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Educator Development for ICT Framework


RECOGNITION AND REWARD

One of the most gratifying results of the introduction of ICT in the classroom has been the extent to which good educators have been revitalised by new challenges and new resources that encourage their sense of innovation. There is no doubt that school districts, state education departments and educational organisations throughout the world have played a large part in encouraging this innovative work by offering grants and awards to educators for exemplary ideas and online activity. For example, the ThinkQuest Tomorrow's Teacher competition's preamble states:

"Offering more than $500,000 in cash awards, ThinkQuest for Tomorrow's Teachers challenges teams of K-12 teachers, prospective teachers and college and university faculty to build content-rich Web-based educational materials that are easily integrated into K-12 classrooms or teacher education programs. Designed to help cultivate a generation of new teachers who are technology literate, Tomorrow's Teachers requires teams to develop high quality educational Web sites, tie them to the relevant standards, and provide a road map to show how students and teachers could use the site in their everyday classroom activity. Tomorrow’s Teachers challenges current and future educators to mold their vision of how technology can be used in the classroom into outstanding educational materials.71"

While it may not be possible to emulate the magnitude of the reward, the ideal is perfect. It is not sufficient to offer recognition through an accreditation option. If the education system is to encourage innovation, commitment and excellence in education with ICT, it will need to provide incentives that encourage educators to go the extra mile. Failing this we could find that the vast majority of educators who are exposed to ICT will not progress significantly past the stage of using it for their own administrative needs and the perpetuation of familiar practice.

Recommendation

SchoolNet should seek partnerships with sponsors and National Education to negotiate and co-ordinate a suitable mechanism for rewarding and encouraging educators who are using ICT in an exemplary manner. This should form an integral part of the educator development strategy from the outset.

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Last updated: 2 June 2000