Mrs Gurinder Kaur is Lecturer in Education, SMDRSD College of Education Pathankot, Gurdaspur
Dr Gursharan Singh Kainth is Director GAD Institute of Development Studies, 14-Preet Avenue, Majitha Road, PO Naushera, Amritsar-143008
Teaching is becoming one of the most challenging professions in our society where knowledge is expanding rapidly and much of it is available to students as well as teachers at the same time (Perraton, Robinson and Creed, 2001). As new concepts of learning have evolved, teachers are expected to facilitate learning and make it meaningful to individual learners rather than just to provide knowledge and skills. Recent developments of innovative technologies have provided new possibilities to teaching profession but at the same time have placed more demands on teachers to learn how to use these technologies in their teaching. (Robinson and Latchem, 2003). Globally, educational systems are under great pressure to adopt innovative methodologies and to integrate new Information and Communication Technologies (NICTs) in the teaching and learning process, to prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century. Apparently, teaching profession is evolving from an emphasis on teacher-centered, lecture- based instructions to student-centered interactive learning environments. NICTs integration is understood as the usage of technology seamlessly for educational processes like transacting curricular content, students working on technology to do authentic tasks and developing technology supported products, providing authentic assessments and institutional development. Today a verity of NICTs can facilitate not only delivery of instruction but also learning process itself. Moreover, NICTs can promote international collaboration and networking in education and professional development. There is a range of NICTs options- from Videoconferencing through multimedia delivery to websites which can be used to meet the challenges teachers face today. In fact, there has been increasing evidence that NICTs may be able to provide more flexible and effective ways for lifelong professional development of teachers. Undoubtedly NICTs has brought about many challenges and opportunities for education. The educational system needs to come to terms with these new challenges and take full advantage of the opportunities. If educational institutions have to ensure that their students leave the institutions as confident individuals capable of using new technology creatively and productively then their teachers should have the competence to integrate the emerging technologies and the digital content with all their operations. Therefore, the challenge for higher education institutions, particularly teacher education, has been to create a new generation of teachers capable of employing a variety of technology tools into all phases of academic, administrative, research, and extension functions. A teacher being a pivot in the process of teaching learning, knowledge of ICT and skills to use ICT in teaching learning has gained immense importance for today’s teacher. A teacher is expected to know successful integration of ICT into his/her subject area to make learning meaningful. This knowledge development during pre-service training has gained much importance with the notion that exposure to ICT during this time is helpful in increasing student teachers’ willingness to integrate technology for classroom teaching. ICT integration in institutions is being perceived as a necessity and is growing exponentially. The pervasive use of technology in all spheres of life, the knowledge economy and the paradigm shift together, generate demands on the institutions to adopt ways that help inculcate 21st century skills amongst students.
APPROACHES TO ICT INTEGRATION IN TEACHER EDUCATION
Use of ICT within teacher-training programs around the...