Communication Technology Focused Teacher in Information Revolution Age

Teacher learning, what is ict, ict, icts, communication technology, teaching online, ICT In Teacher Education, teaching online

Communication Technology Focused Teacher in

Information Revolution Age

Since its inception, formal programmes of teacher education perused sequential chance i n course of time and such changes took place mostly  in the ‘forms’ as in  ‘content’. Keeping  in view the needs of the society and cliental groups, for whom the changes in society at large and in the sphere of education, in specific, educational and training programmes for teachers  accorded  modifications.  Here,  some  specific  changes  are suggested to enhance the effectiveness in teacher training programme to address the needs of the society in the present juncture of time.  India has passed successfully through agrarian and industrial revolution and has now not only entered into the age of information Revolution but is moving rapidly to acquire its grip over the same. Based on computer satellites and internet technology,   one-to-one  and  one-to-many   modes   of  communication, teleconferencing, etc. are the example of far reaching changes in education system of India. It has also given an opportunity to Teaching Online education for accepting what is good for their role  by  leaving out what they feel as worthless. Thus, it seems essential to bring some improvements in teacher training programme that will help the teacher trainees and teacher trainers in learning the ways and means to collaborate across cultures.

The Global Information Infrastructure Communication (GIIC), an international, independent nongovernmental private sector organization, argues that: ‘The globalization of the economy and its concomitant demands on the work force which requires a different education that enhance the ability of learners to access, adopt and apply knowledge to think independently, to exercise appropriate judgment and to collaborate with others to make sense of new situations. The objective of education in no longer simply to convey a body of knowledge but to teach how to learn, solves problems and synthesizes the old with the new”.

There are a range of new technologies and new techniques engendered by the intonation revolution that allow for the production of new knowledge and the dissemination of data information and knowledge.

Major reasons to incorporate a global dimension in teacher education are as follows –

  • The context for education is becoming global.
  • ICT is being used to increase access to education on a global scale.
  • A global view can enhance teacher education through the provision of stimulating rich contexts for critical reflection.

Major challenges in the field of teacher education are quality control, radical changes in leadership, culture, innovation and customer services. Our societies are becoming global and, therefore, education must adapt to this new context, including improving multicultural education. Imputation of ICT in teacher education may enhance the quality of teaching-learning process.

ICT In Teacher Education

Educational systems around the world are under increasing pressure to use the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to transmit the knowledge and skills to students, they need, in the context of present century. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are a major factor in shaping the new global economy and producing rapid changes in society. Within the past decade, the new ICT tools have fundamentally changed the way people communicate and do business. They have produced significant transformations i n industry, agriculture, medicine, business, engineering and other fields. They also have the potential to transform the nature of education – where and how learning takes place and also the roles of students and teachers in the learning process. Teaching Online :Teacher education institutions may either assume a leadership role in the transformation of education or be left behind in the swirl of rapid technological change. For education to reap the full benefits of ICTs in learning, it is essential that pre-service and in-service teachers have basic ICT skills and competencies. Teacher education institutions and programmes must provide the leadership for pre-service and in-service teachers and model the new pedagogies and tools for learning. They must also provide leadership in determining how the new technologies can best be used in the context of the culture, needs, and economic conditions within their country. To accomplish these goals teacher education institutions must work closely and effectively with secondary school teachers and administrators, national or state educational agencies, teacher unions, business and community organizations, politicians and other important stakeholders in the educational system. Teacher education institutions also need to develop strategies and plans to enhance the teaching-learning process within teacher education programmes and to assure that all future teachers are well prepared to use the new tools for learning.

There is growing awareness among policy-makers, business leaders and educators that the educational system designed to prepare learners for an agrarian or industrially-based economy will not provide students with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in the 21st century’s knowledge­ based economy and society. According to National  School Board Association,(2002), the new knowledge-based global society is one in which-

Teacher learning, what is ict, ict, icts, communication technology, teaching online, ICT In Teacher Education, teaching online

  • The world’s knowledge base doubles every 2-3 years;
  • 7,000 scientific and technical articles are published each day;
  • Data sent from satellites orbiting the earth transmit enough data to fill 19 million volumes every two weeks;
  • Graduates of secondary schools in industrialized nations have been · exposed to more information than their grandparents were in a life-time;
  • There will be as much change in the next three decades as there was in the last three centuries

The challenge confronting our educational system is how to transform the curriculum and teaching-learning process to provide students with the skills to function effectively in this dynamic, information-rich, and continuously changing environment. Teacher education institutions are faced with the challenge of preparing a new generation of teachers to effectively use the new learning tools in their teaching practices. For many teacher education programmes, this daunting task requires the acquisition of new resources, expertise and careful planning.

