Emergence of technologies of learning, conversation media and smart interface, Open Educational Resources (or Massively Open Online Courses) and increased awareness of “New Generation (or Y)” have been demanding traditional education and learning systems to be more open, flexible, and customized to what students want to expect. Using ICT in education has been widely accepted as an effective way of challenging such changes attributed to technological advances, societal paradigm shift, and internationalization. It is based on the strong belief that the potential of ICT would bring positive impacts to teaching and learning by providing students and teachers with flexibility, accessibility, more opportunities for participation and collaboration, and more outcomes.
Now is the right time to respond to a simple but a critically important question, “what should be done to fully exploit valuable resources for better education in the future?” It would be to use all resources in a smart way to maximize their potentials to meet the different perspectives on ICT from stake holders: teachers, students, and academic institutions.
Why to integrate?
Because changes in technology, demography, and internationalization are driving education system to evolve to an open flexible education (or learning) environment depicted in figure 1, which provides learners with quality services encompassing formal, informal, and non formal education. To this regard the “Learning for the Future (LFF)” project recently initiated by UNESCO IITE is a comprehensive approach to integrate ICT in education, renew pedagogy, and enhance learning now and the future, which ensures teachers and students effective use of technologies and resources in strengthening the four pillars of learning for the 21st century: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together.
What to integrate with ICT?
Technologies of digital learning platforms, conversation media and tools (SNS etc.), pedagogies for a new generation, open access to educational resources (OER, MOOCs etc.), international standards, cloud computing, nurturing teacher’s competence, and open networking, policy making to meet societal changes are targets for effective integration.
How to implement effective integration of ICT?
The first issue is how to nurture competence of teachers and CEO of education institutions. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK, Lee Shulman, 1986) frame argues that effective integration of technologies for teaching and learning in teacher training must begin with teacher’s understanding and negotiating the relationship among the three components interacting: technology, pedagogy, and content. It claims that teachers are encouraged to equip with 7 different aspects of knowledge shown in Figure 2: content knowledge (CK), Pedagogical knowledge (PK), Technological knowledge (TK), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), and Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK). In addition, in order to encourage teachers to implement what TPACK demands, the issues of quality school leadership need to be successfully implemented: define and distribute new school leadership responsibilities, develop skills for effective school leadership, and make school leadership an attractive profession.
The second issue is coordination and cooperation among stake holders. Based on the lessons from best practices, strong leadership, coordination of diverse issues conflicting among stake holders, and efficient structure of governance are known as strong supporters.
The third issue is how to create innovation culture. It is a very important issue to make change and innovation keep going on as time goes by for sustainable growth of human resources and education institutions. The forth issue is to take holistic approaches to effective integration of ICT in teaching and learning: legal framework, curriculum redesign, evaluation mechanism, and role play.
Lastly we need to open enough to learn from lessons of the past and others: recognize the different viewpoint of stakeholders, favor incremental innovation, identify potential losers, ensure communication about the benefits of effective integration of ICT, and create culture for innovation and change.
Prof. Dae-Joon HWANG, member of the UNESCO IITE Governing Board; Secretary General, Korean Council for University Education, Korea