What ICT skills should teachers have?

Technology has invaded almost every space in our society. Education is not exempt from this invasion. Technology is an enabler, an enhancer, a platform to do far more than what was possible even twenty years ago. As teachers, it is our responsibility to weave technological knowledge and skills into our teaching and also our own professional development. To do this successfully, teachers require a certain level of ability in various technological areas. These skills are hardware and software-based.

The acquisition of these abilities affects how teachers manage their classes, how they develop themselves, their subject and, ultimately, their students. Every teacher requires a certain level of ICT skills in various areas. I have created a document to help schools establish a “baseline” to gauge where teacher abilities and skills could be aligned for maximum educational technological proficiency.

These are the selected areas for teachers to demonstrate technological proficiency in:

» Email

»  Cloud Storage

»  Understanding Microsoft 365

»  Microsoft Word

»  Microsoft Excel

»  Microsoft PowerPoint

»  Integration of Applications

»  Windows 10

»  Cloud Computing

»  Forms (Microsoft and/or Google)

»  Microsoft Teams and/or Google Classroom

»  Integration of Technology in Teaching

»  Online/Offline Educational Applications

»  Content Curation and Sharing

»  OneNote

»  OneNote Class Notebook

»  Finding, Saving and Sharing Information

»  Other ICT skills

»  PLNs and PLCs

Three Skill Levels

For each category defined, there are three levels:
Level 1: Basic; Level 2: Intermediate; Level 3: Proficient.

Level 1 represents the most basic level with limited abilities and skills – the bare minimum needed to function. At this level, a teacher can only perform the minimum functions required to be able to utilize the hardware/software.
Level 2 represents an ‘average-to-competent’ level where teachers are able to do the basics and a little bit more. It is recommended that most of your teaching staff be on this level. At this level, the teacher can do the basics with ease, including demonstrating further skills which are ideally preferred by a school, enhancing their effectiveness and productivity.
Level 3 is the ideal level for a professional, technologically-proficient teacher with the preferred ICT skills, demonstrating efficient adaptability across all essential areas. Teachers between Level 2 and Level 3 is what schools should be aiming at in the professional ICT development of their staff.

The various areas illustrate what ICT skills and abilities teachers should ideally have, in order to function professionally with technology in their school environment. These are by no means prescriptive but, rather, suggested guidelines. Every school is different and will have different requirements of their teachers. ICT levels and proficiencies may vary within the levels. This guide was created more with Senior Phase and FET Phase teachers in mind. However, it can be adapted to be relevant for Junior Phase teachers. It favours Microsoft Applications due to their predominance in the workplace. These can be adapted to other learning platforms and office suites such as Google Suite etc. The skills are not based solely on the features of the software, but rather what a teacher should be able to do with the software for their job, i.e., expecting a teacher to be able to use every advanced feature of a specific piece of software is irrelevant, as it may not pertain to their job.

Please bear in mind that the context of this document is based on teachers and schools in South Africa and does not consider lack of infrastructure, equipment or available resources.

It is perhaps idealistic in nature, but practical in application. May it guide and inspire!

>> Access the document here <<

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