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From Current to Emerging Technologies for Learning – issues for the training of teachers

October 31st, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Here is the second part as promised of my post “From Current to Emerging Technologies for Learning”. In this part I raise the issues for the training of teachers.

Moving from a technical to a socio-technical approach

Although research has often focused on the impact of new technologies per se on teaching and learning it may be that it is the socio technical developments that will have more impact on education in the longer term. In a more diverse landscape of learning opportunities, there are different options for how to develop curricula and institutional arrangements. However, this implies a need for all members of the education community to develop understandings of the potential of such socio technical change and increased creativity to explore such potential. How should initial teacher training and Continuing Professional Development be designed to develop such understandings and practice? How can we design programmes that allow a focus on innovation in process, rather than a reliance of prescribed outcomes?

Overcoming the initiative fatigue

Education has been subject to a long series of reforms over the past ten years, with new initiatives and targets being released on a regular basis. Teacher complain of ‘initiative fatigue’.How can we respond creatively to socio-technical change and promote novel approaches to curriculum, to assessment, to the workforce and governance, as well as to pedagogy whilst promoting confidence and security in the LLL workforce? What does this imply for institutional management? Is it possible to we bring together Continuing Professional Development with continuing development of curricula and pedagogic processes?

Valuing and promoting creativity

Creativity and and the willingness to explore, model and experiment with new pedagogic approaches may be seen as critical to developing the effective use of technologies for teaching  and learning. How can we foster such competences within ITT and CPD? Do we need more flexible Initial teacher training programmes to allow the development of such creativity? How can we measure, value and recognise creativity? Do present teacher training programmes allow sufficient spaces for exploring new pedagogic approaches and if not how could these be developed?

Promoting an informed debate about educational futures and involving trainee teachers in that debate

The development of new pedagogic approaches and more creativity is predicated on an informed debate of educational futures and educational values. Do present teacher training programmes support such an informed debate? What should the contribution of teacher trainers and student teachers be to such a debate? How can we ensure their voices are heard?

2 Responses to “From Current to Emerging Technologies for Learning – issues for the training of teachers”

  1. If your questions extend to the university and vocational training sectors, we could answer them with evidence towards no! Is there an informed debate for today’s, let alone yesterday’s social changes through technology? No. As for the primary and secondary teaching sector, from what I’ve seen of teacher training curriculum here in Australia, there’s no deebate what so ever. Just the quiet drone of concervative agreement.

    To date, the two most impressive sites I’ve seen that discuss the social side of techno, would be Webism: the Internet as social movement, and the sudden, unexpected, and high powered commentry coming out of the UK all of a sudden, like Richard Hall and Joss Winn for example.

  2. Graham Attwell says:

    Agree with you Leigh. Yet it seems to me that such an informed debate is ever more necessary with growing pressures from Globalisation. Also am impressed and heartened by emergent debate form the UK. Interesting to note that this debate seems partly to have emerged from the ecological movement.

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