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Information and Communication Technology is a marvelous changing force in 21st century. Technology has its influence and reshaped every field of life. In daily routine jobs one cannot do anything without technology. According to Johannessen (2009) "ICT (information and communication technologies) in education lives a life at the crossroads between evidence based policymaking, learning and the fast-changing world of technology" (p.13).
It is fact that technology has provided routine tools of all peoples' life. Technology has enforced people to change. It is now imperative that people have change themselves in accordance with the advancement of technology.
In future, economy of the world will be the digital economy so education systems have to train ICT skilled persons. Therefore, it is responsibility of all national education systems to train digitally literate teachers (Paun, 2003). The role of teacher is very vital to apply Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) so that all people may acquire the required skills and knowledge of communication society (Davis, 1997). She states that the professional development of teachers in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and appropriate academic skills are critical.
The integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has changed pace of development in the education system with a challenge to develop a capacity for change. Many initiatives have been taken to integrate ICTs in teaching learning process but there are many areas of concern. ICTs skill development in teacher educators is very important of their ICTs skills in teaching methodologies. The quality of teacher educators in use ICTs and its impact on the confidence and competence levels of teacher educators is most important in ensuring that ICTs continue to be an integrated part of the teaching learning process. The uses of technology have a significant impact on the training of teacher educators especially in the areas of comprehension, problem solving, composition and mathematical layout that will sustain both learning and effective functioning in the life. Integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education is a systematic approach to assessing the total process of learning, designing, developing, utilizing and evaluating the instructional strategies, and their management (Venkataiah, 2008). It is fact that technology has not only reshaped the student learning through involvement with challenging tasks but they provide new roles for students and teachers, professionalism of teachers and creation of a culture that supports learning both in the classroom and beyond the school walls. Therefore, it is requirement of time for impelling teaching-learning process. Technology and teachers must work together to render ambitious learning opportunities. Integration of ICTs in teacher education training programs could bring advances that would improve teaching and learning process. Even an ordinary student would make massive gains, and restraints on bright students would dissolve.
Some of the educators believe that use of ICTs in teaching- learning and learning methodologies represent the solution to many problems. Other group of educators is of the opinion that through ICTs teacher educators gets new ways of accomplishing tasks and of teaching the skills that students need to learn. The Association for Educational Communication and Technology (1994) has identified the five domains of educational technology, they are: design, development, utilization, evaluation and management.
"Microcomputers offer exciting approaches to teaching that were not even dreamed of twenty years ago, but the extent to which the educational potential of microcomputer technology will be realized remains to be seen. "Some teachers will use microcomputers to revolutionize their classrooms, perhaps you will be one of them" (Geisert & Futrell, 1995).
There is no doubt that applications of ICTs in education are necessary due to the fact that ICTs are the pre-eminent tools for information processing, new generations need to become competent in their use and for required necessary skills. It is also believed that ICTs should be fundamental management tools for teaching learning processes at all levels of an educational system. Therefore, teaching institutions should profoundly revise present teaching practices and resources to create more effective learning environments and improve life-long learning skills and habits in their students.
It is fact that ICTs can be applied to improve teaching learning process and its application in education in turn support sustainable economic development including social transformation. However, ICTs can be used to improve students understanding and learning, increase the quality of education, knowledge creation and knowledge sharing which can contribute to the transformation of the education system from stereotype teaching to modern ICTs integrated teaching methodologies (Kozma, 2005).
In Pakistan, introduction of technology in education within the framework of National Education Policy (1998-2010) resulted in increased computer labs but proper utilization of ICTs is still big question.
Thus it is necessary to study the use of Information and Communication Technologies by teacher educators and strengthening teacher education in Government Colleges of Education in order to better implementation of ICTs in teaching methodologies and integrate ICTs based training programs. The purpose of this study is to assess the current use on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), explore the relationship between teachers' understanding of teaching methodologies and their understanding in use of ICTs in teaching learning process including strengthening ICTs integrated training for teacher educators.
Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are as an electronic means of capturing, processing, storing and disseminating information (Adeya, 2002). According to another definition, ICTs are embedded in networks and services that affect the local and global accumulation and flows of public and private knowledge (Adeya, 2002). ICTs are defined diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information. These technologies include computers, internet, broadcasting technologies (radio and television), and telephony. ICT is the broad subject concerned with all aspects of managing and processing information (Mayer, 2008).
At the end of the 1980s, Information Technology (IT) replaced the term computers signifying a shift of focus from computing technology to the capacity to store and retrieve information. This was followed by the introduction of the term 'ICT' (Information and Communication Technology) around 1992 (Pelgrum & Law, 2003).
United Nations report (1999) defines ICTs covering provision of internet service, telecommunication equipments and services, information technology equipments and services, media and broadcasting, libraries and documentation centers, commercial information providers, network-based information services, and other related information and communication activities.
While discussing difference between information technology and information and communication technology, Galloway, & Norton (2011) stated:
The term IT (Information technology) and ICT (information and communication technology) are often used interchangeably, although the later term is little known outside of education. Generally school think of IT as being the technology, the equipment and the infrastructure, and ICT as what we do with it, the subject and the way it is used to support learning. Sometimes the term is pluralized, 'information and communication technologies' as there are now number of different tools, devices, functions and possibilities that ICT covers- a range that continues to to grow and diversify. (p.22)
According to Sharma (2005), educational technology is used as systematic tool for the achievement of educational objectives. Use of Information and Communication technology is increasing day by day to achieve the educational objectives and various tools are used for enhancement of quality education. There is huge impact of ICTs on educational objectives. Integration of Information and communication technology provides innovative, modern, systematic and well organized procedures for instructional design and education which offers countless promising opportunities for teacher educators to achieve the objectives of education (Sharma, 2005). ICTs in education have changed the teaching and learning process. Integration of ICTs in education has reformed in teaching and learning process and changed teaching paradigm.