Education is at the confluence of powerful and rapidly shifting educational, technological and political forces that will shape the structure of educational systems across the globe for the remainder of this century. Many countries are engaged in a number of efforts to effect change in the teaching/ learning process to prepare students for ICT based society. The UNESCO World Education Report (2002) notes that the new technologies challenge traditional conceptions of both teaching and learning, and by reconfiguring how teachers and learners gain access to knowledge, have the potential to transform teaching and learning processes. ICTs provide an array of powerful tools that may help in transforming the present isolated, teacher-centered and text-bound classrooms into rich and student- focused interactive knowledge environments. To meet these challenges, Teacher education programme must embrace the new technologies with new appropriate ICT tools for learning. They must also move towards the goal of transforming the traditional paradigm of learning.

To accomplish this goal requires both a change in the learning process and an understanding of how the traditional technologies can create new learning environments in which students are engaged in learning, able to take greater responsibility for their own learning and constructing their own knowledge. Revolutions in science come about when a “paradigm shift” of old theories and methods take place. There is widespread concern that the educational experiences provided in many schools will not prepare students well for the future. Many educators and business and government leaders believe that creating a ” paradigm shift” in view of the learning process coupled with applications of the new ICT may play an important role in bringing teacher education system into alignment with the knowledge-based, information­ rich society.

The Traditional View of Learning Process

The traditional, teacher-centered approach to learning, is where the teacher is the expert and the dispenser of knowledge to the students. It is largely a ‘broadcast’ model of learning where the teacher serves as the repository and transmitter of knowledge to the students. The traditional educational paradigm often characterizes the views about the learning as “Learning is hard” while many others view, Learning as a Difficult and Often Tedious  Process.

Changing Views about Learning Process

In contrast to the traditional teaching-learning paradigm, a new paradigm of the teaching- learning process is emerging, based on three decades of research in human learning that encompasses the following views of the human learning process –

  • Learning is a natural process: The natural state of the brain is to learn, however, not everyone learns in the same way. There are different learning, perceptual and personality styles that must be considered in the design of learning experiences for the individual student.
  • Learning is a social process: ICTs provide opportunities for teachers and student to collaborate with others across the country and across the globe. They also provide new tools to support this collaborative learning in the classroom and online.
  • Learning is an active and not a passive process:
  • Learning is assessed through task completion, products, and real problem solving of both individual and group efforts.

The traditional view of the learning process is typically teacher-centred, with teachers doing most of the talking and intellectual work, while students are passive receptors of the information provided. This is not to indicate that the traditional lecture method is without value, as it allows the teacher to quickly convey lots of information to students and is a useful strategy for recall or rote learning. However, it is not the most effective way to help students develop and use higher order cognitive skills to solve complex real world problems. We are entering a new era of digital learning in which we are in the process of transitioning from “broadcast” learning to “interactive” learning. Today’s students no longer want to be passive recipients in the information transfer model of learning. Rather they want to be active participants in the learning process. There is growing recognition that today’s world requires that learning processes.

A Shift from Teaching online to Learning

As technology has created change in all aspects of society, it is also changing our expectations of what students must learn in order to function in the new world economy. Students will have to learn to navigate through large amounts of information, to analyze and make decisions, and to master new knowledge domains in an increasingly technological society.

This new environment also involves a change in the roles of both teachers and students. The role of the teacher will change from knowledge transmitter to that of learning facilitator, knowledge guide, knowledge navigator and co-learner with the student. The new role does not diminish the importance of the teacher but requires new knowledge and skills. ICTs provide powerful tools to support the shift to student- centered learning and new roles of teachers and students.

The Rationale and Framework for ICTs and Teacher Education

  • Technology should be infused into the entire teacher education programme: Throughout their teacher education experience, students should learn about and with technology and also how to incorporate it into their own teaching. Restricting technology experiences to a single course or to a single area of teacher education, such as – methods to deliver courses, will not prepare students to be technology-using teachers. Pre-service teacher education students should learn about a wide range of educational technologies across their professional preparation , from introductory and foundations courses to student teaching and professional development experiences.
  • Technology should be introduced in context: Teaching to pre- service students only the basic computer literacy e.g. the traditional operating system, word processor, spreadsheet, database, and topics related to telecommunications, is not enough. As with any profession, there is a level of literacy beyond general computer literacy. Thus more specific or professional literacy involves learning to use technology to foster the educational growth of students. Professional literacy is best learned in context. Pre-service students should learn many uses of technology because they are integrated into their coursework and field experiences. They should see their professional and mentor teachers model in innovative uses of technology’ and they slued use it in their own learning. They should explore creative uses of technology in their teaching. Teacher educators, content specialists and mentor teachers should expose pre-service teachers to regular and pervasive modeling of technology and provide opportunities to teach with technology.
  • Students should experience innovative technology-supported learning environments in their teacher education programmed: Technology can be used to support traditional forms of learning as well as to transform learning. The brightest promise of technology in education is as a support for new, innovative, and creative forms of teaching and learning.

