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Teacher education and ICT integration: reassuring lies versus inconvenient truths.

posted 9 May 2014, 07:14 by Shona Whyte   [ updated 11 Aug 2014, 04:42 ]
Teacher education and ICT integration: reassuring lies versus inconvenient truths.
 
Jozef Colpaert

One of the major challenges in teacher education is to convince pre-service teachers, our students, that they should (become able to) determine for themselves which technologies to use, when, where, how and why. Preferably in a methodological and justifiable way. This provocative statement stems from two conflicting phenomena. On the one hand, technology is evolving so quickly that it does not make sense to build a course around specific systems or applications as they might have become obsolete once our students start to teach in the real world. On the other hand, our students expect their professors to explain in detail which technologies to use and, more importantly, how to use them. Students in teacher education are often reluctant (or afraid?) to think for themselves, and false assumptions and myths permeate their vision on the role of ICT in learning and teaching.
 
In this presentation Jozef Colpaert will present and discuss the inconvenient truths he has been confronted with over the last two decades. He will show how periods of hypes and myths alternated with periods of common sense, and how current beliefs can be classified under ‘blurred ontologies’: flipped classrooms, digital natives, blended learning, MOOCs, digital pedagogy, etc.
 
He will discuss why teachers should instead consider themselves engineers of their own learning environments, engineering being defined as a strategy to apply when not enough knowledge is available (certainly the case in education). Educational engineering in its own right can be considered a full-fledged instructional design model and even a novel research method.
 
Educational engineering is about building the best possible educational artefacts, based on hypotheses which stem from theory and practice. Jozef Colpaert will present in more detail three paradigm shifts which every teacher can put into practice immediately: the ecological paradigm shift, the process-oriented paradigm shift and the psychological paradigm shift, and which should be priority research topics in teacher education research.
 
He will present these hypotheses in the light of current research challenges, and briefly highlight personalization and contextualization of the learning process. He will conclude by summarizing this new vision into concrete rules of thumb for teacher education, teacher training, and teachers in practice.
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