Plomp, Brummelhuis, & Pelgrum (1997) explain "ICT provides a means to bring about the revolutionary changes called for by the evolutionary transitions in society. As a tool to support the learning process, ICT holds a promise of new solutions for the challenges facing education" (p.429).
Johannessen (2009) point out that:
The role of ICT in education must also be linked to educational needs. In many countries, the role of ICT is linked to issues of educational attainment and the importance of ICT for advancing robust learning strategies on the side of the students. A second area is ICT as a tool for the support of personalization strategies in teaching and learning. (p.13)
Use of ICTs in educational process to achieve the goals of education has revolutionary impact in instruction and education using various instructional tools. Narasaiah (2007) point out that "Technology related skills among the staff concerned, n particularly teachers and trainers, need to be improved" (p.6). It is fact that integration of information and communication technology has transformed way of instruction which has great potential for learning.
Advantages of Information and Communication Technologies in education
Information and Communication Technology has changed the paradigm of education and instruction. It provides s best opportunities to enhance perception, comprehension using ICT tools and way of communication.
According to Heyneman & Haynes (2004):
The adoption of new technologies requires the adaption of ICT to educational settings as well as cultural changes in the role of teachers and other stakeholders in the educational process. Educational technology may be altering schooling in developing areas, including both the teaching and learning processes. (p.60)
Easy access to information has provided opportunity to share the information of common interest and understand others' ideas. Using technology in education is an innovative idea and instructors have to be receptive to adopt new methods in teaching. Integration of technology in methods of teaching uses machine instruction and technological tools which are very useful for lifelong learning (Sharma, 2005). Day by day improvements in the field of ICT is changing the application and usage which directly affect the education teaching and learning process that support sustainable development and conducive environment enhancing learning capabilities (Paas, 2008).
Using computers, various tools and internet in instruction provide best learning environment to new generation students for jobs. In the age of digital literacy new skill are required which are provided with integration of ICTs in education (Tino, 2008). Erstad (2009) mentioned the advantages of ICTs and their impact on natinal disposition , local disposition, institutaional framing, teacher education, learning environment, collective collaberatve and outcome and individual use and outcome.
Technological tools i.e. audio-visual aids, computers, internet, USB, multimedia, CD ROM has proved very effective tools in teaching and learning process. These tools are very useful and effective to revolutionize teacher education for trainees and teacher educators. Digitalization of education and supportive means for teacher education motivate trainees to learn modern techniques in instruction.(Sharma R. C., 2010). The important benefit of intergation of ICT in education is availbility infromation. Chandra (2004) recognized that "The intense involvement of ICT in the teaching and learning process is directly interconnected with the performance of teachers and learners proficient in education system". (p.27). According to Alade 2010) use of information and communication technologies in instruction facilitate the students towards self - learning nad gives them freedom to make their own view according to requirment. The impact of Information and communication technology on learning achievements of pupils has been remarkable (Cox, & Marshal, 2007).
Integration of ICT in education not only provides opportunity to students to access the information but it helps them to learn according to their own needs. Speedy advancement in ICT supports student to find out resources and fulfils specific learning desires in accordance with their requirement (Murphya, & Greenwooda, 1998) . It is fact that the capabilities required for job and professional expertise have been reshaped with the integration of ICT in education "ICT have changed the nature of work and types of skills needed in most of the filed and professions" (Sharma, 2009). Access to resources highly influenced teaching methodologies and nature of instruction.
Planning for ICTs integration into classroom
ICTs is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing, radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as video conferencing and distance learning. Education reforms are occurring throughout the world and one of its doctrines is the introduction and integration of ICTs in education system. The successful integration of ICTs into the classroom requires careful planning and depends largely on how well policy makers understand and appreciate the dynamics of such integration.
ICTs should be combined with more traditional technologies, such as print and broadcast radio, to achieve better effectiveness in the students' achievements. Skillful teachers require the skills they use through knowledge and practice (Venkataiah, 2008). It is fact that ICTs are for instruction but technologies skills are acquired as a means to an end, and students receive practice in selecting and using various technologies applications to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Technologies applications that can be used as a tool or a communications vehicle (e.g., overhead projectors, presentation on multimedia, video conferences, word processing and spreadsheet software, drawing programs, networks) can support any curriculum and can be fully assimilated into a teacher's ongoing core practice (Becker, 1994).
Chandra (2004) summarized that use of information and communication technologies in classroom have many effective impacts on learner and learning process. He identified following impacts when ICT is integrated in classroom:
Allow materials to be presented in multiple media for multichannel learning.
Motivate and engage students in learning process,
Bring abstract concept of life.
Enhance critical thinking and other higher intellectual skills and process.
Provide opportunities for students to practice basic skills on their own time and at their own pace.
Allow students to use information acquire to solve problems, formulate new problems, and explain the world around them: provide for access to worldwide information resources.
Be the most cost effective means for bringing the world in the class room.
