Saturday, March 19, 2005

Paper : The value of ICT faculty

THE VALUE OF THE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
TECHNOLOGY (ICT) FACULTY



An ICT faculty should possess the value of competence. The notion of competence with regard to the ICT faculty is broader than the technical skills needed to use ICT. To take a technical view of competence is to deny the plethora of skills needed by teachers to create meaningful and productive learning contexts for students. Therefore, while it may be easy to take a technical view of ICT competence, this is not sufficient to equip teachers to understand, and make effective use of, ICT in the classroom. The type of ICT competence needed by teachers is a collection of knowledge, skills, understandings and attitudes that are inextricably bound up with context and pedagogy.

An accomplished ICT teacher also has a deep understanding of their subject and of curriculum planning and development. He/she should be able to implement the curriculum through effective classroom/learning environment planning and management, and effective pedagogy. Parts of an ICT faculty’s skills are student monitoring, assessment and reporting; and administrative competencies including decision making and planning. More specifically, teachers need the knowledge and understandings of how ICTs are used within their discipline, not only in an educational setting, but also in industry, government and in the broader society. Teachers need an understanding of how ICT use impacts on society and conversely how social, political and economic processes structure how and by whom technologies are accessed and used, so they can meaningfully relate ICT use in teaching and learning to the students’, their families’, and the broader community experience of ICT in their personal, community, educational and work-related lives. And lastly, teachers need an understanding of the transformative potential of ICT use in redefining the who, when, where and why of the teaching and learning process in relation to the work they currently do in classrooms, to their own professional development, and to the possibility of transforming the nature of the formal educational process within a rapidly changing society.

Hence, the reason for existence of the ICT faculty is developing people to use ICT for their personal, community, educational and work-related lives. The ever-changing and fast-developing technologies poses a challenge to the ICT faculty to keep up with its pace in order to effectively accomplish its mission.

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