The 11 Traits of a Technically Competent Teacher

Accredited online professional development for teachers

By Michael Hilkemeijer 

Welcome to another FREE preview of my new online PD for teachers about how to Assess ICT Capability across all Learning Areas. This content is available in my ebook which you can get from Teachers Pay Teachers.

I believe that the competency of a teacher in ICT or their own ICT capability is significant in being to accurately determine the attainment of capabilities. If you don't know yourself, how is it possible to do so? Despite this, it is really no different to assessing literacy or numeracy if you are not that literate yourself or don't know the content and how to teach it! Below is objective my online PD.

Online course objective:

You will learn how to assess ICT capability (across ALL Learning Areas) as a requirement of the National Curriculum by applying current instructional principles, research and appropriate assessment practices to the uses of ICT in your classroom. In addition, I will give you the expertise you need to make informed decisions to help you unlock barriers to establishing a meaningful learning environment.

Let's get started!

It is vital to understand that there are significant links between the level of ICT capability that you may have and the development of ICT capability of students. Research (Kennewell, Parkinson, & Tanner, 2000) conducted to determine how ICT would support literacy and numeracy found that the effectiveness depended to a large extent on the teacher’s own personal ICT capability. Observations indicated that where the teacher’s knowledge and confidence in ICT were low there was often haphazard development of ICT skills. On the other hand, those who were confident about their ICT capabilities were the ones who were willing to allow students to experiment and help them progress further in their capabilities.

Despite this, there are ways of overcoming limitations in the ICT capability of teachers. According to UNESCO (2017), a technically competent teacher is able to:

  • Operate computers and use basic software for word processing, spreadsheets, email, etc;
  • Evaluate and use computers and related ICT tools for instruction;
  • Apply current instructional principles, research, and appropriate assessment practices to the use of ICTs;
  • Evaluate educational software;
  • Create effective computer-based presentations;
  • Search the Internet for resources;
  • Integrate ICT tools into student activities across the curriculum;
  • Create multimedia content to support instruction;
  • Create hypertext documents to support instruction;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ethics and equity issues related to technology and;
  • Keep up-to-date as far as educational technology is concerned.

As it can be seen above, the skill that mainly applies here is the third that emphasises the use of “appropriate assessment practices to ICTs”. However, we can also add the first point as it relates directly to the teacher’s knowledge of the resources.

It is impossible to know everything there is to know about software and hardware as there

is so much of it. Yet don’t have to know everything. As with student ICT capability it is not just about acquiring skills but to do mainly with your ability to decide whether the ICT technique is appropriate. For this reason, it is often best never to give students the impression that you do and so you will be able to feel more comfortable knowing that you are a learner just like them.

Start by becoming familiar with one software and learning how to exploit it in the lesson. For example, in order to teach word processing skills effectively and efficiently ensure that you know the following techniques:

  • Creating, opening, saving, closing, deleting and printing documents;
  • Selecting font, font size, colour, style (italic, bold), line spacing and justification;
  • Inserting, deleting, selecting, cutting, copying, pasting and undoing;
  • Utilising help; inserting bullet points, tables, clip art, borders, shading and columns;
  • Altering page orientation (landscape, portrait), background colour, page size and margins;
  • Forcing page breaks;
  • Utilising tabs and indents;
  • Utilising spelling- and grammar-checkers (including how to switch on and off), thesaurus, print preview, highlighter and talking facilities (including how to switch on and off) and find and replace;
  • Connecting alternative input devices (overlay keyboards, touch screens);
  • Constructing and utilising on-screen word banks;
  • Inserting page numbers;
  • Inserting text, graphics, tables and documents from other applications.

Becoming familiar with a program will allow you to identify when the students are ready to move onto a new technique, feature or to use the software for a more demanding purpose. In terms of assessing ICT capability it simply means that you have the ability to determine if a student has learnt a technique effectively by using it for the right reasons. It also means “reflecting on the processes it helps a student to carry out and the techniques with which particular effects can be achieved” (Kennewell, Parkinson, & Tanner, 2000).

It is far more beneficial for students if you are to become knowledgeable about one program than to have acquaintances with a large number. Don’t fear that this may limit their capabilities as it is better for them to progressively develop their skills with a small number of versatile programs. Develop their confidence through carefully structured activities.

It is a requirement of the Australian Curriculum that teachers able to assess general capabilities in Learning Areas. Enrol now!


ICT teaching strategies

Completing this course will contribute to 4 hours of NESA registered PD addressing 2.6.2 and 3.4.2 of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher accreditation in NSW and Victoria.

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