Modelling ICT integration in teacher education courses using distributed cognition as a framework
AbstractTeacher education students have a significant role to play in the sustained application of ICT in schools. It is imperative therefore, that they are exposed to effective use of ICT in their training. However, 'effective use' is subjective and existing characterisations of this construct appear to drive different ICT implementation plans adopted by teacher education institutions (Steketee, 2005). While most of these plans have achieved varying degrees of success, the 'integration approach', has been the most promising. By integrating ICT as a learning resource during regular classes, lecturers are exposing students to innovative ways of learning. This exposure, however, must be supported by a relevant implementation framework if the potential of ICT is to be realised. The distributed learning environment framework (DLE) provides this support as it gives lecturers insight into what their classroom context should look and feel like if they are to encourage students to access technology as powerful learning tools. The principles underlying the DLE are explored in this paper. The learning outcomes to emerge from its introduction of an electronic concept-mapping tool into a teacher-education program are also discussed. These outcomes suggest that the DLE is a valuable catalyst for the successful application of ICT in teacher training, and subsequently in schools.
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