Future-proof teacher is also an ICT professional, data collector and media-savvy

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May 25, 2022 † If the education is flexible and tailored, teachers must have all kinds of IT skills. This is stated in a framework for teachers’ ICT competencies, prepared by researchers at HAN. Educators must not only be able to design, implement and innovate their education with ICT, they must also be able to educate their students in a digital society.

“If a teacher wants to be able to use ICT to design education, make students world-wise and innovative educations, a teacher must at least be digitally proficient.” Photo: Karolina Grabowska

It can be said that a future-proof teacher must be half an ICT professional, but the increasingly flexible and tailor-made higher education requires many ICT skills from the teachers. This is stated in the ‘Framework for teacher competencies for education with ICT’, the fruit of the Acceleration Plan’s teacher professionalisation zone and prepared by researchers at HAN. This framework describes the necessary ICT skills of teachers in higher education. In addition, the document contains behavioral indicators that can be used to assess the extent to which a teacher has mastered these necessary skills or not.

Design and implementation of teaching with ICT

The framework distinguishes between four different dimensions to which ICT skills relate. For example, a teacher must first be able to use ICT to be innovative in the design and implementation of education. This includes, for example, the behavioral indicators ‘have knowledge of the pedagogical design of ICT-rich learning events’ and ‘regularly develop and combine digital content’. Within the dimension of educational design and implementation, the importance of being aware of inclusion and students’ well-being in teaching ICT is also mentioned – something that was often lacking after the sudden transition to digital education during the corona crisis.

In addition, teachers need to become skilled data collectors and analysts; they must be able to improve students’ learning process by collecting and analyzing data about these students. Based on these data, students’ initial situations and developmental needs should be mapped

The teacher must be a role model

The authors of the framework see the teachers’ task as equipping students for a life in the digital society. “Educators play a role in developing students’ digital skills for living, learning and working,” they write. A teacher should even act as a role model and “Guide students in using the Internet and social media in a thoughtful way”.

In addition, teachers are expected to be aware of the ICT skills that students need in their field. Students should therefore be made familiar with existing technologies and given space to experiment with new technologies.

ICT skills require ongoing teacher professionalization

Not only must students gain knowledge of existing and new ICT applications, teachers must also keep abreast of developments in ICT in their field: education. This directly affects their professional identity, according to the authors of the framework. It is therefore up to the teachers themselves to find out in which area they must further develop professionally with regard to education with ICT.

The conversation with colleagues plays an important role in this continuous professionalization. For example, teachers are expected to share their vision and use of ICT in teaching with others and engage in discussions with others about opportunities for and experiences of pedagogical innovation with ICT. Teachers can also be expected to work together in interdisciplinary groups on teaching using ICT.

Requirements for media literacy and teachers’ use of social media

If a teacher wants to be able to use ICT to design education, make students world-wise and innovative educations, a teacher must at least be digitally oriented. Digital literacy is therefore the fourth dimension of ICT skills that a teacher must possess. For example, a teacher must orientate himself in different online teaching environments, be aware of the relevant technological development and be able to relate consciously and critically to the internet and social media.

To the latter capacity, the frames have added a comprehensive list of behavior indicators. For example, a teacher must be aware of media techniques used to reach and influence young people and realize that society requires new media skills.

Striking is the requirement that a teacher makes extensive use of social media for his or her own professional development, but also regularly mentions the increasing media use effect on society in the classroom. In addition, teachers are expected to be able to distinguish between work and private life in their media use.

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