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The Promise of Teacher Professional Development

Neil Butcher

The World Bank Group and the African Development Bank, with the support of the African Union are producing a new report on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to change fundamental business models in key sectors for Africa, with one of the specific focus areas being education.

In the final phase of this aspect of our research, we have commissioned a series of essays on Teacher Professional Development, with an emphasis on the contextualization and implementation of a teacher competency framework for ICT in education.

Researchers and practitioners working in the area of educational technology have established that successful implementation of educational technology to a large extent depends on teachers’ ability to integrate the technologies effectively into their teaching, and facilitate learner use of these technologies. The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers makes it clear that all teacher preparation should focus broadly on preparing teachers to use technology and to understand how best technology can support student learning, as these have become integral skills for teachers. To this end, internationally and regionally within Africa, there are several initiatives on teacher development for ICT integration aimed at supporting roll out of technology infrastructure in education.

We have several exciting and thought-provoking essays lined up in this theme. Tune in on Friday for the first posting from Tracy Immel from Microsoft, who makes a compelling case for focusing on competency frameworks in teacher professional development.

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