Literacy, 21st century skills, ICT and a common pedagogical framework – these four seem to be flavors of the month in many schools. What is not evident, however, is how schools blend all of these disparate strategies together into one framework. Too often, the professional development (PD) delivered for each of these strategies is delivered separately, in a piecemeal approach, and in ways that can contradict each other. e 21st century skill set as defined in 21CLD Learning Activity Rubrics (2014), written by the ITL Research Group and funded by Microsoft philanthropic organisation Partners in Learning Network. Their six 21st century skills are:
• Knowledge Construction
• Real-World Problem Solving and Innovation
• The Use of ICT for Learning
• Skilled Communication.
THE WAY FORWARD
The Institute of Excellence in Learning and Teaching proposes a 4 level plan to ensure smooth integration of ICT across the school in all disciplines.
The basic level involves conducting a school needs analysis before coming up with a school-specific plan. The needs analysis involves;
• Infrastructural analysis through observations
• Teacher skill analysis through observations, tests and interviews
• Curriculum analysis
• Student skill analysis through observation, tests and interviews
Phase I: Infrastructural Development
A clear pathway will be plotted out as to what infrastructural changes need to be implemented, these changes include
• Development of ICT Labs
• Smart Classrooms
• Tech Studios
Phase II: Curriculum Development and Teacher Skill Development
Level 2, Phase II is designed such that the curriculum development and teacher skill development process will take place simultaneously. The evaluations from level 1 will be taken into consideration, a discussion with the management and recommendations from the concerned stakeholders will be applied while designing the curriculum. The curriculum will be designed keeping mind the National Curriculum of Pakistan and International Common Core Standards. Whereas teacher skill development training will comprise of the following
• Vision of 21st-century education – school vision
• The 21st century educational needs
• Integrated teaching and learning
• Digital literacy and citizenship
• Introducing interdisciplinary teaching and learning
• Affective Education – The need of the 21st Century learner
o Social-Emotional Needs
o Inclusion in the school
o Ensuring the safety of all learners
• Social Entrepreneurship
• Life Skills Based Education
In this level, the teachers alongside the IELT team will work on the pilot project of curriculum implementation whereas simultaneously, a group of teachers will be involved in developing resources with the IELT team.
The school will be able to independently integrate ICT into the learning environment. However, the IELT team will be involved in observations and through those observations will suggest improvement plans.