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Training teachers in effective pedagogic practices of use of technologies for learning

August 10th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

I am doing a literature review at the moment focused primarily on pedagogic processes for using technology for learning in vocational education and training and in adult education. In particular I am interested in how we can provide both initial training and continuing professional development for teachers and trainers in teaching and learning with technology. I think such a study is apposite – whilst previously teachers have been often seen as a barrier to the introduction of Technology Enhanced Learning because of their perceived lack of skills in using such technologies, we are now coming to realise that the need for new pedagogic approaches is perhaps the biggest challenge, especially since most new teachers are confident in their own use of computers.

Here are some of the issues I am looking at:

  • Teacher training and continuing professional development
  • eLearning and pedagogic approaches to the use of technology for learning
  • The development and use of social software and web 2.0 technologies and its impact on education and learning
  • Future technologies and trends and their possible impact within education

Specific issues to be examined may include (but will not be limited to):

  • Pedagogic theories of use of technologies for learning and implications
  • Effective Pedagogic practices of use of technologies for learning and implications
  • Effective Practices in different sectors / subject areas
  • Use of technology for initial training of teachers and CPD
  • Impact of technologies on pedagogy in practice
  • Digital literacies and digital identities for teachers
  • Present qualifications for teachers and approaches to pedagogy and use of technology for learning
  • Effective practices in initial teacher training and CPD in use of technology for learning
  • e-Assessment and evaluation

I would be very grateful for any references, reports or other materials you think I should include in such a review. I would be particularly grateful for references to studies or reports on the training of teachers in other countries than the UK. All help will be gratefully acknowledged and in due course I will publish the results of the review on the Pontydysgu web site.

7 Responses to “Training teachers in effective pedagogic practices of use of technologies for learning”

  1. Sigi Jakob says:

    Hi Graham,
    you have indeed identified one of the biggest challenges we face in teacher training. While most teacher training programs and concepts have focussed on the technological side of media, the pedagogical scenarios for teaching and LEARNING have been almost completely neglected. Teachers certainly need to be trained in the use of technology but this has to be done without teaching them the technological skills but showing them great ways to engage their students in learning by using technology. I can tell you from my own experience that these official techie trainings are not good for anything! If we do not guide teachers showing them how to develop scenarios for their classrooms and giving them best practice examples we will never win them. When I do teacher training on LMS with a colleague, the USP for our workshop always turns out to be the easiness using web 2.0 content and embedding it in the courseroom with just 2 clicks. Take for example the “wallwisher” to collect opinions and statements, you will get your course move instantly…. take voicethread where you can engage students and teachers on any subject you can imagine…
    The trouble with these new ways of communicating and cooperating is that for the students there is no problem, they immediately adopt it. With teachers there is still a long way to go and it neds a whole new conception of the role of the teacher, learning with the students etc….. if we continue to use the new media for the same “teach to test ” scenarios we will not make any progress. That’s where change has to set in, driven by enthusiastic teachers with their networks and supported by school administration and staff! I have tried for so many years but with all the barriers around it’s a difficult task!

  2. Graham Attwell says:

    Hi Sigi – thanks for comment which I will certainly use in the literature review 🙂 I think you are right – particularly struck by your comment that it “it needs a whole new conception of the role of the teacher, learning with the students.” This is a big agenda but seems to me one that cannot be avoided – merely bringing technology in does not really take us forward. Would like your ideas on how we should change teacher training to enable / facilitate / push this on…

  3. Hi – I picked this up from my Twitter stream (thanks Paul Richardson). I’m not teaching anymore but when I was and I did my teaching qual I was frustrated that the concepts required to make learning with tech work just didn’t join up. And the one that was most lacking was the need for the teacher to live in the tech world, not just to promote it. If the teacher didn’t make use of wikis and blogs and twitter et al in their own life and practice, why expect them to be good advocates for their students?

  4. Graham Attwell says:

    Hi Pete – on the whole agree – one thing which comes strongly through the literature is that learners model their behaviour on teachers. And if teachers do not use technology for tecahing and learning neither do learners. having said that your reply raises an issue in as much as what it means to live in the tech world. There is no way we can expect all teachers to be continuously active on social networks etc. Much of my learning about tech comes from using it – so how do teachers who are not heavy tech users learn. Suspect courses don’t really work. More promising seems to be buddying / mentoring between those in the tech world and those outside it – between the digital inhabitants and the digital visitors.

  5. Christine Davies says:

    Hi Graham.

    This post raises some v.important issues, and I think there needs to be much more attention to TEL CPD delivery for teachers and the ways in which ITT can link in. I have considered related points in a recent blog post of my own ( http://blogs.rsc-wales.ac.uk/blog/2010/08/20/technology-enhanced-learning-and-cpd), and have come across several refs which may be useful – will e-mail to you (did try to post, but got mistaken for spam!)

  6. Graham Attwell says:

    Many thanks Christine – sorry my anti spam filter overly protective – difficult to get settings right.

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