ICT in education
In the context of our teacher training activities, ICT in education is about how it can support education and teaching at the teacher training institutes. An essential part of the task of teachers is to choose suitable educational activities or didactic methods, and educational materials such as ICT.
The effective integration of ICT into the educational system is a complex, multifaceted process that involves not just technology but also curriculum and pedagogy, institutional readiness, teacher competencies, and so on. It can enhance the quality of education in several ways: by increasing learner motivation and engagement, by facilitating the acquisition of basic skills, and by enhancing teacher training.
When used appropriately, ICT enables new ways of teaching and learning rather than simply allow teachers and students to do what they have done before in a better way. These new ways of teaching and learning are underpinned by constructivist theories of learning – such as the TPACK model – and constitute a shift from a teacher-centred pedagogy to one that is learner-centred. Especially computers and the internet are very useful tools for this.
In our Cambodian programmes, particularly in SEAL, ICT supports this process by stimulating teacher trainers for primary and lower secondary school in the use and development of digital learning materials. Since they already received training on the basic skills, our focus is on classroom use of ICT. This involves presentation software, but also the making of graphs and the processing of data series in spreadsheets, the use of videos and animations on selected topics, and the use of specialised educational software. Of course, the related pedagogical and technological skills also receive due attention.
To illustrate this with a concrete example, a DVD box to support the classes about methodology and pedagogy has already been put together as the result of collaboration between our Open Resource Centre and Learner Centred Methodology projects. In the box, lesson fragments on DVD and matching question sheets prompt the student to reflect about the video examples. In addition a web portal has been set up for sharing good practices and educational resources. However, notwithstanding the fact that ICT is considered to be an important tool in the VVOB intervention strategy, technology should not be limited to advanced technologies only. It should also include standard technologies such as educational posters, low-cost and low-tech experiments or school gardens.