The Impact of ICT on the Teaching Profession

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has developed and progressed very rapidly over the years and had considerable impact on many facets of the society. Nevertheless, primary and secondary schools still struggle to keep up with these rapid changes and have not strategically integrated ICT into their pedagogical plans. As a result, there is an increasing disconnect between society and educational institutions in terms of incorporating and using ICT.

 

ICT leads to new relationships with information and knowledge; with time and space as well as supporting new collaborative ways of teaching and learning. Educational institutions are no longer the only places where knowledge is accessible. In the digital age, jobs and competencies are changing. As a result, schools and teachers have to re-identify their mission, even though schools and teaching personnel are key mediators and facilitators of the learning process.

 

A reason for the increasing gap between rapid society changes and educational institutions is that ICT is being prioritized as an independent subject of study in isolation from the variety of pedagogical practices that could integrate them. Too often, educational policies address technological aspects more than pedagogical ones. More research is needed on the impact of information and communication technologies on pedagogy.

 

The digital divide is increasing around the world. This not only a question of access to mobile communications, equipment and broadband internet but it is also about the serious risk of increasing inequality in the opportunities that learners have to develop their knowledge, skills and competencies via new technologies.

 

The teaching profession requires profound changes in view of the impact of ICT. With digital technologies and resources, the teaching profession could become more collaborative and networked. New roles are emerging in the teaching profession, such as pedagogical engineers, digital pedagogical designer, etc. which may lead to new teaching professions in the future.

 

ICT has connected teaching personnel more closely to learners, parents and communities. If strategically managed and deployed, ICT is poised to assist teaching personnel in their duties, but if badly managed, can lead to increased workload and stress for teachers.

 

According to the Joint Committee (Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations Concerning Teaching Personnel… Paris, 20–24 April 2015), the following were recommended to the governing body of the ILO and the executive board of UNESCO to encourage member states (Nigeria inclusive) to:

(a) Develop and implement ICT-enriched pedagogies that integrate the new relationships with time and space, mobility, social networks and collective intelligence, as well as personalized and individualized pedagogies.

(b) Integrate ICT competencies as a core component of the teaching profession for all teachers at all levels.

(c) Support teachers to actively integrate ICT in all the dimensions of their professional activity (teaching, research, planning activities, administration and relationship with pupils, colleagues, school management, parents and with other partners).

(d) Integrate ICT throughout the curriculum and not only as an additional subject.

(e) Implement ICT-enriched pedagogies across teacher-education programmes and institutions at both pre-service and in-service professional development levels.

(f) Ensure that teachers have access to ICT tools and resources and to professional networks.

(g) Pursue ICT policies in education which are in line with educational objectives and sound public procurement policies.

(h) Disseminate to relevant institutions and bodies the UNESCO ICT competency framework for teachers and other appropriate UNESCO publications.

 

For the Nigerian government to move our education system forward; there is need to look inward and strategize the next line of action and provide a framework that would launch our teachers into 21st century educators.

 

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