Offers teachers and students a platform through which they can communicate with colleagues from distant places, exchange work, develop research and function if there were no geographical boundaries. (Chandra, 2005, p.22)
Information and knowledge of students increases with the use ICT in class room teaching and using technological tools in teaching and learning activities. Pelgrum & Law (2003) summarizing the imapacts of integration of ICTs in class room define that "Access to ICT and ICT-supported educational experiences potentially offers learners valuable opportunities to learn new skills and new competencies for effective functioning in the twenty-first century" ( p.120).
Use of technological tools in class room offers high quality learning environment which leads toward maximum possibilities for learning achievements. "The challenge of integrating technology into the classroom has provided a motivation for teacher educators to engage in continual improvements in the curriculum to equip teachers who could cope with the multifarious demands in the school environment". (Teo, Chai, Hung, & Lee, 2008, p.170).
Use of Information and Communication technologies in teaching provide systematic mechanism to explain the concepts according to the requirement of class room environment, application of teaching models, teaching methodology and linking theories and practice (Sharma, 2005). According to State, Kern, Starosta, & Mukherjee (2011) "Within the school system, teachers play a critical role in reducing students' social, emotional, and behavioral problems through routine practices, such as creating a positive and supportive classroom environment and providing specific prompting of and feedback for appropriate behavior"( p.13).
Relationship between education and ICTs
Advancement of technology has started debate to find out the relation between ICTs and education. The most important factor is role of teacher, teaching learning process and professional development. Owen (2004) recognized that "use of information technology will fundamentally change the way we think and learn and thus change education and curriculum" (p.34).
There is close relationship between ICT and Lifelong learning and digital literacy which is pre-requisite of digital world. Frequent use of ICTs in teaching methodology is linked with efficiency of teacher and performance of student ( Pulist, 2010). According the Chandra (2004) "in the world of technology, ICT is contributing the long term possibilities, adult training and e-training for the work place." (p.17)
Pelgrum & Law (2003) mentioning rationale on the relatioship between ICT and education stated:
In the knowledge society, the half-life of knowledge will become progressively shorter;
Due to growing specialization of knowledge, it will be increasingly necessary to work in teams;
Citizens need to be prepared for lifelong learning and be introduced to the basics of team-and project-work as part of basic education;
Educational innovations in basic education are necessary if these new demands are to be met, and such innovations should have a strong pedagogical focus on student-centered and increasingly student-directed didactical approaches facilitated by ICT, whereby teachers should play more of a coaching role. (p.20-21)
Computer, software, internet, CD-ROM, video and application of technological tools have changed the structure of society and the world is considered as an interconnected global village. Information and communication technology helps to communicate with each other regarding personal growth of individual and his responsibilities in education system (Volman, 2005). It is not matter of concern whether ICT is used by teachers in teaching practices but how it has been integrated to change teaching methodlogy and provide learning oportunities to students (Engida, 2011).
Advancement of technology and its applications bring radical shift in society to attain new knowledge and modernize teaching methodologies, therefore, connection between ICT and education is requirement of time to achieve goals of education. UNESCO recognizing the relation between ICT and education stated:
With the challenges faced by the international community in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Education for All (EFA) targets, it seems unrealistic to assume that conventional delivery mechanisms will ensure quality and equal educational opportunities for all in affordable and sustainable ways by 2015. Indeed, the biggest challenge for many education systems is to be able to offer training or learning opportunities on a lifelong basis to all individuals and, more importantly, to the traditionally under-served or marginalized groups (i.e. girls and women who face barriers to schooling; rural populations that are too dispersed to populate regular schools cost-effectively with reasonable class sizes; children from families in extreme poverty; special needs groups or persons with disabilities who have no access to learning centres; etc.).(UNESCO, 2009, p.11)
Integration of ICTs in teaching and learning process
Integration of ICT provides opportunity to the teachers to become more effective in their classroom, offering numerous solutions and make teachers more efficient in teaching. The advancement and increased utility of information and communication technologies has proved that it is now very important for students and researchers to use ICTs in teaching and learning process (Beauchamp, 2006).
Use of information and communicating technology not only increase efficiency of teacher educators but over simplify their teaching and learning process. ICT tools in teaching help teacher educators to modify training material according to need of teacher trainees. According to Pelgrum ( 2001) "active learning can be facilitated by ICT."(p.165). Exploring ideas, understanding concepts, communicating knowledge, and correcting development process are directly influenced with integration of information and communication technology in teaching and learning (Pritchard, 2007).
On other hand integration of ICTs improve learning outcomes of students due to student centered approach. UNESCO ( 2013) emphasized that "technology can support teachers by increasing their efficiency in and outside the classroom; help teachers respond better to students' individual needs; and facilitate communication between teachers, students, parents and administrators" (p.18).
Outcomes and impact of self learning is greater than that of learning from teachers. With the support of teacher educator, a trainee teacher learns the concepts, gets information and knowledge but using various tools of information and communication technologies he expand his ideas on same topic (Ram, 2007). Kalogiannakis (2010) pointed out that "teacher shows a really positive attitude towards the ICT not only by the occasional use of technology with his students but also by the creative use of the ICT possibilities so that the educational environment, in which he acts, can be changed"( p.4). With the advancement of technology digital lterecy is important element of integration of ICT in teaching methodology (Owen, 2004). It is fact that ICT infrastructure facilities are provided to the insitutions in Pakistan are not more but Arneson (2010) supports integration of ICTs in developing coutries and stated:
Although most students in developing countries don't carry laptop computer to class, they frequently do carry flash drive with them. Students often have access to students computer centers or internet cafes on or near campus, so they appreciate the opportunity to receive the lectures on a flash drive after the presentation to view on a computer or to print out handouts for additional study. (p.185)
Integration of ICT in teaching methodology increases knowledge of students, find out reality, provide opportunity for active learning, increases motivation of pupils, enhances output, provide opportunity for critical thinking and improve coordinated efforts for the achievement of education objectives (Newhouse, 2002). Information and knowledge is directly linked with instructional media (McNaught, & Kennedy, 2010)
Significance of ICTs in teaching learning process
Integration of ICT in teaching has very important significance on learning attitude of students, creativity, knowledge construction, learning environment, teaching strategies, problem solving skills and understanding concepts using various tools. Learner has opportunity to keep record of information in electronic version and understand dfifferent concepts on the basis of self- learning (Owen, 2004). Different forms of Multimedia channels provide information about content knowledge, understanding of different concepts, variety of approaches and expertise (Sharma, 2005).
