ICT Supported Teacher Training in Ireland: the SPÉIS project


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Paper presented at the ICT for Language Learning Conference, Florence, Italy on 14 November 2012

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ICT Supported Teacher Training in Ireland: the SPÉIS project

  1. 1. ICT SUPPORTED TEACHER TRAINING IN IRELAND: THE SPÉIS PROJECT Dr. Alan Bruce Universal Learning Systems, Dublin ICT for Language Learning: International Conference Florence, Italy 14-15 November 2013
  2. 2. Ireland: education and identity • • • • • • • Learning and Gaelic society The impact of colonialism Ascendancy and hedge schools Elitism, privilege and the assault on Gaelic The impact of religion Experiment and challenge: Maria Edgeworth Bardic lore to exile: maintaining the flame of culture
  3. 3. Policy in crisis: the 19th Century National School system (1831) Resistance and segregation Identity and revolution The tidal wave of emigration Partition and religion
  4. 4. The New State • Department of Education (1924) • The national curriculum • The Irish language • Subservience to the Church • Separate systems: embedding elitism • Vocational Education Act (1943) • Declining demographics
  5. 5. Irish language profile
  6. 6. Irish and teaching • • • • • • • • • Two official languages Official Languages Act (2003) Irish in a multiethnic society Discontinuity between primary and post-primary Language teaching deficits –English as lingua franca No CLIL examples Deficits in English language teaching Overwhelming impact of curriculum based assessment Teacher training systems
  7. 7. Teacher training • Denominational basis • Secondary: degree plus Higher Diploma in Education • Primary: Teacher Training Colleges – – – – Mary Immaculate, Limerick St Patrick’s, Dublin Colaiste Mhuire, Marino Church of Ireland College of Education, Dublin
  8. 8. Primary Curriculum • Education for a Changing World (1992) • Primary School Curriculum (1999) • National Council on Curriculum and Assessment www.ncca.ie • Scoilnet portal www.scoilnet.ie
  9. 9. CICE
  10. 10. CICE Background • Established 1811 • Extensive library • Effects of partition 1922 • Linkage to Trinity College Dublin • Evolving future – DCU • Poor ICT infrastructure • Small numbers (150)
  11. 11. Active teaching methodologies
  12. 12. General focus Teacher Education comprised of developing knowledge but also developing skills and attitudes Focus on skills such as: 1. Expressing and justifying opinions 2. Analysing information-facts/stories given 3. Opportunities to empathise with other people’s experiences 4. Resolving differences 5. Participating/co-operating 6. Ability to work co-operatively with others 7. Ability to see and appreciate different perspectives 8. Ability to tolerate another point of view 9. Ability to use and engage in a problem solving approach Values: • Openness to others • Respect for the law • Concern for human rights
  13. 13. Challenges in teaching formation • Scattered and remote location of many Protestant schools • Changes in degree structure and provision in B.Ed. program • Minority ethos and status • Inadequate ICT and resources • Impact of financial crisis in 2008
  14. 14. The need for Innovation • Supervising placement • Costs, travel and remoteness • Recording and uploading information • Writing, monitoring and examining • Supervision and quality • Communications
  15. 15. Developing e-Support 1. Method of supervision and contact for trainee teachers and supervisory tutors in CICE. 2. A means for on-line engagement with trainee teachers. 3. An e-forum and seminar framework for group learning and exchange. 4. A method to manage classroom practice and learning. 5. A means for trainee teachers to upload assignments, materials, essays and journals of reflective practice. 6. Integration of pedagogical processes and technology solutions to meet CICE requirements 7. A creative and dynamic mechanism to supervise and support the placement process over 10 weeks in various and remote locations.
  16. 16. Spéis: School Placement e-Integrated Scaffolding • Aim of Spéis: to provide the first teacher placement e-support and portfolio system in Ireland • Deployed advanced technologies to enable creation of a platform where academic staff in the College, student teachers and administrative personnel could plan, design, implement and review an ICT supported learning architecture
