Technology has revolutionized our lives and work, and education is no exception. As educators, we are responsible for integrating technical knowledge and skills into our teaching and professional development. To do this successfully, teachers need to have a certain level of ICT skills in various areas of hardware and software.
These skills affect how teachers manage their classes and develop themselves, their subjects, and their students. Therefore, schools must establish a baseline to assess where teacher abilities and skills could be aligned for maximum educational and technological proficiency.
The following are some suggested areas for teachers to demonstrate technological proficiency:
- Cloud Storage
- Understanding Microsoft 365
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Integration of Applications
- Windows 10
- Cloud Computing
- Forms: Microsoft Forms; Google Forms
- LMS platforms: Microsoft Teams; Google Classroom
- Integration of Technology in Teaching
- Online/Offline Educational Applications
- Content Curation and Sharing
- OneNote and Class Notebook
- Finding, Saving and Sharing Information
For each of these skills, there is a level of proficiency: basic, intermediate, and proficient. The basic level represents the minimal skills required to use hardware and software effectively. The intermediate level represents an average-to-competent level where teachers can do the basics and a little more. The proficient level is ideal for a professional, technologically advanced teacher who demonstrates efficient adaptability across all essential areas.
Nowadays, most teaching staff should be at the intermediate level, and schools should aim for their teachers to be proficient in the future. However, the levels may vary depending on the school’s requirements and the teacher’s specific role.
Together with Matt Hains, I’ve put together a book and SACE-endorsed workshop for teachers in Africa. ICT Skills Every Teacher Should Have is the first practical guide to using technology in the African classroom. Packed with step-by-step guidance, this series will help the ICT novice teacher make the connections between computers, digital content and effective curriculum delivery.
Key features include:
- Clear, well-scaffolded instructions that provide step-by-step guidance to teachers unfamiliar with using computers and software applications
- Illustrations of software for teachers to refer back to when they need to complete technical tasks independently
- A glossary with key terms, useful keyboard shortcuts and websites for additional information
- Activities for teachers to practise their new skills to reinforce what they have learnt
The book divided into seven core themes: ICT Literacy, Communication, The Cloud, Productivity Software, Content Management, Integration, and Online Collaboration.
In conclusion, ICT skills are critical for teachers to manage their classes effectively and efficiently, develop professionally, and ultimately benefit their students. Schools can better align their teacher’s abilities and skills for maximum educational and technological proficiency by having a baseline for skill proficiency.