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Next Gen Project Description (Stage 1)

The Next Generation of Teachers (Next Gen) project has been guided by the vision of the Director of the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, Mr Sheldon Shaeffer, who expressed the goal as follows:

“By 2008, all regional Member States will be in a position to offer teachers an education on how and when to best use technologies for teaching and learning, through training which is integrated in all national pre-service teacher training institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. Learners will directly benefit from this new generation of well educated teachers, who will be empowered to use technologies and to facilitate the learners’ active participation in learning, and in the knowledge societies and economies.”

Key players in the Asia-Pacific ICT in Education field, including CISCO, Fujitsu (FSBM), Intel, Internexia, Nanyang Technological University, National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC) and Microsoft have applauded this initiative, and have participated in workshops to further develop the concept and to discuss means of supporting this endeavour. Microsoft was the first key player to pledge a support going beyond the sharing of materials and know-how:  Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PiL) programme has made a key financial contribution in support of this initiative.

Where useful, the Next Gen project will link to and build on the achievements made and networks created in the conceptual phase and in other projects. The intention is to make this a “growing partnership” which includes all key organizations that are active in the field of professional development of teachers and that are concerned with ICT integration in teacher training.

The Next Gen project has four main phases, namely:

  • Phase One: Project establishment and launching of the project.
  • Phase Two: Situation and Needs Assessment of the participating Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs).
  • Phase Three: Design, development and implementation of a set of interventions for the TEIs.
  • Phase Four: Evaluation and sharing of success stories and problems faced during the implementation phase.

The beneficiaries of the Next Gen project will include:

  • Pupils who will benefit from the improved skills of teachers who facilitate students’ learning and prepare them for knowledge societies and economies.
  • Future teachers (those enrolled in the TEIs), who are the direct beneficiaries of the project since they are the targeted participants of the training modules to help integrate ICT in teaching.
  • Participating TEIs (including the teacher trainers – a priority group – the administrators of the institutions and their selected faculty), who are also direct beneficiaries. The selection of the countries and TEIs was based on an agreed set of criteria (willingness to integrate ICT in teacher education courses, institutional leadership etc.).
  • Policy makers and other TEI administrators, who will be the target audience when the lessons learned are documented and disseminated.
  • National governments, particularly Ministries of Education, who will be both beneficiaries and partners in this project. This initiative will assist governments in their objectives of capacity building as they reform and re-align their national education systems, and in their drive to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Initial Activities (July 2005 to May 2006)

  • The project proposal was developed (in consultation with the key players in the ICT in Education field).
  • The project proposal was refined and an action plan was developed.
  • A background survey of teacher training in six countries in the Asia-Pacific region was conducted. This survey was the initial stage of an in-depth assessment which will be conducted to examine ICT use in pre-service teacher training in the Asia-Pacific region. The initial survey answered questions such as: what are the ICT constraints, opportunities and needs of teachers in specific countries; how is ICT currently being used at the pre-service level (if at all) to train teachers; what ICT skills are trainees being given; and what can we learn from such use. Results of the assessment will guide the implementation of the Next Gen project.
  • Ten countries from the Asia-Pacific region were selected to participate in the Next Gen project. These countries are: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
  • A three day consultative meeting and project launch was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in May 2006. This meeting was attended by Ministry of Education officials and education experts from across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as by sponsors and other stakeholders.

Next Steps

  • To conduct a situation and needs analysis of the participating TEIs in selected countries.
  • To map existing resources and tools that could be used by the participating TEIs to train teacher-educators to utilize ICT in the classroom.
  • To assist participating TEIs to each design a plan for implementing the project in their respective TEIs.

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