Core skills 4 educators/About

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Summary and aims:

  • To investigate educators' needs for knowledge and skills in relation to the effective use of ICT in teaching and learning in higher education.
  • To suggest ways of enhancing future design and delivery of self- and staff-development in order to increase and improve the level of ICT use in higher educational institutions.
  • To develop a competency matrix that could capture or assess ICT skills and knowledge needs at educational institutions and help plan professional development and training for academic staff.

Developing Educators' use of ICT

With the adoption of ICT in education the perception of what constitutes a 'learning environment' has been challenged. Today’s learners naturally engage with technology as an everyday part of their lives (Prensky, 2005). However, When attempting to use technology to engage today’s learners, there is often a disconnect between the techno-savvy of the learners and the educators. A number of recent developments in New Zealand tertiary strategy seeks to exploit the potential of ICT to enable networked access and shared provision of educational resources utilizing Internet, World Wide Web and repositories of reusable learning objects. Today the ability to use ICT effectively and appropriately is seen as essential in education. With the rapidly changing and converging technologies it is certain that specific forms of ICT will change with time, however, the need to be able to evaluate and use ICT purposefully and effectively will remain critical for educators in the future.

Derek Wenmoth as many other researches in his report on Use of ICT in Education can make a difference suggests that when implemented carefully and with adequate attention paid to training, support, and evaluation, ICT could have a significant positive impact on student learning experiences.

An understanding of what ICT skills and knowledge educators need to be effective today and in the future is urgently required given that many Governments are building their educational strategies around the use of technology to provide accessible education. New Zealand’s Government Digital Strategy isn't just about technology. 'It's about people and their ability to connect to the things that matter to them.' One of the main goals of the strategy is to enable communities to use technology to realize their social, cultural, and economic aspirations. The Education Commission (TEC) in New Zealand has targeted the implementation of the plans to develop networked access and provision of education in 2008. With he new funding model and tertiary reforms under way in New Zealand it is timely if not to late to ask:

  • what are the skills and knowledge needs of educators?
  • what are their priorities for future development?
  • what will encourage educators to adopt ICT where appropriate in their professional lives as classroom practitioners, planners, managers, and as learners?