ICT in Education Handbook

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Handbook Chapters

Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Consistent access to the internet

Module Requirements

  • Courses are divided into modules
  • Each module is between 4-5 weeks
  • Each module is approximately 40 hours (online and offline)
  • Within each module, there will be a face-to-face week, independent online study, and online study plus 1-2 webinars
  • Successful completion of 12 modules (2 year program) earns an Associate’s Degree
  • Successful completion of 18 modules (3 year program) earns a Bachelor’s Degree

Completion Requirements

  • Completion of individual/group assignments, graded on a 6-point scale (see grading)
  • Competencies demonstrated through an online portfolio
Competencies

Topics, activities, and projects will be customized around classroom practice. We will stress practicality, problem solving, creativity, fun, and measurable outcomes. We will use stories and “out of the seat” activities to ensure engagement.

Computer Basics and ICTs for Classroom Efficiency

  • All Microsoft Office and Google applications
  • Basic skills to be assessed and program customized to meet student needs
  • Preparing and updating daily lessons, sharing one’s work
  • Guidelines for creating learning activities and both unit and lesson plans (a way in, a way through, a way out)
  • Blogs, browsing, websites, applications, RSS, social networks, podcasting
  • Keeping records, chronicles, and archives of student work (spreadsheets)
  • Management of groups larger than 30 students
  • Basic assessment (to be covered in its own module)
  • Coordination and communication with parents and colleagues
  • Collaboration with curriculum designers, inspectors, leaders, policy-makers
  • Demonstration of one’s learning and impact (through portfolios)
  • Formative and summative assessment skills
  • Subject-matter applications

Addressing Individual and School Needs

  • ICTs designed to support personalized and self-regulated learning
  • ICTs for teaching to multiple intelligences
  • ICTs to assist students with different learning needs
  • ICTs for cultural respect

Collaboration

  • ICTs for curriculum growth and content mastery, supported by peers
  • Team approaches to problem-solving using mind-mapping
  • Using appropriate technologies – i.e. finding the right tool for the job to support peers
  • Online learning and social networks
  • Collaborative, social digital literacies and critical thinking

Solving Problems

  • Use problem-solving and service-learning pedagogies with adult learners
  • Create assessments for classroom and community problems
  • Share and evaluate the project with the community
  • Document the project on one’s portfolio

Ongoing Personal and Professional Development

  • Developing and maintaining one’s personal/professional portfolio
  • Building a personalized learning program
  • Using Open Educational Resources (OER) creating, sharing, reusing resources
  • Adapting and building curriculum to meet Suriname’s new teaching needs
  • Connecting ICT competencies to community development and empowerment
Program Outcomes
  • Integrate productivity-enhancing ICT tools in the teaching-learning context, particularly in regions that have little access to ICTs.
  • Demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness for educators
  • Integration of ICTs using pedagogical innovations to develop higher order thinking skills among learners, even without computers or internet
  • The development of instructional capacities including, but not limited to:
  • Practical experiences of problem solving through technology
  • Practical experiences of collaboration through technology
  • Group discussions and roundtable tasks.
  • Practical integration of ICTs in the classroom
  • Sharing of experiences through hands-on practice, building of networks
  • Blending old and new technologies, online and offline
Policies

All students are expected to abide by the policies and expectations of the IOL.  In addition, all students are expected to abide by the policies of this course and degree program in ICTs for Education.  The following apply:

Plagiarism: Your Reputation at Stake

On occasion, we will spot-check for plagiarism, but we do not want to chase after you. That is not learning; it’s policing. At the same time, your blog posts will be public.  If you copy and paste others’ work without proper attribution, someone will notice. Your reputation, even your job, could be at stake. As a U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously observed, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Your reputation should be the driving motivator for doing one’s best in this course

Late Work Policy

Educators are some of the busiest people in the world; we understand how the tyranny of the urgent can play havoc with deadlines. At the same time, many assignments require collaboration, and group work entails obligations to each other.  Whether it is an individual assignment or a collaborative project, whatever the circumstance, please inform us (your professors) (and others you may be working with) if you think you cannot make a deadline so that no one is caught off guard.  Excessive lateness could result in notification of no-credit for the assignment and/or the course.

Religious Observance Accommodation Policy

While this is a blended learning course, religious holidays are valid reasons for exceptions to deadlines.  We simply ask that you let us know as early in the term as possible in order to ensure there is adequate time to make up and respond to the work.

Participation

Participation and discussions are included in student grading and evaluation. The instructor will clearly communicate expectations and grading policy in the course syllabus. Students who are unable to participate in the online sessions for personal, professional, religious, or other reasons are encouraged to contact me to discuss alternatives.

Statement of Academic Continuity

Enrollment, withdrawal policies follow those of IOL.