Trinidad (2003) recognizing significance of ICT stated that "Technology rich learning environment using e-learning can engage the learner giving them a sense of empowerment where they are no longer dependent of the specific and often limited knowledge of their educator." (p.110). However, Pelgrum discussing importance of ICT in teaching explores that use of ICT is very supportive tool for teacher which is helpful for students to explore effective methodology, proper guidance for self -learning, critical evaluation of their performance and high quality skills for communication( Pelgrum, 2001).
According to Loveless, Burton, & Turvey ( 2006) "ICT made a contribution, not only to the creative processes and outcomes of the activities themselves, but also to a deeper understanding of pedagogy and purpose in using ICT to support learning"(p.9). It is expected that by using ICT in teaching, teachers can enhance their competency and effectiveness in classroom teaching (Ertmer, & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Teacher educators have to recgnize and set up classroom settings for assignment in way so that ICT tools must be inetgral part of teaching methodology (Kalogiannakis, 2010).
"Teachers have had to learn new things and handle new teaching skills. Indeed, there are now a range of media competencies teachers must have to maximize the value of ICT learning in classrooms." (Watson, 2006, p.206). Use of ICT is increasing day by day to achieve educational objectives and its application have great influence in teaching and learning process which encourage teacher educator to use technological application for training programs. Wang ( 2008) pointed out that "Pedagogy, social interaction and technology are three key components of a technology enhanced learning environment. A sound design of these components should enable teachers to integrate ICT into teaching and learning in an effective way" (p.417). Use of ICTs in education has reshaped the conventional teaching approaches and provided innovative methods in teaching and learning process ( Skinner, 2010). "ICT are innovations in teaching and learning inspired by a constructivist perspective". (Volman, 2005, p.20)
Innovation of use of ICTs in teaching learning process
ICT- supported solutions have manifold functions for learning outcomes which enable learning achievements (Rickards, 2003). Supporting the innovative nature of ICT, Jung (2005) affirmed that "selecting appropriate ICT tools and supporting students in the use of those tools, using ICT to promote learning activities, developing new methods of facilitating learning and evaluating student performance, and so on." (p.95). The European Schoolnet in the The ICT Impact Report:A review of studies of ICT impact on schools in Europe has classified following innovations with the integration of ICT ion teaching:
Constructive (and instructive)
Project based teaching
Based on themes
Subject focus- based on a firm outline and standards
Must be fulfilled- individual and collective
Having particular knowledge - everybody does the same
Understand the context
Divided by skills and interests- differentiation
Divided by age
Mistakes are source for improvement and guidance
Marks and grading as part of the evaluation of students
guider and mediator
has several roles
has one role
(Balanskat, Blamire, & Kefala, 2006, p.45)
Trainee teachers can be trained through ICT-supported teaching strategies in subject area. Teacher educators can easily manage trainee-centered learning method using ICT tools (Goktas, Yildirim, & Yildirim, 2008).
Teacher Preparation and Pedagogical Approaches
Teacher education plays vital role in reforming and strengthening the education system of any country. Pre-service teacher education provides knowledge and skills to the prospective teachers that are practicum to their workplace as a teacher. The most important problem in teacher education is the preparedness of teachers in their workplace as the studies attest the relationship of theoretical knowledge and practical skills provided to the students in their pre-service education with their effectiveness in their classrooms as a beginning teacher (Good et al, 2006).
Most reports about teacher education focus more on curricular issues, such as what prospective teachers should learn, or on structural issues, such as professional development schools or the length of the programs, than issues of instruction. Neither the research reports nor the reform reports had much to say about how prospective teachers should be taught. Yet in teacher education, attention to pedagogy is critical; how one teaches is part and parcel of what one teaches (Marilyn, Kenneth & Zeichner, 2009).
To strike a balance between theory and practice is a long standing challenge in the pre service teacher education programs (Korthagen, 1996, Bates, 2002, Smith, 2006). To apply the knowledge in the workplace for teachers is a crucial challenge of the pre-service teacher education and the significance inadequacies have been identified in the research studies in this regard (Bates, 2002). The effectiveness of pre-service and in-service depends on to narrow down the disparities lying between theory and practice provided to the student teachers in their pre-service teachers training (Singh, 2005).
Teacher education sector in Pakistan has been criticized by the academicians and researchers for low quality. Dilshad (2010) identified following common problems related to teacher training in Pakistan: "lack of funding and resources, poorly equipped training institutions, short training period, undue emphasis on quantitative expansion, narrow scope of curriculum, imbalance between general and professional courses, over-emphasis on theory as opposed to practice little/no coordination between education departments and training institutions, deficient quality of instruction, lack of in-service training of teacher educators, failure in implementing useful reforms, vague objectives, poor quality of textbooks, defective examination system, lack of supervision and accountability, and lack of research and evaluation of teacher training programs". The National Education Policy: 1998-2010 has rightly highlighted the quality problem by observing: "The qualitative dimension of teacher education program has received marginal attention resulting in mass production of teachers with shallow understanding of both the content and methodology of education" (Government of Pakistan, 1998, p.47).
