Excerpted from the infoDev publication, Using Technology to Train Teachers: Appropriate Uses of ICT for Teacher Professional Development in Developing Countries.
This handbook is intended to help decision makers in developing-country governments and donor agencies in their efforts to combine ICT and TPD. To the extent possible in a brief work, the handbook combines a global perspective—including information about best practices and successful projects—with attention to the challenges faced by education policymakers, teachers, and students in Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and countries attempting to meet the goals of Education for All (EFA).
This handbook will help decision makers improve their abilities to:
- Understand the complex relationships between ICT use, professional learning, types of TPD and classroom implementation so as to aid the development of requests for proposals (RFPs)
- Recognize best practices and essential supports in the use of ICTs for TPD in order to evaluate proposals of national, regional, and local scale
- Propose ways of using ICTs to support TPD that can achieve specifi c objectives in relation to educational improvement
- Identify cost considerations, potential partnerships, evaluation requirements and other factors essential to the planning of effective ICT-enabled TPD
- Communicate eff ectively with researchers, representatives of NGOs, policymakers, donor-agency personnel, and others about the roles played by TPD and ICT in educational reform
To make effective decisions in regard to TPD, policymakers must be aware of relevant issues; know the characteristics of eff ective professional development; and understand how ICT can support those characteristics. In LDCs, policymakers must also understand the potential benefi ts and challenges of ICT-supported TPD in the context of schools that lack adequate classrooms, textbooks, and electricity, and in which teachers face fundamental challenges. When a teacher lacks mastery of the language of instruction, how can ICT help? If a teacher’s development of new skills competes with or undermines her role as a mother, or a farmer, how can TPD be effective?