Stages of Teacher Education

Approaches to the professional development of teachers must be dependent on context and culture. Since there are a variety of approaches, an overview of the many stages in which teachers receive teacher education may prove helpful. Professional development to incorporate ICTs into teaching and learning is an ongoing process and should not be thought of as one ‘injection’ of training. Teachers need to update their knowledge and skills as the school curriculum and technologies change. Individuals develop in stages and mature over time. Personal development must be accompanied by organizational development in schools, training centers, and universities. The professional development of teacher educators is also essential. Unless teacher educators use effective and appropriate technology in their own classes, it cannot be possible to prepare a new generation of teachers who will effectively use the new tools for teaching online learning.

Teacher learning, what is ict, ict, icts, communication technology, teaching online, ICT In Teacher Education, teaching online

ICTs may also support effective professional development of teachers into how to use ICTs. A limited initiative to integrate an innovative approach to teaching and learning with one new technology for a large population of teachers can be an important early step for a nationwide strategy.

Infusion of ICT in Teacher Education

The development of ICTs does not improve education on its-own but ICTs development vision must also focus on what ICTs can do to improve education. Two examples of this approach are as follows –

  • In a programme in the UK, advisory teachers were trained and given ICT resources and an opportunity to work alongside classroom teachers. The advisory teachers were able to see the context in which the teacher trainees worked with the teachers, were able to develop appropriate deployment of ICTs for curriculum use and promote the successful organization of resources in the school and the region. This approach, however, is resource-intensive and is not feasible for many schools.
  • In a recent project at the University of Virginia, teacher educators assigned project work for pre-service teachers requiring innovative use of ICTs, simultaneously organized in-service ICT training for the teachers in the schools where the pre-service teachers taught. The teacher educators coordinated these activities with the school technology plans. In this model, the ongoing partnership between the university and the school provides for capacity building.

In these models, it is the pre-service stage which is most open to learning where efforts should be made as how to infuse technology into instruction. Based on their long experiences with traditional modes of Teacher learning, teacher educators may find it challenging to incorporate ICTs into their own instructional practices. The another approach that encourages collaboration between the teacher education programme and the community, is the formation of computer clubs for students interested in using computers in education. This approach was used successfully in Russia and it works well where computing resources are limited.

In planning for the infusion of ICTs into teacher preparation programmers, several factors important to a programme’s success must be considered. This section provides a holistic framework to assist in designing the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) into teacher education. The framework is coherent with the context provided by today’s society and reflects more recent understandings of the nature of learning, including aspects of learning communities during the school years and beyond into life-long learning. The holistic framework will help teacher educators and administrators consider the cultural and educational system context, technology resources, and other factors that are important in planning the integration of technology into the pre-service curriculum. Limited technology resources and conditions of rapid change in educational, economic and political systems challenge many contexts of this curriculum. In some regions, the shortage of teachers, teacher educators, facilities and standards has been chronic for years and has reached crisis proportions. Access to ICT resources may also be quite limited. Within this document, ICTs should be broadly defined as including ‘interactive radio’ and multiple media including TV, as well as computers and hand-held electronic devices.

Factors Affecting Infusion of ICT in Teacher Education

  • Context and culture identifies the culture and other contextual factors that must be considered in infusing technology into teacher education curriculum. It includes the use of technology in culturally appropriate ways and the development of respect for multiple cultures and contexts, which need to be taught and modeled by teacher.
  • Leadership and vision are essential for the successful planning and implementation of technology into teacher education and require both leadership and support from the administration of the teacher education institution.
  • Lifelong learning acknowledges that learning does not stop after school. It is important to note that in teachers and teacher preparation faculty model, lifelong learning as a key part of implementation and as an ongoing commitment to ICTs in teacher education is common with other themes.
  • Planning and Management of change is the final theme in today’s context and is accelerated by technology itself. It signifies the importance of careful planning and effective management of the change process. These themes may be understood as a strategic combination of approaches that help teacher educators develop the four core competencies. The core competencies may be seen as clusters of objectives that are critical for successful use of ICT as tool for learning.

