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Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Many teachers learnt their craft at a time before ICT was available as a learning medium. In a school with good ICT resources, broadband Internet links and a developing bank of electronic learning materials, teachers' abilities to teach effectively using the medium of ICT may be one of the limiting factors on achieving the school's vision for ICT.

The government recognised the crucial need to support teacher development in using ICT across subjects when it launched the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) ICT training programme for teachers. Evidence suggests that this scheme will have helped many teachers, who may not have previously used ICT, to start to explore how to improve teaching and learning through this medium.

NOF ICT training represents a starting point for beginning to understand how the use of ICT can make learning more effective for many pupils who would otherwise (comparatively) underachieve if they only ever used the conventional media of pen, paper and book.
Beginning to use ICT is a professional challenge. For many teachers their feelings of discomfort at not feeling they know enough about using a computer can detract from the bigger issue - to develop a sound understanding of exactly why this medium can promote learning and achievement in one's subject area.

Unlike the medical profession, where doctors are expected to know about anatomy and physiology, the teaching profession lags behind in knowing how pupils learn, and specifically how the brain structures learning experiences in such a way that a student can later demonstrate knowledge and capability.

When starting with ICT, the most immediate need is to develop some practical knowledge of how to use hardware and software. However, the most important professional development need will be one of understanding how learning works best in our subject when ICT is used. There is a whole-profession need to understand more about the essential skills associated with the learning process and to make them more explicit in the teaching of the application of ICT Capability to learning in subject areas.

Continuing Professional Development will remain an essential component of every schools' ICT Development Plan. Managing school-based teacher support in ICT basics where it is needed, and more generally in e-learning developments, will provide the most significant CPD experiences for teachers. External courses and visiting speakers can also provide a fresh input and update to developments in this fast-changing area.










Useful Links

  The Strategic Leadership in ICT (SLICT) web site 

Downloadable files  

Good Teaching, Effective Departments (Ofsted)
Continuing Professional Development for Teachers (Ofsted)