At the recent Education World Forum in London, UNESCO’s Director General Irena Bokova created a buzz when she announced a new version of the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. This framework identifies key competencies that enable teachers to help prepare a 21st century workforce by using information communication technologies (ICT) in the classroom.
While research shows that combining ICT with innovative teaching practices strongly predicts students’ acquisition of 21st century skills, the challenge continues to be helping teachers develop the competencies needed to combine great learning activities with meaningful and relevant use of ICTs. There are many challenges to effective professional development of ICT integration:
One response to these challenges is the new Partners in Learning Teaching with Technology Curriculum, now offered via Microsoft IT Academy. Microsoft has worked in partnership with governments, colleges of education and subject matter experts from around the world, to create a curriculum which includes a range of learning scenarios and is aligned to the global standards of the UNESCO ICT-CFT, Technology Literacy Approach.
The solution includes:
The Teaching with Technology curriculum puts ICT into educational context focusing on pedagogy and practice as opposed to tool “how to”. It complements the existing resources available in Microsoft IT Academy including the Microsoft Digital Literacy courses and the Microsoft Office academic curriculum. Through Partners in Learning, and the teacher-to-teacher support resources of the Partners in Learning Network, we have invested almost $500 million in teacher professional development around the world in the last ten years because we believe that teachers are critically important in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. Offering a clear way to help measure and build teacher capacity through ICT integration competencies is a uniquely gratifying opportunity.
Take a look and let us know what you think!
As I travel around the world meeting people that dedicate their life to teaching and bringing 21st skills to lifelong learners...I find it incredibly rewarding when I am in a country where they are preserving their native language with the help of technology.
Microsoft is committed to helping people worldwide benefit from technology while striving to uphold local language and cultural identity. Representing this commitment, our Local Language Program is a global initiative that provides people access to technology in a familiar language while respecting linguistic and cultural distinctions. With 4 billion speakers and more than 100 languages supported, the Local Language Program bridges the gap to technology through language and culture as well as empowers individuals in local communities to create economic opportunities, build IT skills, enhance education outcomes, enhance education outcomes and sustain their local language and culture for future generations.
As we celebrate UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day this week, the Windows team has disclosed new local language features that will be supported in Windows 8. Currently, Microsoft provides translation tools in 46 languages, and Windows and Office in nearly 100 languages…reaching more than 90 percent of the global population. Coming up on February 28th, we will release the Microsoft Translator Hub, a tool that enables the development of custom community built translation models.
Additionally, our Local Language Program offers:
There are more than 7,000 languages around the world, and half of those are projected to be in danger of being lost forever over the next century. Through Microsoft technologies represented via the Local Language Program, we hope these languages and cultures can be around for future generations to come.