Teacher Education through Open and Distance Learning

By Bernadette Robinson; Colin Latchem | Go to book overview

Chapter 9

Uses of information and communication technologies in teacher education

Betty Collis and Insung Jung

The following chapter discusses the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for teacher training. It starts by providing an overview of ICT applications and their functions for learning purposes and drawing a distinction between ICT applications as core or complementary to the learning process. Via a variety of examples, we show that ICT use is not only a matter of new possibilities but brings with it new implications and new challenges. We extract key factors that can stimulate or frustrate the use of ICT for teacher education and teachers' initial and ongoing development. The chapter concludes with a discussion of key future developments in teacher training made possible by developments in ICT.


THE EVOLVING USE OF ICT IN TEACHER EDUCATION

'ICT' stands for 'information and communication technologies'. Information technologies involve computers. Communication technologies can include telephone and video-conferencing, but in the combination, 'ICT' is generally taken to mean technologies that support communication via computers. Currently, this implies the Internet or local networks, email, and World Wide Web technologies. We begin with a brief historical perspective on the evolution of ICT in teacher training.

In the late 1970s a new wave of teacher training emerged, whose major focus was introducing teachers to microcomputers and programming. Students and teachers alike learned languages such as LOGO and BASIC. The LOGO language, and to a lesser extent, BASIC, were vehicles not only to create useful (small) programs, but also to learn how to program, to control the computer, to be 'ready for the information age'. Also, LOGO led the way in terms of intertwining information technology and a curriculum area, as LOGO programming was primarily used in the context of exploring mathematical ideas.

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