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Teacher preparation (Two Short Papers 0053, 0152)


10:30 - 11:10 on Thursday, 8 September 2011 in A2
0053 Are we training future teachers effectively to use technology enhanced learning? Malcolm Ryan, David Dyet, Rachel A. Harris, Fred Pickering
0152 Leadership, scholarship and learning technology: sustaining teacher engagement in innovative practice Linda Creanor
0053 Are we training future teachers effectively to use technology enhanced learning? Malcolm Ryan, David Dyet, Rachel A. Harris, Fred Pickering

Future teachers need to be appropriately skilled if they are to use technology expertly to enhance learning and teaching. (DeGennaro, 2010; Futurelab, 2010) This paper reports perceptions of recently qualified teachers and trainers in the lifelong learning, adult and community education sectors noting that information and communication technologies (ICT) standards required of qualifying school and University teachers vary considerably.

Concerned that National Occupational Standards for the Life Long Learning Sector includes only the briefest of references to exploiting technology in learning and teaching (LLUK, 2011), the Association for Learning Technology's Further Education Committee (ALTFEC) surveyed recently qualified teachers. We wanted to know whether respondents felt their teacher education programme equipped them with the skills and knowledge to use ICT appropriately in a range of learning, teaching and training contexts.

The majority of 235 respondents had completed an in-service programme (84%) at a range of providers including the employing colleges (68%) and a few universities. Relatively few gained in ICT confidence (37%), nearly half (46%) believed there had been no change or reduced confidence. A significant proportion (42%, n=100) claimed their tutors rarely or never modelled using ICT in learning and teaching and only 29% (n=67) felt it had been effective. A large number (66%) claimed they received little or no formal training in ICT and that levels of support were poor (60%). Many learnt more from peer interactions (83%) than from the programme team.

Qualitative responses included a demand for, “much more emphasis on ICT through expert teaching,” and observed that, “… too much prior knowledge was assumed,” and that, “our tutors, although very good in their subject specialism, were not really IT orientated.” It was suggested that ICT be used, “for interactive presentation/delivery of lessons,” and that there should be, “better use of and modelling of IT and its implementation.""

ALTFEC proposes that teacher educators incorporate regular and effective modelling of technology enhanced learning and provide quality training and support in the use of ICT in learning and teaching that leads to evidential and assessed activities if future teachers are to be suitably equipped for the 21st Century.

0152 Leadership, scholarship and learning technology: sustaining teacher engagement in innovative practice Linda Creanor

When times are tough and change is rife in higher education, implementing and sustaining pedagogical innovation becomes an even greater challenge than normal. Against this background of uncertainty, a robust, cost-effective model is required to underpin a culture of scholarship and creativity, particularly around the use of learning technology. This short paper will outline the approach adopted by one Scottish university to the strategic embedding of innovation.

Informed by research on transformational change as it relates to higher education (Chapman, 2002) and the concept of situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991), a framework for continuing professional development has been developed based on a distributive leadership model which acknowledges and recognizes leadership irrespective of position (Lefoe, 2010). The purpose of the framework is to map a scholarly journey from new lecturer to experienced teacher, with opportunities for continual engagement in innovation.

A key aspect of the framework is the Caledonian Scholars and Associates initiative which has been inspired by similar developments internationally. It aims to encourage lecturers at different stages in their careers to take ownership of innovation and address learning and teaching priorities in a creative way, with an appropriate use of technology. Submissions are peer reviewed by international experts who are familiar with the University and the aims of the initiative. On becoming Caledonian Scholars and Associates, either as individuals or in small teams, lecturers are acknowledged as opinion leaders and change agents in learning and teaching, thus developing their own leadership capacity and improving the quality of the student experience. In addition, the evidence-based approaches supported by the initiative help those involved to develop a scholarly profile and go some way towards addressing a number of promotion criteria.

By emphasising the role as much as the project through providing clear status and recognition, it has been possible to increase staff engagement in embedding innovation with minimal resource implications. Drawing on findings from two evaluations of the 53 participants and 38 projects, this paper will outline the impact of the initiative since its launch in 2008 and reflect on its future sustainability in an increasingly challenging HE environment.