According to Merrill (2002), learning is promoted when knowledge is applied and integrated in the real world. "Most instructional design theories advocate application of knowledge and skill as a necessary condition for effective learning (p. 6)." The traditional pre-service teacher education programs are failing in preparing teachers for effective teaching and learning in the classroom ( Korthagen& Kessels,1999), as well as a dominated view is emerging that theory and practice should be integrated ( Leinhardt, Young & Merriam, 1995).
ICTs and teaching methodology
In stereo type teaching, teacher uses different strategies to facilitate learning environment but with integration of ICT teacher can easily create appropriate learning environment to facilitate learning achievements. Machine instructions provide solution to problems therefore use if ICTs in education can modernize, develop and upgrade education system (Morrison at al., 1999). ICT has becoming part of teaching methodology as we are interacting with the applications of information and communication teachnologies and its imapct on learning achievements (Dore & Wickens, 2004).
Siddiqui (2004) believes that ICT integrated approaches can be adopted according to the requirement of students which help teacher educators to apply appropriate methodology for effective learning. Kennewwell, Parkinson, & Tanner ( 2000) pointed out that those teachers who are using ICTs in their teaching are always of the opinion that ICTs must be used by non-users so that they could improve skills and knowledge of teaching. Teacher training covers different angles of trainees which means "to enable teachers to develop the potentiality of their pupils, to serve as role models, to help to reform, encourage self-confidence and creativity"(Sharma, 2009, p.74) .
Pedro (2005) in research conducted on traditional and ICT integrated teaching methods concluded that "it is the change in the teaching method and not the adoption of technology that results in a higher quality of teaching" (p.403). "The teachers who are already regular users of ICT have confidence in using ICT, perceive it to be useful for their personal work and for their teaching and plan to extend their use further in the future "(Mumtaz, 2000, p. 323).
It is big challenge to motivate teacher educators regarding use of ICT in teaching methodology (Baron, & Harrari, 2005). It is very important for teacher educators to well equip them to obtain new knowledge , skilled in appropriate methods and adopt new startegies with the support of ICT to facilitate learning (Ertmer, & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). With advancement of ICT, innovative training strategies have been incorporated in teacher education which is based on sustainability and transferability. Jung (2000 suggests that:
One of the best ways to develop teachers' ICT skills and promote ICT-pedagogy integration in their teaching is the provision of ICT-based training environments where on-demand access to materials, peers, and networks of experts where expertise and advices can be obtained and active discussion can take place in relation to technology or pedagogy." (p.98)
More ever, specific competencies and ICT-enriched teaching methods required for 21st century students is still a big challenge (Voogt, 2009).
Importance of ICTs in teaching methodology
Integration of ICTs in education has provided many forms of communication with flexibility and easiness (Inglis, Ling, & Joosten, 1999). Use of ICTs in education have very important role in teaching methodologies with positive impact on the way of dissemination of content knowledge and effective learning strategies (Chandra, 2004). In a sdudy by Beauchamp (2006) took position that "teachers must incorporate the use of ICT into their pedagogy" (p.82) and "ICT must be used to meet educational objectives" (Usun, 2009, p. 333). A study by Loveles at al.(2006) found very important significance using ICT tools. They stated that:
The affordances of ICT can also be part of this creative interaction as people exploit the distinctive features of ICT that enable digital technologies to act as tools in creative processes. The uses of ICT to support and promote creativity have been described, reviewed and theorized in a range of our work in recent years." (p .4)
In general, ICT provide supportive environment to teacher educators and help students to understand the concepts and content knowledge. ICT has provided opportunities to access variety of material increasing gaps among haves and haves not which has termed as digital divide (Skinner, 2010). Integration of ICT in teachning methodoloy make students active participants, provide aportunity to learn in classroom and from external sources. Enhance teamwork, encourga ethem to ask questions and find solution of problems (Pelgrum, 2001).
ICT and professional development
Professional development is very important phase of individual. Through education and training he treats professionally, become a responsible citizen, proves a good learner and turn into service provider. ICT in professional development plays vital role to prepare responsible citizens. Capacity building of teachers at initial stage makes them professional. As concluded by Voogt (2009) "ICT contributed to an increase in a variety of student outcomes and teaching practices" (p.340).
Integration of ICTs in teaching methods for capacity building of teachers is playing very important role in professional development (Chandra, 2004). Teaching and learning environment is improving day by day with the integration of ICTs and use of its application in education and training providing variety of methods and tools for professional development ( Pulist, 2010). A study by Dore & Wickens (2004) suggest that for the new appointed teachers it is need of hour to enhance their expertise in the different applications and usage of ICTs tools which provide support to trainee teachers.
Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) developed and model for new teacher education which requires that trainee teachers must comprehend the notions, instruments and regulation for which they are responsible for teaching. That model emphasizes that teachers should understand the development process of students, difference among the children on their comprehension level and applying different teaching methodologies (Collins, 2001). The argument of Sharma (2009) proposed that capacity building of teachers regarding use of ICTs in teaching and it applications is very effective for overall purpose of school reforms and development.
