Part two of a series reviewing literature and projects in the training and professional development of VET teachers in the use of digital technologies.

Digital capability framework

Jisc have produced a Digital capability framework which “describes the skills needed by staff from a wide range of academic, administrative and professional roles to thrive in a digital environment.”

Figure 1 JISC Digital Capability Framework

Jisc NUS Roadmap

May 2019, saw the launch of the Jisc NUS roadmap (Jisc, 2019) designed to support students, course representatives, and union and guild representatives to work with their institution on improving student digital experiences.

Jisc say “Informed by extensive research into learners’ experiences and expectations of technology, the roadmap has been updated following over 77,500 student responses to Jisc’s digital experience insights survey, gathered over three years.” It is intended to enable institutions, including universities and vocational education and training colleges,  to identify gaps in their digital provision, while allowing students to compare their digital experiences to others’.

The roadmap focuses on ‘Good Practice Principles’ which has four levels of progression: First steps, Developing, Developed and Outstanding. Whilst obviously focused on wider aspects of the student experience, one section covers teachers, with the good practice principle being that “Teaching staff are confident users of digital technologies and media.” Students were asked “What one thing would improve the quality of your digital learning and teaching?”  They were further asked to “rate your digital learning and teaching overall” and in a more open question “When digital technologies are used on my course…”

First steps were:

  • Training available for teaching staff in all core systems such as the virtual learning environment, assessment systems and lecture capture
  • E-learning specialist staff are available to support teaching staff
  • All teaching staff can use in-class digital technologies and audio visual equipment
  • All teaching staff can upload content to the VLE and use an online submission and grading system

Developing were:

  • A technology enhanced learning (TEL) or e-learning strategy with goals for teaching staff development
  • There is a growing cohort of teaching staff with digital expertise, supported by elearning specialists
  • All teaching staff can use the specialist academic/professional technologies of their subject area
  • Workshops are available to support the development of digital teaching skills

Developed were:

  • All teaching staff can design digital activities suitable to their subject area and student needs
  • Local e-learning staff or staff digital champions support digital approaches at the course or subject level
  • Staff share digital teaching ‘know how’ via one or more communities of practice
  • Dedicated funding and staff support for digital innovation projects

Developed were:

  • Teaching staff have time allocated to develop, practice and evaluate digital approaches
  • Specific rewards and career pathways for digital teaching expertise and innovation
  • Teachers and students work in partnership to develop new digital approaches
  • There are excellent digital teaching and learning projects that have been recognised outside the organisation

DigComp Edu

Both the European Commission and UNESCO have developed frameworks for teacher development in the use of technology for teaching and learning. The frameworks are designed to be flexible, to be capable of adoption in different national policies and for different contexts. There are considerable similarities between the frameworks, both of which are intended to be applicable for vocational education and training as well as for general school teachers.

The DigCompEdu Framework aims to capture and describe educator-specific digital competences by proposing 22 elementary competences organised in 6 areas. Area 1 is directed at the broader professional environment, i.e. educators’ use of digital technologies in professional interactions with colleagues, learners, parents and other interested parties, for their own individual professional development and for the collective good of the organisation. Area 2 looks at the competences needed to effectively and responsibly use, create and share digital resources for learning. Area 3 is dedicated to managing and orchestrating the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning. Area 4 addresses the use of digital strategies to enhance assessment. Area 5 focuses on the potential of digital technologies for learner-centred teaching and learning strategies. Areas 6 details the specific pedagogic competences required to facilitate students’ digital competence. For each competence, a title and a short description are provided, which serve as the main point of reference.

The Framework also proposes a progression model to help educators assess and develop their digital competence. It outlines six different stages through which an educator’s digital competence typically develops, so as to help educators identify and decide on the specific steps to take to boost their competence at the stage they are currently at. At the first two stages, Newcomer (A1) and Explorer (A2), educators assimilate new information and develop basic digital practices; at the following two stages, Integrator (B1) and Expert (B2), they apply, further expand and structure on their digital practices; at the highest stages, Leader (C1) and Pioneer (C2), they pass on their knowledge, critique existing practice and develop new practices.

UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT)

UNESCO has created an international Framework that sets out the competencies required to teach effectively with ICT: the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT).

UNESCO locates the CFT in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the attainment of the social and economic goals recognised as a key focus of education systems worldwide. Teachers, they say,  need to be equipped to guide the next generation to embrace and be able to achieve these goals. Technology is seen as having a significant role to play in the achievement of the SDGs.

There have been three ICT CFT versions, in 2008, 2011 and 2018. Each has reflected the prevailing thinking on the relationship between technology and education, with suggestions on how to achieve competencies using popular technologies of the time. From the outset, it was envisaged that the ICT CFT would be dynamic and revisited regularly to ensure relevance.

The ICT CFT Version 3 is intended to inform teacher-training policies and programmes that strengthen the use of ICT in Education. Its target audience is teacher-training personnel, educational experts, policy-makers, teacher support personnel and other professional development providers. The ICT CFT assumes a working knowledge of the benefits of ICT in Education, and encourages contextualization and adaptation of teacher professional development as relevant.

The new version of the ICT CFT emphasizes that teachers, in addition to having ICT competencies and the ability to develop these in their students, must be UNESCO, in partnership with industry leaders and global subject experts, has created an international Framework that sets out the competencies required to teach effectively with ICT: the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT).

UNESCO locates the CFT in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the attainment of the social and economic goals recognised as a key focus of education systems worldwide. Teachers need to be equipped to guide the next generation to embrace and be able to achieve these goals. Technology is seen as having a significant role to play in the achievement of the SDGs.

The new version of the ICT CFT emphasizes that teachers, in addition to having ICT competencies and the ability to develop these in their students, must be able to use ICT to help students become collaborative, problem-solving, creative learners and innovative and engaged members of society.

For this purpose, teachers’ professional development should be understood as a lifelong learning process, rather than a one-off event. It is advised that the ICT CFT be integrated into the three phases of teacher professional development:

·       pre-service

·       in-service

·       On-going formal and informal pedagogical and technical support

The ICT CFT consists of 18 competencies organized according to the six aspects of teachers’ professional practice, over three levels of teachers’ pedagogical use of ICT. The underlying idea is that teachers who have competencies to use ICT in their professional practice will deliver quality education and ultimately be able to effectively guide the development of students’ ICT competencies.

References and Footnotes

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