Grounds for Dismissal from Program

As mentioned above, all students are expected to abide by the policies and expectations of the IOL.  We keep this section very clear.  You are a professional in your classroom and within your local community.  You represent the very best of what it means to be a teacher and so your behavior in speech and action honors yourself, others, and the teaching profession.

We have only THREE distinct policies, but we reserve the right to take action to ensure that this program maintains the highest standards if there is :

  1. Consistent evidence of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism, manipulation of data, misrepresentation of classroom applications are examples. We reserve the right to recommend dismissal based upon our assessment that a student is not working in good faith or actively harming our collective motivation to build a robust community of practice
  2. Anyone who strikes a child (inside or outside of class) will be immediately removed from this program.  The IOL will make its own determination of disciplinary action.  We promise a fair and impartial hearing, but reserve the right to make the final decision
  3. Anyone who engages in any type of harassment or inappropriate behavior towards students or colleagues (online or offline) will be considered a likely candidate for removal from this program.   Here, too, we promise a fair and impartial hearing, but reserve the right to make the final decision. The IOL will make its own determination of disciplinary action

 

Grading

Assessment is a big part of this course of study.  Assignments, discussions, group projects, and your portfolio will all be graded on a 6-point grading system.  Larger assignments will be weighted twice or three times.  Our scale is the following:

  • [6]: Exemplary: Clear incorporation of research, an extra effort to learn more, proper acknowledgment of material other than your own, creativity, and clarity. All of this would be worthy of sharing to educators around the world and makes a contribution to our knowledge of teaching and learning. Mentor status
  • [4-5]: Meets Requirements:  Meets the expectations of the assignment by using appropriate resources. The expectation is for core competency in the topics covered
  • [3]: Needs Work: Basic treatment of the ideas, but student needs to dig deeper in order to show core competence. Subject to revision to receive credit
  • [0-2]: No Credit: (a) Student uses others’ ideas as her/his own without attribution, and/or (b) does not address or respect the assignment

 

e-Portfolio

What is a Professional Portfolio?

A portfolio is your carefully curated, public demonstration of your competencies and capabilities.  It shows that teaching is a scholarly activity.  Portfolios also offer a refreshing look at development over time, helping you and others see teaching as an ongoing process of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection. In short, you will document what you know, how you have met challenges, and how you can help others. It takes time to build a portfolio, so we will work on it throughout our time together. It is important to note that a portfolio does not include everything you have done.  The examples you choose will speak for themselves.  Your blog will include categories, tags, pages, and graphically appealing components that address a range of topics we will explore.

What are the Components of a Professional Portfolio?

Professional Portfolios include a Personal Teaching Philosophy, Evidence of Student and Teacher Growth, Skills. Examples include:

  1. How well you manage your time, your goals, your files, student learning, and your own professional development
  2. Evidence of a challenge you face and how you have used ICTs to address that challenge
  3. Examples of student work (images, video) from both your most advanced students as well as those who are struggling
  4. Proof that you have created a democratic and inclusive classroom
  5. Proof that you have address multiple learning styles
  6. Your creative use of following technologies including (but not limited to):  blogs, podcasts, digital stories, video, Google apps

How Will Your Portfolio Be Evaluated?

Your portfolio will be in the form of a website you create using free blogging or website building software.   WordPress, Blogger, Google Sites and other free programs will work beautifully to create the platform for your professional portfolio. It’s about being ready to be a mentor for others, so we will have to determine if you are ready or not ready. We will determine which assignments are included after we review the progress of the course. Please do your best on each assignment because they all matter.  The criteria for evaluation is based upon our assessment of the following:

  • How you work efficiently and with care.  You promptly provide feedback and communicate regularly with peers
  • How you demonstrate understanding and engagement with course material. We can “hear” you wrestling and playing with ideas, posing questions, etc., in assignments and discussions.  You have applied your understanding to classroom practice and developed on-going activities influenced by new course material
  • What you do to connect with a wider web of colleagues.  You listen to, and respect, the ideas of others; give effective feedback when assignments ask for feedback and accept and incorporate feedback into your work. You actively participates in discussions with hospitality, thoughtfulness, gratitude, collaboration and cooperation in actions and words
  • If and how you take growth-oriented risks. You ask questions when you do not understand something and you ask for help. You take risks in your thinking and teaching; you stretch yourself as a learner and as a teacher. You are not stuck in non-productive habits and patterns of thinking and action
  • Your professionalism in your classroom and with the local community. Your behavior in speech and action must honor oneself, others, and the teaching profession
  • How your students are performing.  You provide evidence of their accomplishments, even how you are addressing failures. Therefore it is imperative that through the assessment process teachers can demonstrate student success. Teachers must demonstrate the use of both formal and non-formal assessment practices and show how student success was correlated to teaching practices
  • What you do to ensure that your classroom is inclusive and managed well.  Classroom management must be distinct from discipline. A well-managed, orderly, engaging classroom rarely has problems with discipline. We shall look for the degree to which teachers demonstrate clarity, monitoring, procedural consistency, and follow-through in order that their classrooms are: a) clean b) vibrant and inviting c) accessible to all students - including the disabled. Similarly, we will look for student involvement and leadership so that we see evidence of a productive classroom atmosphere also managed by the students themselves
  • How you show that students are active thinkers, both independently and in groups.  Students are able to both absorb information and apply it to solve problems. This requires the ability for teachers to demonstrate that students are thinking critically, rather than mimicking particular lessons. In this way, just as we ask for a teacher portfolio, so, too, shall we expect to see examples of student work