Standards Adopted for Guiding Implementation of ICTs in Teacher Education

Singapore

In Singapore, the National Institute for Education (NIE) is the only provider of pre-service teacher education.  In her review of pre-service teacher training in ICTs, June (2000) describes keys  to the success of ICTs integration. NIE’s approach includes several notable strategies –

  • It provides a short foundation course ‘that focuses on hands-on
  • IT experience as the initial stage of pre-service training. (Such a course should focus on applying IT skills to achieve pedagogical objectives, rather than teaching IT skills in isolation.)
  • It provides more advance IT courses as electives for students who need or want to develop more advanced IT-based pedagogical skills.
  • It integrated it components into all of the subject matter areas such as maths, social studies, English, and so on, so that students have a role model for IT- integrated teaching and learning.
  • It designs IT-integrated courses in such a way that students have the opportunity to produce IT-based instructional materials themselves and share outcomes of the course with others.

U.S.A.

A set of standards were developed in the USA which were in contrast with approaches adopted in other countries, particularly within Europe. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), has developed a set of standards to provide guidance and consistency to programmes. These standards are used widely in several countries and serve as the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for the USA. The NETS for Students (NETSS) describe what about the technology from pre-school to grade twelve, students should know and be able to do with technology? The students standards provide a basis for the development of technology standards for teachers (NETSS) and technology standards for educational administrators (NETSA). These sets of standards provide states, districts, schools, and teacher education institutions the foundations upon which the integration of technology in their programmers can be built. Other countries and regions that have developed, adopted, or adapted national or regional standards include: Australia, China, Ireland, Latin America and the United Kingdom. National Educational Technology standards for Teachers, provides standards and performance indicators describing what pre-services teachers should know about and be able to do with technology upon completion of their teacher preparation programme. The rapid infusion of technology into schools requires a new generation of Teacher, who are able to use the new tools to enhance their own productivity and decision – making activities and who understand the importance of integrating technology into the learning process. Leader stands the importance of integrating technology into the learning process. Leadership  is often the most important factor in the successful integration of ICTs into the school ‘s instructional practices and curriculum. Research has shown that without effective and supportive leadership, change in the teaching – learning process and widespread, effective uses of technology in learning are not likely to occur.

Europe

Many countries in Europe have official recommendations for ICT for future and practicing teachers. According to Department for Education and Science ( 1989), in the majority of European countries, equal importance is attached to the teachers’ personal command on ICTs as the content of the subject to be taught. To acquire these skills it was suggested that –

  • Make confident personal use of a range of software packages and IT devices appropriate to their subject specialization;
  • Review critically the relevance of software packages and IT devices to their subject and age range adjudge the potential value of these in classroom use;
  • Make constructive use of IT in their teaching and in particular to prepare and put into effect the schemes of work incorporating appropriate uses of IT; And
  • Evaluate the ways in which the use of IT changes the nature of teaching and learning.

UK Govt. developed highly detailed standards for pre-service teacher education and then also developed a nation-wide strategy to train all teachers in pedagogical use of ICTs. The detailed curriculum has the following expected outcomes for teachers. Teacher Training Agency (2001) suggested that Teachers should know:

  • When, where and how to use ICTs in teaching their subject?
  • How ICTs can be used for teaching the whole class?
  • How ICTs can be used when planning, including the use of lCTs for lesson preparation and the choice and organization of ICT resources?
  • How to assess pupil’s work when ICTs have been used? And
  • How ICTs can be used to keep up-to date, share best practice and reduce bureaucracy?

Thus in brief, the first step in determining the ICT curriculum for a university teacher education programme, is to examine the expectations identified in the ICT standards. Through the ongoing use of technology in the schooling process, students should achieve important technology capabilities. The key individual in helping students achieve those capabilities in the classroom, teacher is responsible for establishing the classroom environment and preparing the learning opportunities that facilitate student’s use of technology to learn, communicate, and develop knowledge products. Consequently, it is critical that all classroom teachers are prepared. Programmes must provide technology- rich experiences through all aspects of the training programmes. Teachers must be prepared to empower students with the advantages that technology can bring. Schools and classrooms, both real and virtual, must have teachers who are equipped with technology resources and skills and who can effectively teach the necessary subject matter/content while incorporating technology concepts. Data- gathering and analysis tools are only a few of the resources that allow teachers to provide here unimaginable opportunities for developing their students’ conceptual understandings. Traditional educational practices no longer provide pre-service teachers with the skills necessary to students to use appropriate tools for learning, calculating, collaborating, and communicating.

ICT competencies must be integrated into the curricular and pedagogical content presented; preparing teacher trainees to create the new learning environments, teacher educators must, therefore, model the use of these new learn i ng environments i n their own university classrooms. The curriculum for teacher educators is often rich with strategies for presenting subject matter and pedagogy; however, it may be lean in terms of integrating technological tools for supporting that learning. Consequently, curriculum developers for teacher preparation programmes must be vigilant in identifying appropriate ways to apply ICT tools throughout the coursework and plan experiences for pre-services teachers.

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