AUC Joins Global Tech Training Community

Capitalizing on the importance of using digital technology in education, AUC has joined a new global consortium to enhance teacher skills in integrating technology in the classroom.

The Learning with Technology consortium seeks to implement, complementand advance UNESCO’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Competency Framework for Teachers (CFT). The consortium includes prominent universities such as Cambridge, as well as leading technology providers including Intel, Microsoft, Promethean, Imagine Education, International Society for Technology in Education, European Computer Driving License Foundation, Collaborative Impact, Digital Opportunity Trust and the Commonwealth of Learning.

“Digital technology has become a must nowadays as a way to improve students’engagement and performance, and to develop innovative learning models,” said Tarek Shawki, dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering, who is managing this project in Egypt and has recently become special adviser to the government of Brunei, overseeing the implementation of CFT there. Shawki also delivered a webinar last spring to policymakers and education administrators in Brunei Darussalamon the “Role of Teachers in 21st-Century Education.”

“Brunei marks the first time CFT will be executed at a national level,” said Shawki.“It is a perfect starting point, since it is small in size, with approximately 9,000 teachers, so the project is similar to a pilot study that we can all learn from before deploying CFT at regional and global scales.”

The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, of which Shawki was the key architect starting in 2003, aims to inform policymakers and instructors on the role of information and communication technology in educational reform. Translated into 30 languages, it provides a description of teachers’ roles, as well as the knowledge and skills required for teachers to become technology-enabled and to achieve the best outcomes for students. “The framework defines the skills, but doesn’t produce training content, and that’s where the consortium will be most effective,” explained Shawki. “It will be a learning journey for each country based on an assessment of teacher skills and customizing content accordingly. In Egypt, this would help in the training of teachers on a national scale –– a service needed by ministries and educational institutions.”
The consortium is a product of the 2014 Education World Forum, a global summit for education ministers to debate contemporary topics and future practices in the field. AUC’s role in the consortium lies in driving the CFT Content-Alignment Model and the CFT Assessment and Certification Framework. “The consortium’s secretariat and governance will be currently hosted at AUC,” said Shawki, who has been selected as a fellow of Education Fast Forward, an international think tank and advisory group that brings together global experts to discuss contemporary topics in the field of education.
“All training material will pass through several stages of review, and only those that are deemed consistent with the CFT frameworkwill be given the seal of alignment,” added Shawki. “The consortium will act as an accreditation body for the quality of training content produced, managing the review process along with international partners, checking the devised courses against CFT standards, testing teachers after being trained to see if they acquired the necessary skills and establishing a global database of teachers who completed certified training courses on technology in education.”

Highlighting the importance of this initiative, Shawki said, “This is a chance to influence education on a global scale and to develop new standards for teacher training and certification, as well as a learning opportunity to keep us all at the cutting edge of the latest developments in the field.”