July 20, 2010
Information and Communication Technology plan for schools

The journey to integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the schools’ curriculum has begun.{{more}}

Monday, July 12, 2010, marked an important first step in this direction, when the European Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, held the first in a series of eleven training workshops at the Technical Division of the Community College. Integrating ICT is one of the aims of the EU project for the Improvement of Education through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The three day workshop, entitled Productivity Tools for Teaching/Learning, brought together a group of teachers who learnt how to use Microsoft Office applications to enhance their teaching. The teachers also examined how they can use these same applications with their students.

In order to reach as many educators as possible the workshop will be repeated over the next 15 months, ending in December 2011. The workshop was facilitated by Charles Burke from the National Centre for Technological Innovation (NCTI).

The workshop was opened with a short ceremony. Sue Birtwell, a consultant on the project, explained the purpose of the workshop. She stated that the Productivity Tools workshop is intended to provide training that will eventually build a capacity for distributed and online learning in St. Vincent.

In order to achieve this goal, some of the workshops will be offered in a blended format so that educators see online learning from the learner’s perspective and gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of that delivery mode.

The Ministry of Education representative, Aldia Gumbs-Dyer, Senior Education Officer for Curriculum, welcomed the teachers and urged them to make use of the opportunity to learn how technology can be used to improve teaching and learning.

“Technology will not replace the teacher,” she cautioned. She stated that technology would make a good teacher better but it could also make a bad teacher worse.

The teachers attending the first set of workshops are drawn from schools that have access to computers for students. This ensures that the training can be implemented immediately.

Another goal of the training is to ensure sustainability, so participants are encouraged to volunteer to become Master teachers. This means that they will be identified to the Ministry of Education as being able to deliver the workshops on an ongoing basis after the end of the project.

The project would like to acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Education in organising and presenting the workshop. This workshop is one of the many activities in the major project which reflects the Governments’ commitment to use appropriate technologies for human development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

According to education officials, this is an exciting time in the education system and it is hoped that over the course of the project the workshops presented will be useful and practical and will have a positive impact on teaching and learning.