An innovative approach for the 'Educational Tecnology' course in the academic teacher training

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch

Abstract

In 2007 the academic initial teacher training programmes in Flanders (Belgium) were, under impulse of the Ministry of Education, extended from 35 to 60 ECTS-credits. The interdisciplinary teacher education institution from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel acknowledged that the didactic use of new media and technologies is becoming more and more a key competence for teachers. Therefore it was decided to innovate the Educational Technology course and to change it from an optional course to a compulsory one. The organization of this course faced quite some challenges:
- the impossibility of teaching the knowledge needed for tomorrow (or over 35 years)
- very diverse ICT competence levels among the students
- different attitudes towards ICT (love, hate, fear)
- many working students (teachers)
- still not all students/teachers have computers and internet
- too much to teach/learn in too little time (3 ECTS credits, 75 study hours)
- student perception of change (increased study load of the curriculum)

In this paper we describe how this course was carefully designed in order to improve the competences and attitudes of all students. The number of face to face sessions was deliberately kept low, focusing primarily on fostering motivation and explaining topics that need a good understanding, such as intellectual property issues, free and open source software, open courseware, and theories and research findings about e.g. multimedia learning. In order to increase the practical training of ICT use, the other topics and sessions were organized online.
In a discussion forum students had weekly topics and learning tasks about the ICT use of students and teachers, plagiarism, electronic learning environments, educational websites, educational technology news and research, etc. The students were asked to write the course book for this course themselves together on Wikibooks. This task allows the students to gather experience with social-constructivism, writing-to-learn, collaborative writing of courses, working with wikis and publishing under free licenses.
Finally students were asked to prepare and present in group online learning materials or a learning environment for their own teaching domain. Students were encouraged to apply as much as possible the knowledge and best practices learned during this course, including (re)use of existing freely licensed learning materials or software. In general students were also strongly encouraged to seek and give help for their ICT-problems.
Both students with low and high competences were found to make significant progress. Preliminary survey results showed that the course was rated 'good' by the students (four on a five point Likert scale). A more profound study has been started.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 33rd anual ATEE conference (Association for Teacher Education in Europe, 08/2008)
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of 33rd anual ATEE conference (Association for Teacher Education in Europe, 08/2008)

Conference

ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period21/09/0925/09/09

Keywords

  • educational technology
  • teacher education

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