  17. 17. CLE: Context Learning Environment • Developed for efficient and smooth digitalization of learning processes and learner administration • Learner-orientated approach to ICT systems, tools and processes implementation by mapping the current state of the learning organization • Identifies potential areas where ICT tools can improve learning and establishes a clear roadmap and milestones for e-learning implementation • Implementation of e-learning technology solutions that enable a smooth transition towards digital learning
  18. 18. Process: Stage 1 1. Detailed identification of needs (1 workshop) • Review of existing resources, plans/documentation and source material • Learning process mapping: with main focus on placement periods • Identifying areas in which technology can be applied to foster learning and improve effectiveness of learner management and follow-up 2. Development and implementation plan (Context and ULS prepared based on workshop results) • Defining learner and teacher/mentor processes and tools • Integration of pedagogical processes and technology solutions to meet CICE requirements • Implementation plan
  19. 19. Process: Stage 2 3. Technical implementation Tailoring and configuration of CLE solutions for CICE's ICT environment Integration of communication, management/administration and evaluation tools into CLE 4. Piloting User training/induction Testing CLE solutions and tools with a pilot group Pilot follow-up, collecting feedback, evaluating the process Identifying critical development needs Making necessary improvements in CLE solutions and tools Quality management (ULS) 5. Launching the full B.Ed. on-line program
  20. 20. Format and deliverables • Learner (user) data management • Management of learning activities (on-line, classroom) and remote supervision • Management of assignments, essays, learning materials, journals of reflective practice, etc. • Synchronous communication and group collaboration tools • e-forum for sharing ideas and building knowledge • e-portfolio (for students to maintain course-specific portfolios and develop a personal student portfolio)
  21. 21. Supporting Irish • Integration of the Irish language and language teacher training supports. • The deployment of advanced ICT supports in the digital portfolio construction has enabled Irish to be fully integrated as a means of communication and engagement. • The history of language learning in Ireland has not been a happy one. Decades of compulsion and mandatory rote learning produced catastrophic results for the language as a positively perceived medium of education, enjoyment and expression in its own right. • Use of digital portfolios is designed to reinforce and complement language instruction approaches that are proactive and learner centered.
  22. 22. Developing linkage • Uses ULS expertise and networks to link to analogous EU projects • Link to Foras na Gaelige • Specific linkage to LANGO project
  23. 23. Specific linkage: LANGO LANGO aims to reduce language communication barriers through specific use of new smart phone technologies. The project has developed a language-learning tool which requires a little effort on the part of learners. LANGO users will be able to learn language - literally on the go, at any time and any place on flexible web-based and mobile learning platforms.
  24. 24. Specific linkage: NELLIP NELLIP carries out the following main activities: 1.Identification and description of examples of best practice in planning and implementing language learning initiatives that have received the European Language Label. 2. Development of guidelines on how to plan, implement, manage, exploit and create network between language learning quality initiatives based on maximizing best practice developed within the framework of European language labeled projects and initiatives. 3. Organization of workshops to test and exploit project results and European language labelled initiatives and projects.
  25. 25. Summary • Spéis project: in context of the changing and evolving context of teacher training provision in Ireland with specific reference to the central role of the Irish language and its promotion. • Teachers need to gather and demonstrate evidence of their growth and achievement over time. Developing a professional portfolio at undergraduate level is the first step in this process. • It enables student teachers to begin the process of reflection necessary for them to develop as reflective practitioners. • Spéis is an innovative e-supported portfolio, unique in Ireland. E-learning best practice and its adoption in Irish schools using this project and other allied initiatives is designed to promote digital access and excellence.
  26. 26. Next steps • Digital Schools of Distinction www.digitalschools.ie • Open Discovery Space www.opendiscoveryspace.eu • TRANSit www.transit-project.eu
  27. 27. Thank you Dr. Alan Bruce ULS Dublin abruce@ulsystems.com