Teacher trainees are guided by teacher educators regarding classroom management and professional behaviour to achieve educational objectives. Applying modern ICT- enriched teaching methods facilitate teacher trainees to develop personality, exhibit talent, demonstrate skills and attain educational goals and this is possible through professional development programs. Using ICT-enriched techniques professional development prepare teachers to face the challenges of teaching, facilitate learning, and enhance their knowledge regarding use of ICT tools in teaching learning process (Cox, & Marshal, 2007). It is therfore necessary that "the new competency- based teacher education system is sorely needed as an appropriate measurement of all competencies "(Szilagyi, & Szecsi, 2011, p.329).
It is not important "Whether and how students participate in online communities is of significance to teacher educators" but "the intent of many online communities is to provide informal learning opportunities beyond what is possible in face-to-face classrooms" (Scherff, & Singer, 2008, p.153). The study conducted by Markauskaite find out that most of the teacher trainees wish to enhance and improve their information and communication technology skills during initil training or professional development program (Markauskaite, 2007).
Integration of ICTs in education and its frequent use has improved teaching - learning methodologies and enhanced qualitative efficiency (Siddiqui, 2004).Outside the classroom environment there are hundrends of thousand websites which support teacher educators to fufill the requirmen of professional skills (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, & Vocke, 2010)
Rational behind the use of ICTs in teacher education
New Reforms in education in contemporary world are to find out effective approaches for trainee teachers and it must be linked with integration of ICTs in teaching instead use of only technology (Morrison, Lowther, & DeMeulle, 1999). The training program for trainee teachers are designed for enhancement of knowledge, skills required and responsiveness to the modern challenges ( Pulist, 2010). He furher highlights that using ICTs in teaching and learning process is emerging as important source to initiate new methods and approaches with the active participation of trainers and trainees.
It is imperative to understand that the conventional professional development programs are based on traditional training approaches, rigidity, costly, overwhelming and did not fulfill the requirement of modern needs (Chandra, 2004).
Changing scenario of professional development and integration of ICT will well equip trainee teachers and their initial "Staff development topics of high demand include improving students reading and writing skills, technology skills, working with inclusion students, working with diverse populations, active learning strategies" (Ornstei at al., 2010, p.40). Majority of trainee teachers in their initial training know very little regarding use of technology in teaching and learning process and its effectiveness in instruction.
It is also fact that currently more investment has been seen in ICT facilities and using ICTs as an important tool for teaching which makes fundamental changes in teaching practices. It is now big question that does ICT change the foundation of teaching methodology or it is a transition process for teachers (Beauchamp, 2006). Mentioning importance of ICT he describes that due to availability of technological aids there are many changes in teaching learning process and these changing factors have larger impact on self-reliance by teacher educators, content, teaching methodologies, and students motivation including syllabus. While discussing significance of use of ICT tools in initial training of trainee teachers, Pelgrum (2001) put emphasis for qualified ICT skilled teacher educators for professional development of trainee teachers.
Teacher educators must be highly skilful to use ICTs tools and multimedia for preparation of teacher trainees Chandra, 2004). The use of teaching aids increase the prospect students with more chance to utilize their capabilities for challenging tasks, enhance their self-learning, make them confident when they face teachers, take difficult tasks comfortably and work as independent learner (Kennewwell at al, 2000). More ever, to face the challenges of 21st century, it is very important to incorporate use of information and communication technology in teacher education courses to maximize learning achievements and achieve educational objectives.
Pre-service teacher education programs
According to Pakistan Education statistics (2009) there are 1.31 million in-service teachers and more than 60% of them are untrained or have only basic training at PTC and CT levels. Majority of them are teaching at primary school level in rural areas. The process of professional training, preparation and development of teachers is neither consistent nor responsive to changing needs of the society. The National Education Policy of 2009 also has stressed on reforms in pre-service training and preparation, and standardization professional qualification to increase the efficiency and raise the quality.
The traditional pre-service teacher education programs are failing in preparing teachers for effective teaching and learning in the classroom (Korthagen & Kessels, 1999). Pre-service teacher training is unable to fulfil the needs of education system so it is facing criticism from different stakeholders. At the same time a dominated view is emerging that theory and practice should be integrated (Leinhardt, Young, & Merriam, 1995). The existing gap between theory and practice in pre-service teacher education is a matter of concern for stakeholders and efforts are being made to bridge this gap (Westbury & Hansén, 2005). With the passage of time the institutional and societal demand for bridging the gap between theory and practice is rising.
Due the non-alignment between theory and practice, newly trained teachers when enter into teaching profession they find it hard to link what they had acquired during their professional training and what knowledge and competencies are being demanded by the profession. Such teachers consider academic knowledge and practice as being neither practicable not credible, so they prefer to rely more on personal experiments and experiences, and of their colleagues (Gore & Gitlin, 2004). The research studies on teacher education called for qualitative improvement of professional preparation of pre-service and in-service teachers in Pakistan through reforms in curricula, improved quality of instruction, aligning acquired, required and applied teaching skills (Pre-STEP, 2010).
Use of ICTs provide helps to teachers and students
Skinner (2010) highlights that for the improvement of learning and teaching process, ICT has potential to improve the learning and teaching by using devices of technology. Interest in the application of ICTs must be increased by teacher educators so that they could learn more as compared to the contemporary students (Kennewwell at al, 2000)
Rickards, 2003 drawing picture of skills required in 21st centrury, he stated:
A successful future in education and the later life of our teachers and students is not about having the latest, fastest or most impressive technology; it is about making of most effective use of what you have and what is reality available to you. This is independent of technology as it is a personal attribute in students and teachers and so can operate in technology rich environments just as well as it can in no technology environments. (p.120)
Digital knowledge and computer skills must be known by teacher educators but there should be practical approach for use of that knowledge and skills that should be the worth of teachers (Monteith, 2004). The aim of teacher educator is to facilitate trainees for learning outcomes, therefore, it is prime responsibility of teacher educator to transform information and knowledge to trainee teacher (Forsyth,1996).
