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Training Workshops for Teacher Educators

Background
Teachers and teacher-educators are of central importance in tapping the potential offered by information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance the reach and quality of education.

These central actors hold the key to how teaching and learning takes place at schools and in the community. Consequently, building the capacity of teachers and other facilitators to integrate appropriate ICT into the teaching-learning process needs special attention.

The UNESCO ICT in Education Unit has recognised this need in its broader vision to harness ICT for achieving the Education for All goals. UNESCO aims to empower teachers, teacher educators, managers and leaders to effectively use ICT for expanding learning opportunities and ensuring educational quality and relevance.

As part of the UNESCO "ICT in Education" programme, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) is implementing a project titled “Training and Professional Development of Teachers and Other Facilitators for Effective Use of ICTs in Improving Teaching and Learning”, which is funded by the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT). The target beneficiaries of the project are teacher educators and master teachers in teacher training institutions which provide pre-service and in-service training courses to teachers.  The project is being implemented in 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region: Afghanistan, People’s Republic of China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The project is based on the idea that the most critical factor in the successful integration of ICT into education is the extent to which teacher educators are able to prepare teachers with the required knowledge and skills to utilize ICT effectively in the classroom. The project aims to encourage the development of well-conceived and sustained programmes for professional development of teachers in the Asia-Pacific region, so as to ensure teachers have the necessary skills.

Training Workshops
In each country, a five-day training workshop is held in which participants are engaged in various activities, including discussions on issues such as what pedagogical approaches are more suitable and demonstrations of good practice.

The training programme aims to enable participants to:

  • Appreciate the vision and principles of integrating ICT in education.
  • Understand the regional guidelines for ICT-integration in teaching-learning.
  • Comprehend the analytical framework of competency standards for ICT-integration.
  • Integrate productivity-enhancing ICT tools in the teaching-learning context.
  • Enhance teaching and facilitate learning using multi-modal courseware.
  • Integrate ICT using pedagogical innovations to develop higher order thinking skills among learners.

The training programme employs various instructional strategies and methodologies such as:

  • Interactive theme presentations.
  • Group discussions and roundtable tasks.
  • ICT integration demonstrations.
  • Sharing of experiences.
  • Hands-on practice.

Participants
Between 20 and 30 participants attend each country workshop. These participants are teachers and teacher-educators from universities, teacher training colleges and schools. They generally have the following profile:

  • Serve in university departments of education and teacher training institutions that are involved in pre-service and in-service teacher training at secondary level.
  • In charge of the ICT related matters of their institutions.
  • Have basic skills in ICT tools such as word processors, data bases, presentation software, e-mail and Internet browsing.

Multiplier effects
The overall training strategy would follow the cascade model where the core resource team will train groups of national level master trainers and teacher educators in the project countries at the national or subregional training programmes. The groups thus trained are expected to conduct similar activities to train rest of the teachers in respective countries, resulting in multiplier effect. The first in the series of such training programmes is the proposed national level programme for Malaysia.

Evaluation
At the end of each day of training and at the end of each workshop, a session is held to get feedback from the trainees. Participants evaluate the workshop through a structured questionnaire. The programme is modified according to the feedback received.

Activities