The 11 Traits of a Technically Competent Teacher

By Michael Hilkemeijer 

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.

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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.

Each of these top qualities of a competent teacher will be embedded when practicing our technology teaching strategies.


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.


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 learned 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.



Qualities of a competent teacher

Teacher Competency in ICT

If schools are to improve the development of students’ ICT capability, it is through the work of teachers and other staff who support learning. The capabilities of a technically competent teacher directly impacts the ICT capability development in students.


In addition to the characteristics of the competent teacher above, here are the top qualities of a competent teacher in a 21st century classroom using technology today.


Job-related knowledge

An ICT competent teacher does not have to know everything about ICT or how to use it. However, they need to know the best practices to use ICT in subjects so that they can facilitate the development of ICT capability. This also has a lot to do with knowledge of the curriculum content and having the zest and enthusiasm to explore/develop ICT teaching strategies that will fit the students’ level of capability and pace of learning with technology. It means having an appreciation of where your students are, where they are heading and where they should be.


Communication skills

Teachers also need to be articulate and be able to communicate well. Participate in meetings with relative ease and provide constructive criticism only.


This means working with minimal supervision and completes assigned tasks within a specific period of time.



A competent teacher shows willingness to assume additional tasks and even volunteer to do other jobs.



Being a competent teacher is also about making informed decisions that are sound and mature.



You need to be able to adapt and adjust to existing situations. This also involves being open to feedback.



As a good teacher, you would adhere to the rules, policies and procedures with the highest degree of professionalism. Professionalism is about attending professional learning opportunities for teaches using technology in the classroom and delegating responsibilities faithfully.


Interpersonal skills

You can also be warm and supportive in nature working harmoniously with others.


These qualities of a competent teacher will enable employ technology teaching strategies today.



Competent Teacher

Formative Assessment Strategies in Primary School

 Online PD Workshop for Teachers

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.

Joining fee: $200