Teacher educators make difference in learning achievements of student by using ICT-supported teaching methodologies (Boakye & Banini, 2008). The improtance ICT is built-in nature of responsiveness and its capability to provide feedback which support teacher trainees and motivate them to seek guidance from teacher educators (Whitebread, 2006). Tecaher educators are not noly managing class but they work as counselers, managers and role models as professional (Diaz-Maggioli, 2004)
The important features of initial teacher education enhance proficiency in knowledge, skills, capabilities, understanding, professional commitment, character and social values (GTC Scotland. (2006). Initial teacher training is very crucial phase of professional development. Tomei (2009) recognizes that this is a phase when trainee teachers are prepared through ICT- enriched teaching methodologies.
ICTs enables lifelong learning
The machine instructions provide chances to students to learn and discover knowledge about the topic in accordance with the specific requirement (Locates, & Atkinson, 1984). With the use of technology in education and training a new concept of lifelong learning is emerged which has replaced old one. (Forsyth,1996). The proper use of ICTs in learning process promotes cognitive skills and lifelong learning at higher level which plays important role for job working environment (Boakye & Banini, 2008)
Brindley ( 2001) stated that:
"The new literacy however cannot be contained in the same way. There clearly exists a need to reconsider literacy as an ongoing development referred to earlier lifelong literacy. the acquisition of the new literacy cannot be picked off at eleven. Instead, while acknowledging the need for basic extended and advanced literacy skills, reflecting changes made in reading and writing demands through ICT". (Brindley, 2001, p.16)
The original meaning of literacy that covers read, write and capabilities to communicate among each other but the new concept of literacy is known as digital literacy which is through different electronic mediums, graphs, illustration, computer graphics and hypertexts and these entire medium are used in teaching learning process using ICTs in education (Millwood, 2001).
Bryderup, Larson, & Quisgaar (2009) pointed out that "Students seem to be using ICT related to activities within the lifelong learning paradigm, which speaks in favour of ICT having a positive relation to the development of a lifelong learning paradigm" (p.375). Experiences with integration of information and communication technology in instruction are lifelong learning (Watson, 2006).
How integration of ICTs enable learning outcomes
UNESCO (2007) in pocket guide for ICT-Enabled Learning recognizing significance of integration of ICT in teaching methodology stated:
Internet and web technologies offer a remarkable medium for a new learning framework that could dominate education in the twenty-first centuryâ€¦.. The value of face-to-face interaction is acknowledged. The fact that ICTs make possible a new learning model should be seen as a massive opportunity of which educators and administrators can take advantage rather than position these technological and pedagogical developments as either/or options.(p.1)
Locates, & Atkinson (1984) has classified instructional media into seven sections which are computers, auditory tools, video tools, graphic media, published media, pictorial and Simulation of games. The important characteristics of modern teaching methodology are (a) prepare trainee teachers, (b) guide trainee teachers, and enhance professional development trainee teachers (Kochhar, 2008). Even bent of mind to use technology has great importance and students' inclination to get more knowledge about the usage and functions of ICTs which leads towards ultimate learning process (Kennewwel at al., 2000).
ICT-supported instructions provide opportunity for creative learning and innovative teaching methodologies enable learning. Applying ICT- enriched teaching, teacher educators easily facilitate and enhance learning of trainee teachers in different characteristics. According to Frykholm& Meyer (1999) trainee teachers during their initial training are at critical phase of life which is shift from student to become a professional teacher and determination of option. As argued by Volman (2005) "ICT also provides opportunities for more authentic learning" (p.16).
Applying learning theroy of constructivism, Teacher educators can use information and communication teachnology as a resources not as an end in a conventional teaching methodology to achieve learning objectives (Teo et al., 2008). ICT- enriched learning enabled strategy was discussed by Law, Yuen, & Fox in 2011 (as cited in Kampylis, Bocconi, & Punie, 2012, p.9), enemurated 'emergent characteristics of ICT-supported pedagogical', conducted ecological study on learning outcomes, teachers, role of learners, integration of ICT, connectivity and diversity of learning results. The study explained range of innovations from conventional to developing and concluded that advancement of technology and ICT- enriched teaching methodologies enable innovative learning outcomes for trainee teachers (Kampylis, Bocconi, & Punie, 2012).
Role of teacher and integration of ICTs in teaching
The role of teacher is now as good facilitators therefore, he has to provide conducive environment for students to find out the solutions according to their own observation using technological resources (Savery & Duffy, 1995). Teacher is trouble shooter for learner when there is problem in content knowledge or compression, therefore, his role is vital as compared to self-obtained knowledge using machine .(Ram,2007). ). The role of teacher is changed but traditional role cannot be undermined. With advancemnt of technology role of teacher is reshaped. Besides his tradional role, he plays a role of facilitator and using ICT tools coordinates closely with pupil to enbale effective learning environment(Forsyth,1996).
