Measuring ICTE competence

Measuring teacher ICTE competence

Background for a graduating teacher

In Australia,  current policy is leading to a national registration process for teachers and so some national professional standards for beginning teachers have been developed. The Queensland College of Teachers has developed their own registration system and standards, using them since 2006. It is not clear how the two systems will align over the next year or so. There has been an expectation that teachers will use ICTs in learning or demonstrate ICT pedagogy since the 1980's when schools first began acquiring computers. More than 30 years on, and with considerable technology and networks in schools, ICT pedagogy is a core quality of graduating teachers.

In 2010-2011, some newly described ICT dimensions of the national standards have been developed and although it is not clear how they will be used, there is through the TTF project, an expectation that universities will assist students to develop knowledge of how ICT can be used in classrooms and to assist preservice teachers to demonstrate the intent of these national dimensions.

Your situation is made more complex by the existence of Education Queensland’s definition of ICTE pedagogy in the Digital Pedagogy Driver’s licence. Some USQ students will have already qualified for and received Education Queensland’s ICT Certificate, which is a minimal standard that Education Queensland expects of its new employees.

Catholic Education, Lutheran Schools Australia and the Association of Independent Schools do not have their own standards for you to demonstrate as such, but they each expect to use the national statements as a guide to selecting their future employees. In researching for this tutorial, we were clearly told there is an expectation that interviewees at each of these systems will be able to show at least 2 examples of strong ICT pedagogy in a portfolio and demonstrate how they have built and maintain a personal professional network using ICT. This is in keeping with the expectation in the QCOT Standards where ICT or technology is referenced within each of the standards.

Useful links to various descriptions

The following links to resources and some extracts of the resources, will be useful for you to use.

National dimensions for ICT in the context of the national standards for beginning teachers – it is useful to read them together, as the ICT dimension exemplifies how you might use ICT to demonstrate the standard.

The National dimensions for ICT as a stand alone checklist. You might attach this checklist to some items in your portfolio to illustrate what qualities of your planning and experience meet the national dimensions. You could use the words from these statements to annotate your portfolio items. They are designed to be used like this, so don’t be concerned about plagiarising the words here, just label them as “From the national ICT dimensions produced by Education Services Australia: 2011”.

An extract from the QCOT standards illustrating all their references to uses of ICT as a checklist. This will be useful for you to use to see if you are across all the expectations of your ICT use, at a glance. Use it as a personal checklist.

The more holistic descriptions from the ICT Pedagogy Licence from Education Queensland. Again feel free to use the terminology from these descriptions when annotating your work.

The ISTE standards – an international set of standards very well accepted around the world. The terminology and example materials and background reading on the ISTE site will give you lots of ideas plus some language to use to communicate about your ICT pedagogy.

The United Nations ICT competencies for teachers. Another well used International set that many countries use to develop their national sets.

TPACK and standards

All of these sets of stands indicate a high expectation that you will use ICT in your classrooms and for professional work. The TPACK model suggests that you describe your ideas in terms of the curriculum fit and the pedagogical advantages of using ICT rather than focus on the technology. For example a teacher might describe the same idea in the following ways:

Technology Description: Using Powerpoint to write and illustrate a narrative with very young children
Curriculum description: Developing a multimodal text using children-generated media to convey multiple messages
Pedagogical description: Facilitating expression of young children to enable them to demonstrate their skills at their literacy level through multiple media.

Because all the standards are organised differently, it may be useful to use the language of the TPACK model for decribing ICTE units of work, as a way of demonstrating your knowledge, competence and experience.  The intent of all the standards is nicely described in the TPACK model.

Reading the standards for meaning

Standards are used for three purposes:

To guide classroom practice – that is, they tell a story of what the educational system or organisation expects – that is they are inspirational goals for teachers to achieve

To judge the competence of a teacher (or beginning teacher) for either employment, registration or promotional purposes.

To provide the community with confidence that the profession has high standards of knowledge and performance.

The standards are usually organised in some way and this organising will tell you the priorities of your system. It is useful to read the headings and work out the metastructure of standards statements before becoming too bogged down in the statements themselves. That is, keep a holistic view of what the standards are telling you to demonstrate and consider how any unit of work will holistically address multiple standards.

ICT dimensions or elaborations are usually tied to a set of general teacher standards, at least in Australia. This is not necessarily the case with the International sets. So it is important to read the ICT statements in the context of their more general qualities.

National dimensions for using ICT

The ICT dimensions which are being promoted nationally in Australia are what we would call an analytical analysis of teaching with ICT; where the craft of teaching is divided up into 32 bits, which is a bit unwieldy to comprehend and which seems to result in repetitious concepts.

They are organised in part as

Standard 1: Know your learner and how they learn

Standard 2: Know your content and how to teach it

Standard 3: Plan for implement effective teaching and learning

In practice, if you are planning for implement effective teaching and learning you will address the dimensions in the first two standards.
The national dimension statements are quite long and often tied to a particular context. For example

3.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the use of digital resources and tools can support approaches to teaching that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosity, set their own educational goals, manage their own learning, choose the way they respond to tasks and challenges and assess their own progress.

You may intend to use digital resources and tools for one of these purposes in your sample lesson or another purpose. We recommend you comfortably promote what you do achieve from the standard statement. It would be very cumbersome to address every part of each of the 32 statements for your portfolio audience meaningfully. Address the intent of the statements and simply reference the statements which reflect your intent.

QCOT verses national dimensions

The QCOT references to ICT are embedded in or integal to their standards. QCOT is portraying that ICT is part of the pedagogcial approach of teachers. Education Queensland uses a strong definition of ICT pedagogy  to explictly describe how ICT pedagogy should be illustrated by teachers during curriculum planning and implementation. It's descriptions though a quite holistic and very usable. The national dimensions of ICT add in that knowledge of subject matter and how to teach it are explicitly important in teaching the national curriculum. Thus it may be useful to address these additional components in your portfolios.

Your purposes

Dependent on your thinking patterns, you may want to use the national dimensions as a guide to describing the intent of your ICTE examples. Alternatively, you may find the holistic statements from Education Queensland’s ICT Pedagogy Licence simpler to address as there are naturally less of them and they seem to communicate the nature of teaching. This is our opinions, not the opinions of the university or project teams.

You need to address the QCOT standards in your portfolio assessment. The statement parts we extracted for your convenience should also be read in the content of the broader teaching standards. These standards describe what you need to demonstrate. You need to describe how your items and examples illustrate the standards.

So it may be useful to use the QCOT descriptions as a checklist of requirements, which will be addressed by multiple items and in which one item may demonstrate multiple standards. Then use the various standards statements to describe how and why your chose to use ICT for learning tasks and professional work.

To promote yourself though, it may be useful to complete either the national dimensions checklist or some equivalent, and show though the checklist that you have addressed some or all of the dimensions as stated. The tools we use in this tutorial will help you assess this and you are welcome to include these as an item in your portfolio. Blatantly promote the depth of your ICT use, if you have a high score, so to speak, on the checklists.