Strategies to implement innovative ICT based approaches to teach Sciences at Secondary school level.The guidelines aim at providing science secondary school teachers with the competences to make an effective use of ICT based science teaching learning objects.
School Directors’ and Policy Makers’ Guidelines
3.1 Priority Areas: Policy Makers and School Directors role in CPD in ICT for Teachers
Highly digitally equipped and connected schools have (among other features) a high provision of digital equipment (laptops, computers, cameras, whiteboards) per number of students and a high broadband speed. The share of highly digitally equipped and connected schools in Ireland at ISCED level 1 (the only level measured) is slightly lower compared to the European average. Only 33% of schools at ISCED level 1 are highly digitally equipped.
Recommendation: Policy makers need to find ways to increase the resources available to all schools.
ISCED level 1 schools were reported regarding school policy and support. Schools with a strong policy, strong support have (among other features) existing school strategies in place to use digital technologies in teaching and learning and strongly promote teachers’ professional development. Strong policy, strong support: Lower share in Ireland at ISCED level 1 compared to the European average – only 7% of responses indicated strong policy and support. Weak policy, weak support: Lower share in Ireland at ISCED level 1 compared to the European average.
Recommendation: Guide school managers to develop policies and support systems to enable greater confidence.
Digital competence is defined according to the DigComp framework, as detailed previously. There was higher confidence of teachers in Ireland at ISCED level 1 in all digital competence areas compared to the European average.
Recommendation: This and the previous policy and support responses suggest that much of the competences are self-taught or through voluntary CPD. Perhaps encouragement of peer mentoring or more posts of responsibility for ICT competences could be a way forward.
Types of ICT related professional development courses undertaken by teachers in the years 2017-18 have been surveyed in three pillars as in Sweden. Lower share in Ireland at ISCED level 1 compared to the European average – except in courses on the pedagogical use of ICT in teaching and learning.
Recommendation: Increase equipment specific training – which may be linked to investing in more equipment for schools. Increase subject-specific training on learning applications.