The Need for Practising Preachers in Schools
28 May, 2015
Professional ICT development for teachers is a significant aspect of teacher development. With so much new technology emerging teachers need to keep up-to-date. Of course, with every new technology comes the chance for a different type of professional development. Keeping this in mind, teachers need to know that the professional ICT development they attend is conducted by people who have integrated the technology themselves. Practicing teachers of technology integration is an excellent way to have technology integration taught in schools. They can begin by training small groups of people and then work their way through the school.
Another advantage of having practicing technology integrators as teachers are that working in the classroom themselves ensures that they are in sink with the needs of others. Despite many organisations and universities providing specialist courses in e-learning and technology integration, without taking too much credit away from these people, there is a real difference in researching and teaching it in the lecture room, and those teachers that 'practice what they preach'. There is also a closer connection when teachers learn from each other.
To add to this, teachers can learn a great deal more when they observe someone else like their colleague doing it well and then explaining the process. Working at the same school also allows for faster troubleshooting, and this promotes more confidence in the learner if there are fewer hiccups.
Having said this, the emerging professional ICT development opportunities that exists already work hard to provide teachers with training in their areas of speciality. They should never forget, though, that the real focus on learning should be on teaching and learning and not on software and hardware. The needs of the teachers should always remain their number one priority.
A final note to add to this discussion would be that in the end, the effective integration of technology into education is always a vital outcome for those who provide ICT integration strategies to teachers. Having those teachers who practice effective technology integration not only take part in the new teaching courses available but lead the way in their schools would possibly help pre-service and in-service teachers understand what need to be done and how it can be done. Not only that, but that it can also be done with the right amount of support.