E-Learning Competencies for Teachers inSecondary and Higher Education
V. Awouters, S. Jans
Limburg Catholic University College, Diepenbeek, Belgium
—Teaching and learning with ICT requires specificcompetencies for teachers and lectures. Too much attentionwas given to the technological aspects. Teachers learned towork with hard- and software. A typical example is theEuropean Computer Driving License (ECDL). A lot of people attend courses on text processing, spreadsheets… butusing a Virtual Learning Environment like e.g. Blackboardor Moodle demands more didactical than technical skills.Especially e-learning and blended learning is too demandingto let teachers learn to use these tools only byexperimenting. More and more is generally accepted thatthe e-learning competencies for teachers require a longercourse. Which competences and how these can be realized isthe main focus of this paper? Besides the theoreticalbackground, two examples will be showed.
—digital didactics, e-learning competencies,European Computer Driving License, Information andCommunication Technology (ICT), postgraduate e-learning.
When ICT was introduced in schools, teachers often gotcourses on how to use technology. Still today these kindof courses are successful. The ECDL-foundation evengraduates people that prove to have basic knowledgeabout seven modules, from basic insights in incoursetechnology over word-processing to the internet and e-mail. A second kind of courses concern the use of virtuallearning environments (VLE). Most courses concern aboutthe technical use of the VLE: how to upload documents?How to make quizzes? … Often it is seen that these kindof courses on the use of the VLE is directed into onlinelearning. Baars (2006) describes the organizational aspectsand advantages of this kind of education: educationindependent from time and distance. Also the advantagesto increase communication among students and to helpstudents with disabilities are described. Baars sees 7 basesfor education with digital learning means:
A better cooperation between students,
Better and more contact with teachers and peer-students,
Possibilities to learn in different ways,
A larger spread in different ways of teaching andlearning.
ICT-competencies for teachers
Until now too little time is spent on didactical coursesto learn teachers to use ICT with a learning surplus value.To offer these kind of courses it is necessary to determinewhat kind of ICT-competencies teachers really need. Inthe European U-teacher project the competencies of teachers with regard to interaction with themselves,students, colleagues and the neighborhood are combinedwith eight specific ICT-themes.Summarized, the ICT-competencies for teachers havethree dimensions:
The teacher knows for what learning activities ICTcan be set in (awareness)
The teacher has the necessary skills for using hard-and software (readiness)
The teacher knows the pedagogical-didacticalelements of ICT (e.g. drill and practice programs)Zwaneveld and Bastiaens (2007) argue that the mostcategories of ICT-competencies for teachers are tootighten. They see five competences teachers should havewhen they want to integrate ICT in their teaching practice:
Individual media-competencies, this includes thebasic knowledge and skills for handling the requiredhard-and software. These media-competencies alsoinclude the use of ict-means, like beamer … in atraditional teaching practice.
Critical media-competencies, this includes the skillsto select critically the media in the learning processof learners. The criteria are educational, human andsocial.
A lifelong learning competence, this means thatteachers have to be aware of all the newtechnologies that are developed and can beintegrated in the daily teaching and learningpractice. We think e.g. at the PDA (Personal DigitalAssistant) and iPhone.
“Supervising learning process”-competencies, thiscontains that teachers can optimize the learningprocesses of learners. Communication is a coreelement in learning. Learners in groups are more andmore located at different places and locations. ICTmakes it possible to maintain communicationbetween these learners. It is a competence forteachers to know this and have the necessary skillsto organize these kinds of communication andmanage and enhance the learning process.
Educational-design competencies, this competenceincludes to develop in a right way the necessary