ICT systems.
- to support the emerging successes coming out of team projects using ICT.
- to give support to team projects.
- to help teams to make their project more precise (to show what is possible, to put limits, ...), to allow each teacher, member of the team, to express his own project in agreement with team project; to help the team to specify training needs.
- to help with the planning and the schedule.
- to help with implementation; to bring resources or even to take part to the realisation.
- to cope with the relations between teachers in the team: to make sure that individuals agree with team project, to manage
- the conflicts inside the team.
- to help the team to evaluate process and results: to schedule the moments of evaluation
- to promote ICT uses inside the school and to facilitate these uses.
- to develop and support e-mail uses, to bring communication solutions through intranet.
- in agreement with users, to discuss and to set up the procedures for accessing and using ICT resources.
- to organise the ways that resources can be accessed and used by teachers and pupils.
- to support some specialised pupils activities with ICT.
- without taking the place and without playing the roles of other teachers, and in agreement with these teachers, to help pupils faced with special problems in using technology.
- to organise special training sessions, gathering pupils and teachers, for discovering advanced features or tools.
- to go on with his own professional development
- to get the new technical and pedagogical competencies needed because of technical evolution and changes inside school organisation.
- to communicate and exchange experiences with other ICT co-ordinators, including ICT tools uses.
How to organise Teacher Development in area D?
As stated at the last bullet the ICT co-ordinators should develop themselves as well. Sometimes this is a matter of auto didactical development, sometimes «experts-to-be» can follow a longer «train the trainers» course. In these courses special attention should be given to all the aspects mentioned above. A good outcome of such training courses is always a policy document which the trainee has developed for his or her own school. In the assessment of the training course the evaluation of this plan within the school and the opinion of the management about the relevance of the policy document is taken into account.
In specific vocational areas teachers have to be trained in special courses. Teachers of informatics (certainly at the advanced level) should have a specific set of training modules, which in some countries leads to a certified exam for being a «teacher of informatics».