As a contribution to this process, this toolkit introduces a series of tools which address teacher professional development, based primarily on project experiences of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec) and Microsoft in Caribbean and Pacific countries. It outlines what the tools are, provides links to them for downloading purposes, describes activities that can be implemented to use the tools effectively and presents a few hypothetical scenarios to illustrate their potential application. These tools can be harnessed as part of national or institutional strategies ensuring that ICT in education is effectively integrated into the training of new teachers and the continuing professional development of in-service teachers.

1 Where the Tools Come From (Context of Tool Development)

The tools and activities described here reflect the experiences of COL, ComSec, Microsoft and their Caribbean and Pacific government partners in the revision and improvement of teacher education through devising professional development initiatives for ICT in education. In Guyana, this entailed: surveying current ICT trends at schools, higher education (HE) institutions and the ministry of education; evaluating current government-sponsored ICT in education projects; creating professional development, advocacy and communication, and monitoring and evaluation strategies; reviewing ICT in education curricula at both HE institutions in Guyana; creating an “ICT in Education for Teachers” course of over 150 notional hours; and training staff to deploy the course.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines also needed an ICT in education professional development strategy for teachers. The main concern, however, was to devise ways to improve human capacity to support the activities stated therein. COL and ComSec helped devise plans to develop one cache of ICT in education “master teachers” who would act as mentors to others, and another cache to provide ICT in education training for school principals. A COL/ComSec facilitator also created an instrument to select teachers most likely to succeed at ICT in education training.

Both Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica were supported through the development of an ICT in education professional development strategy for teachers. Dominica also needed a set of baseline survey tools to identify current ICT in education trends. Samoa already had clear ICT in education policy directives but did not have a clear implementation plan. COL and ComSec provided advice on these issues and also offered access to a number of open-license ICT in education programmes for teacher education institutions to adapt and deploy.

The participating countries can be characterised as having modest access to skills capacity and financial resources. Consequently, the activities and tools described here are designed to work in environments where skills and funding to revise and adapt the teacher education curriculum and to develop associated teaching resources are in short supply (although they would be equally useful in better resourced environments). Simultaneously, though, these countries are in no way identical, and each has approached the problem of revising teacher professional development programmes differently. Consequently, COL and ComSec have supported each nation in unique ways and have developed and deployed customised strategies to achieve the desired end.

Through discussion and collaboration with teachers, teacher trainers and education ministry personnel in these countries, COL and ComSec were able to assemble various tools that comprise the “toolkit” described here. In addition, a resource produced before these activities — the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT-CFT) — provided a conceptual framework for activities in every country. This framework is intended to inform education stakeholders about the role that ICT can play in enhancing different aspects of education.

Toolkit Directory
Defining the Value Proposition
Where the Tools Come From
An Overview of Available Tools:
- ICT Competency Framework
- Surveys
- Professional Development Strategy
- Curriculum Map Template
- ICT Readiness Assessment
- Course Materials
- Advocacy Strategy
- Monitoring & Evaluation
Using the Tools
Deployment Scenarios:
- Need for Govt. Frameworks
- Need for Institution Driven Change
- Need to Ascertain Success
Appendix A:
Approach to Curriculum Revision
& Materials Development
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