A few weeks back, there was a report released by the Education & Training Committee (Victoria, AU) titled “Step Up, Step In, Step Out” which emerged from the “Inquiry into the Suitability of Pre-Service Teacher Training Courses”. A portion of that report targetted ICT in Teacher Education, and this type of information, of course,is central to my role here at the University of Regina.
Here are summarized points from the report, with my brief interjections.
“ICT linkages between teacher education faculties and school systems
I absolutely agree. This is something we’ve noted here in our own iTeacherEd research, and something we need to continue to address.
“ICT resources and applications within teacher education has not kept pace with developments in the schools sector.”
In our case, I think it’s the opposite. The computer hardware in many of the classrooms in our local systems are out-of-date. Our interning students complain that many of things they learned in our technology integration courses cannot be used when they hit the (sometimes) poorly equipped classrooms. Of course, the proprietary lock-in on software is another entire issue, and schools are not quick to upgrade software when each new version costs money and takes time and resources to implement.
“linkages between education faculties and developers of ICT products
are not strong enough.”
Yes! Not strong enough, or in many cases, non-existent. It would be interesting to see (open source) ICT developed in-house in collaboration with CS students (perhaps) and Education students. Hmmmmm.
“experiences of pre-service teachers in ICT instruction during pre-service teacher education vary considerably in breadth and quality.”
Agreed, strongly. And it’s something we are certainly trying to address through elective and mandatory content, but more so, through the professional development of education faculty members in ICT. Still, my belief is that once we have professors modelling appropriate uses of ICT in ALL classes, we will have won a major battle.
The Australian report can be downloaded here.