A Global Framework for Teachers' ICT Competencies: the UNESCO ICT Framework
Two decades after the first mainstream rollout of computers in schools we have learned many significant lessons about ICT in Education and their potential transforming impact on national education systems. Yet, countries around the world face urgent challenges in this respect due to the rapid development of technologies, the required financial investments and the need to have a clear vision of the role that teachers have to play in harnessing the power of ICT in the classroom and beyond....In this context, the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers is aimed at helping countries to develop comprehensive national teacher ICT competency policies and standards, and should be seen as an important component of an overall ICT in Education Master Plan.
It's not just teachers in the US who are challenged to rethink their practice in the Internet age—teachers globally are exploring what new ICT (Internet communications technologies) mean for teaching today. And, of course, policy-makers around the world need to consider everything from infrastructure for school buildings to professional development and certification policies. To address this, UNESCO has released a framework for teachers and ICT.
UNESCO’s Framework strongly emphasizes that teachers not only need to teach 'about' digital tools and technologies, not only need to "use" them to teach, but need to be able to support students as producers of knowledge. The vision is of students as collaborative, problem-solving, creative learners on the way to becoming self-managing citizens and members of the workforce.
The Framework covers dimensions of the teacher's role as listed in the chart above and presents competencies in three deepening layers: Technology Literacy (enabling students to use ICT in order to learn more efficiently; Knowledge Deepening (enabling students to acquire in-depth knowledge of their school subjects and apply it to complex, real-world problems), and Knowledge Creation (enabling students, citizens and the workforce they become, to create the new knowledge). It's an interesting approach to presenting digital literacies as moving toward active production of new knowledge—an approach which combines the participatory nature of ICT environments with an academic emphasis on knowledge making and circulation.
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