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Regional Workshop on ICT integration, Yunnan, 15-19 October 2007

Mr. Perera and a fellow participant at the workshop.

Mr. Perera (right) and a fellow participant at the workshop.

Held from 15 to 19 October, in Kunming, China, the "Regional Workshop on ICT-Integration for the Next Generation of Teachers" provided an opportunity for teacher educators from across the Asian region to develop their skills in integrating ICT into education and to participate in the Microsoft-sponsored Peer Coaching programme. Educators were also able to share their experiences and concerns regarding the integration of ICT into teaching.

The workshop brought together approximately 60 teacher educators and Deans of education from across Asia, including from Brunei Darussalam, China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

During the workshop, participants were surveyed regarding their views on topics related to the use of ICT in teaching. When asked whether ICT offered potential benefits for education, for example, the workshop participants responded positively but cautioned that ICT can only be useful if certain conditions are met. According to one of the participants from Sri Lanka, K.G.S.K. Perera of the National Institute of Education, "Without an effective and efficient model to integrate ICT we will not be able to harness the full potential of ICT in order to improve education".

Several participants commented on the course and how it affected their work. Koh Kok Hwee, the Head of Education Technology Department at the Institut Perguruan Tun Hussein Onn in Malaysia, remarked that "During the workshop we met fellow educators from ten different countries, and had the opportunity to share our experiences and the constraints we face in our home country and to get suggestions on how to overcome them".

Participants also appreciated the peer coaching component of the training. It "set the right kind of environment for ICT integration", said K.G.S.K. Perera.

According to Cynthia Grace L. Diaz from the University of the East Manila in the Philippines, the peer coaching programme "brought to life what teachers can do for other teachers in a more realistic and personal way. Furthermore, it placed emphasis not just on technology but on the pedagogy that goes along with effective classroom teaching".

The workshop was organized by UNESCO as part of the Next Generation of Teachers (Next Gen) project, in co-operation with project partner, Microsoft, and with the collaboration of the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO, East China Normal University, and Yunnan Normal University.

The goal of the Next Gen project is to enable the next generation of secondary teachers in the Asia-Pacific region to exploit the benefits of ICT for enhancing teaching and learning. Through this project, teacher educators in TEIs across the region will learn a variety of instructional approaches utilizing ICT and will gain the flexibility required to bring the benefits of ICT into classrooms and improve the quality and reach of education.

The Regional Workshop will be followed by another workshop in April 2008, which will focus on curriculum development.

Further information:

  • Next Generation of Teachers project

  • Peer Coaching programme - sponsored by Microsoft

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