Yadav (2006) indicates that "technology integration need changes to teachers' instructional roles in the classroom. The teachers' role in a technology infused classroom often shifts to that of a facilitator or coach rather than a lecturer."(p.32) and "teachers really are educational designers." (Volman, 2005, p.26). Educational process for delivery has been changed due to integration of ICT in teaching methodology (Sharma, 2009).
In traditional role teacher was directing but after integration of ICT in teaching methodology using various tools, he is facilitating and monitoring activities of students (Wheeler, S. (2001). It is wrong to say that role of teacher is no more after ICT-supported instruction but it further enhances role of teacher. ( Mumtaz (2000) argued that "teachers need to be given the evidence that ICT can make their lessons more interesting, easier, more fun for them and their pupils, more enjoyable and more motivating" (p.338). "Power of electronic communication is a powerful tool that can be used easily and effectively" (Easingwood, 2001, p.56). According to Kalogiannakis (2010), ICT- enriched innovations ehnace quality of education in which teacher plays a vital role in delivery.
Integration of ICTs in teacher Education: Possibilities and Challenges
Easingwood conducted a study on integration of ICT and its role in teaching and learning process. He enumerates ICTs in four Es and describes that use of ICTs:
E1: ease and supports the task,
E2: enable the learner,
E3: ensure that the learning outcome can be achieved and
E4: enhances the tasks quality and value. (Easingwood, 2001, p.46)
Teacher educators has to be knowledgeable about perception of students regarding learning achievements and impact on learning( Cicciarelli, 2009)
Information and communication technologies provide supportive environment for teaching and learning. Yadav (2006) suggest that it necessary to understand applications of ICT which are major sources of learning achievements. It is big challenge for teacher educators because "educators must travel through a number of stages (entry, adoption, adaptation, appropriation, invention or innovation) to intense technology successfully into their classrooms and their teaching programs to change the learning environment." (Trinidad, 2003, p.100).
ICT-supported teachining startegies provide new experience, help to undestand different concepts, provide teacher educator oportunity to evaluate and stregthen professional skill in accordance with requirement of students. (Baron, & Harrari, 2005). A big challenge is to understand that "the worldviews, beliefs, and prior conceptions of students cannot be ignored but must be addressed explicitly and openly." (Smith, 2010, p.561). Discussing possibilities and challenges, Livingston, & Condie (2006) stated:
However, teachers need to recognize that e-learning is different from traditional practice, acknowledge the student's ability to manage her or his own learning, and provide a foundation in terms of skills and attitudes for future learning beyond school. A new level of training and ongoing support is needed for teachers to achieve this. Training programs must look beyond providing teachers with the technical skills required to use ICT and focus on helping them to explore how technology can transform the teaching and learning process and radically change the roles of teachers and students in the classroom.(p.157)
Integration of ICT in education and policies in Pakistan
New initiatives and commitment by government is very important to develop policy guidelines for integration ICT-enriched initiatives to achieve education objectives
(Cox, & Marshal, 2007). Teacher education in Pakistan has been neglected and there is need to launch new programs for the improvement of teacher to modernize teaching methodoloies in teacher training institutions. Institutional reforms are reuired to evaluate the existing ICT- supported policies for the betterment of educationa achivements (Pelgrum, 2001).
Study conducted by Looi, & David Hung (2004) argued that "from the various ICT efforts in the Asian context, we have observed the phenomena of diminishing traditional divides such as the digital divide due to ICT developments" (p.38) and in the same study he proposed that "a comprehensive policy for ICT in education needs to consider several key success factors: infrastructure, content and learning resources, teacher training, curriculum, and assessment and evaluation"(p.38) . Policy level descions have been taken by Government of Pakistan. Keepining in view significance and improtnace of ICT in teacher education, policy document stated;
Use ICT to show teachers ways to move away from the whole-class lecture mode towards more active, student-centered methods of learning. Teachers can utilize ICT tools in making learning an engaging, motivating experience for students. An ICT-rich environment can provide more independent and collaborative, team-based learning in which students assume greater initiative and responsibility (Ministry of Education, 2006, p.14)
UNESCO in the Education System in Pakistan:Assessment of the National Education Census survyed and highlighting facts mentioned that " vacant teaching posts and untrained teachers both affect the quality of education provided to Pakistan's youth"( Lynd ,2007, p.8).
ICTs based teaching Models
Development of ICT- supported models provide direction and enhance professional development (Gilbert, 2001). Teaching models provide academic support to teacher education because " much of the teachers' time is used in bureaucratic and managerial tasks" (Stephen, 2006, p.177)
Richards (2005) investigated importance and significance of ICT-supported teaching models for improvement of learning, learning, impacts and outcome while using ICTs in teacher education. He stated:
To more effectively harness the exciting education implication and learner-centered possibilities of ICTs, teachers need (a) new design strategies for teaching and learning which promote the applied integration of ICTs, and (b) to avoid the kind of add-on tendencies associated with still dominant assumptions about formal lesson planning and syllabus design on one hand, and are often in advertent in the use of top-down models such as instructional design and social constructivism theoryâ€¦use of practical design models (a) provide a useful focus in teacher education for encouraging teachers to become more active and innovative" designers" of ICT-supported learning the digital age, and (b) indicate the generic structure or anatomy of an effective ICT-supported learning activity. Practical activity -based learning with ICTs that provides pretexts for more effective curriculum learning and reflective practice exemplify a diagonal approach to educational design...The dialogical stage of native, critical, and applied learning represent a framework for not only linking educational content and process and also learner thinking and doing, but very transformations which exemplify and ICT literacy transition from mere competency to applied understanding, knowledge and innovation.(p.75)