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Expertise

Leaders and Professors in this Program
Lesley Zark, MSc.:  Executive Director The International Institute for Education for Development (IIED), former Director of the Office of Scholarships, Training & Capacity Strengthening, Organization of American States
Robert Peneux: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Community Development (MINOV), Suriname
Olten Van Genderen, MSc: Secretary IIED, guest lecturer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Amin Dankerlui:  MINOV Coordinator for the ICT in Education Degree Programs
Juan Pawiroredjo:  MINOV Communications Coordinator for the ICT in Education Degree Programs
Dr. Koen Lombaerts:  Director, Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences; Director of EduLab
Dr. Fred Mednick: Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University; Founder, Teachers Without Borders
Wim Mees: Professor, PXL University College, Belgium
Daniela Rossario, IOL, Coordinator of Programs on behalf of the Advanced Teachers’ College
Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer: Professor, George Mason University (GMU), USA; Director STEM Accelerator Program, GMU
Dr. Tom Vanwing:  Professor, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium & Anton de Kom Universiteit, Suriname
COMING:  The list of international professors above will be supplemented by others from Europe, the U.S. and Latin America during the course of the degree programs to afford you the opportunity to hear and see different teaching styles and methodologies.
  • Prof. dr. Patrick Van Damme
  • Dr. Cathryn Bennett
  • Erick Moertabat
  • Jerry Oldenstam
  • Andy Plak
  • Dr. Juany Roman
  • Randy van Zichem
  • Bieke Abelshausen
  • Vladena Baetge Jahn
Partnerships
  • Teachers Without Borders
  • Ministry of Education and Community Development (MINOV), Suriname
  • Advanced Teachers Training College (IOL), Suriname
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

 

The International Institute for Education for Development (IIED)

The International Institute for Education for Development (The Institute) has as its mission to promote inclusive, quality education for development at all levels from a global perspective.

Through our programs, we contribute to individual and institutional capacity strengthening with an end to defining or redefining education policies at all levels. We do this by bringing international experts with many years of knowledge and experience in the US, Europe and Latin America to work on inclusive, sustainable programs in partnership with governments and institutions throughout the region.

Our programs promote the use of technology in education, research and inquiry-based education and science and technology in education to strengthen critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving skills.

Professional Development that Makes a Difference

A disturbingly high percentage of students drop out of school or repeat grades. Too many students lack basic literacy and numeracy skills and are ill prepared to meet basic job requirements. While there are a number of economic and social factors that have an impact on these issues, teachers’ ability to engage a diverse body of students and provide them with the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century is key.

Not only in Suriname, but worldwide, students need teachers who can guide meaningful learning. To do this, teachers deserve and must receive quality initial preparation and engage in ongoing professional development.

We, in the International Institute for Education for Development (The Institute), recognize that high-performing teachers and high-achieving students share one fundamental characteristic: an openness to change.

To nurture that sense of curiosity, the Institute’s new courses and degree programs assist teachers, those who want to become teachers, and those who want to work in technology for education to update their skills and acquire specializations using innovative pedagogy and technology appropriate to the country and its culture.

Research-driven models of teacher preparation and development share much in common. The best amongst them:

