Expose IT education opportunities to teachers

Posted on  27/01/2012  |  Media Centre

Friday, January 27, 2012

MORE attention should be paid to exposing IT education opportunities, as opposed to training teachers how to use a computer and implement ICT into education, the national manager of an Australia-based ICT education consulting group, Expanding Learning Horizons, said.

In an interview with the press at the THiNKBIG Innovate Dialogue yesterday, Travis Smith said less work should be done on teaching teachers how to use technology as “that will only get you so far”.

“We need to teach them a little bit of skills but really, what we need to do is to talk with them about the possibilities in learning; how to integrate it (technology) into their learning programme for students,” he said.

Teachers’ professional development is a crucial step to implementing ICT into education, he added.

“One of the biggest (challenges of implementing ICT into education) that I see is teacher professional development… making sure that teachers understanding the difference this (technology) can make to their classroom, and that involves exposing them to what is possible.”

He said that teachers have been taught how to use computers for many years but many have failed to implement technology into their teaching because they are unaware of how technology can be fitted into their subject curriculum.

Educators should focus the professional learning on curriculum design and curriculum development and ask questions such as “How can I use a computer?” and “How can my students use a computer to learn science, mathematics or geography?”, as opposed to merely skills development in teachers, he said.

“The other challenge is to shift the mindset with teachers from focusing on ‘I’m going do some computer professional development, which is going to teach me how to use computers for my teaching’.”

“When every student ends up with a laptop, it’s less about what a teacher does and more about what the students do with the technology,” he told the press.

Teacher professional development, he elaborated, is more about training teachers to understand the learning possibilities teachers can create for students to learn, using technology, and less about learning the technology itself.

“What the focus should be is learning with technology, which is when the kids have their own device and we can structure activities as teachers for them to use that technology.” Low Leng May

The Brunei Times

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