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ICT Integration and Telecollaboration Workshop, Sri Lanka, 5-9 November 2007

Participants at the Telecollaboration workshop.

Participants at the workshop.

From 5 to 9 November, UNESCO, in co-operation with the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO and the Sri Lanka National Institute of Education, convened the "ICT-Integration and Telecollaboration" workshop in Sri Lanka. 

Hosted by the National Institute of Education, the workshop developed the capacity of participating teacher educators in terms of integrating information and communication technologies (ICT) into teaching. In particular, the workshop enabled participants to learn to develop telecollaboration lesson plans and to manage telecollaboration activities.

Teacher educators participated in a simulation of a telecollaboration process and in an online forum where they shared their ideas and experiences. The five-day workshop also provided participants with an introduction to SchoolNets and insights into how a SchoolNet could be used by Sri Lankan teachers to improve learning outcomes among students.

In his opening address, Mr. R.P. Perera, the Secretary General of Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO, emphasized that teachers, teacher educators and education policy makers, are central forces in tapping the education potential offered by ICT. "They hold the key to what and how teaching and learning takes place at schools and in the community, so it is vital to ensure they have the guidance and training they require", he said.

Prof. J. W. Wickramanshinghe, Director General, National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka, agreed. "The most important factor in successful integration of ICT into education is the extent to which teacher educators have the skills to integrate ICT into their daily teaching and activities", he remarked.

Approximately forty participants attended the workshop, including teacher educators from the 17 teacher education institutes (TEIs) under the National Institute of Education in Sri Lanka; master trainers from the National Institute of Education; and representatives from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education.

The workshop was convened as part of the UNESCO ICT in Education programme, which has as its goal to assist in harnessing the potential of ICT for expanding learning opportunities and for improving education quality. With this goal in mind, UNESCO emphasizes the need for governments to develop well-conceived and sustained programmes of professional development that will enable teacher educators and master teachers to develop essential skills in ICT integration.

The ICT in Education programme, under the Asia-Pacific Programme for Educational Innovation for Development (APEID), has implemented three inter-related projects which aim to build the capacity of teachers and teacher educators to integrate ICT into teaching. Two of these projects, "Training and Professional Development of Teacher Educators in the Effective Use of ICT for Improving Teaching and Learning" and "Strengthening the Use of ICT in Schools and SchoolNet in the ASEAN Context" are supported by Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT). The third project, the "Next Generation of Teachers" project is supported by JFIT, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Smart Technologies Inc. and GTCO.

Related links:

  • Next Generation of Teachers project

  • Telecollaboration: Bridges to Learning

  • Initiating and Managing SchoolNets

  • UNESCO SchoolNet project