  • Enable educators to use their classrooms as laboratories from which they can collect and analyze research evidence and create adaptive measures to differentiate their instruction
  • Provide credit for intensive, blended learning experiences rather than isolated courses so that students can benefit from face-to-face interaction, accessibility to global experts, consistent interaction with local mentors, and the ability work on their classroom projects
  • Encourage collaboration and risk taking. Allow teachers to build communities of practice that operate along the lines of a café, a free library, and marketplace of ideas. The café elicits the power of transformational conversations between teachers in a safe atmosphere conducive to problem solving, innovation, and subject-matter mastery. The free library leverages the social network of the café by offering an interactive repository of shared content and lessons, rapid feedback loops, and a cycle of ongoing improvement. The marketplace stimulates breakthrough thinking and the development of educational applications that meet local needs
  • Encourage participatory teacher research based in research evidence gathered from their primary and secondary classrooms. Professional development for teachers in research methods can be integrated into the national curriculum in order to foster a spirit of curiosity and guide innovative and collaborative projects such as science fairs and service learning
  • Provide release time for teachers to participate in new professional development training programs and to observe each other’s classrooms
  • Support mentorship programs that ensure new teachers experience those with demonstrated excellence in three areas: (a) content-level mastery, (b) results-driven and creative teaching practices, and (c) their effectiveness in adult learning
  • Reduce the dependence upon textbooks to transmit the national curriculum. Immune from improvement and outdated the moment they are published, textbooks can be supplemented by open educational resources, curated locally in a continuous improvement cycle, and shared broadly
  • Examine policies regarding teachers and ensure to include all stakeholders. Pre- and in-service teacher training and other interlinked aspects should examine mechanisms for selection, hiring, promotion and the evaluation of teachers. At the same time, these mechanisms cannot succeed unless there is an equal commitment to a stakeholder agreement about salaries, a classroom-based professional development structure, mentorships, and rapid feedback loops so that the effort is a truly common enterprise[1]
  • Allow directors to adjust schedules and create homegrown, flexible solutions that allow them to accommodate student work schedules and family obligations; provide multiple opportunities for curriculum designers and pedagogy experts to collaborate directly with classroom teachers; and connect after-school teachers to classroom teachers in order to share insights into how individual students learn
  • Create fruitful linkages with global universities, NGOs, and civil society organizations to professionalize administration, management, infrastructure and research
  • Connect teachers, curriculum developers, inspectors, school directors, and consortia of universities
  • Enlist and support school leaders to strengthen transition points in the education system. Student leadership opportunities with their peers have proven successful as realistic alternatives to life on the street for students approaching key transition points
  • Provide support for mentors, inspectors, and school directors in order that they may foster a climate for teacher professional development and innovation. Our extraordinary progress in redistribution of resources must be accompanied by high standards for, and consistent professional development of, managers and leaders. Programs in educational leadership are inexpensive (when measured against the consequences of spotty educational improvement), replicable, and scalable. Professional development should not be limited to teachers, but extended to all who interact with them

[1] Guzmán, J., et al (2013). Effective teacher training policies to ensure effective schools: a perspective from Central America and the Dominican Republic. PREALblog. http://bit.ly/1iF0v8i [show] [show] [show] [show] [show]

Opportunities and Challenges for 21st Century Teachers

Innovative teaching and learning in the 21st century depends upon world-class professional development, including expertise in Information and Communication Technology (ICTs). Teachers are multipliers of education, for each one reaches dozens of young people. With the proper support, technology can help them become accelerators of social and economic development.

The positive impact of ICTs in classrooms is proven. Student achievement grows as well as school retention and interest in pursuing higher education; greater civic engagement takes place along with tangible increases in health. The availability of open educational resources and social networking in Latin America and the Caribbean has enabled teachers to enhance and extend textbooks. The rapidly growing number of teachers adopting ICTs to measure student achievement through low-cost personalized learning and customized tools is encouraging.

For regions that have little connectivity or access to ICTs, training has been conducted in anticipation of and as a pedagogical tool for introducing new forms of decentralized (yet effective) teaching. The concept of a wiki – a website that allows collaborative editing of its content and structure by its users - has been made understandable with groups using thumbtacks and pieces of paper to re-arrange concepts and work collaboratively on ideas on an empty wall. The use of blogs and micro-blogs has been demonstrated through a creative extension of the personal diary. In short, classroom-based professional development can be taught through a blend of older technologies, mobile phones, and collaborative discussion.

ICTs have worked well as tools that integrate management (class rosters, grading, student progress) with personalized learning programs. As personalized learning matures and Internet access becomes more available, programs can allow students to progress at their own speed.

ICTs are particularly effective when they change professional culture by encouraging individual teachers to reflect on their daily practice, share curriculum innovation, and plan collaboratively. Communities of practice facilitated through social networks have enabled teachers to ask questions and seek support without feeling stigmatized or evaluated. More attention is being paid to how and when teachers embrace technology and how to address resistance to change. The use of ICTs in the classroom also changes the locus of control from the teacher as sole source of knowledge to the teacher as both a knowledge expert and facilitator of student learning. The most effective use of ICTs in education cannot replace a teacher; rather, they help make good teachers better.

We believe that Suriname is taking a bold and research-confirmed step to spearhead a research-driven, globally collaborative ICT in Education initiative, focusing on strengthening the capacity of teachers to integrate ICTs in tangible ways.

The International Institute for Education for Development is proud to play a role in this historic direction by connecting local expertise with global networks, knowledge, and experience.