EU projects iTILT and SMARTVET proposed joint presentation at Educa Berlin
Being involved in four EU projects dealing with interactive classroom technologies in various capacities (full, subcontracted and dissemination partner) TELLConsult took the iniitiative to try and join forces to contribute collectively to the Educa Online 2012 conference.
Despite time constraints the iTILT and SMARTVET projects managed to co-author and submit a workshop proposal on the deadline, June 1. Find the abstract below.
Abstract pre-conference workshop
Although the use of interactive whiteboards (IWB) is becoming increasingly commonplace in mainstream education in many of the more affluent parts of the world, relevant research literature overviews (Kennewell, 2006; Higgins et al., 2007; Koenraad, 2008) ) point to limitations in the uptake of this classroom technology in specific disciplines and educational sectors and the realisation of added educational value in general.
The fact that these studies identified teacher training (approach, contents and modes of delivery) as an important factor related to these issues also motivated a number of European project initiatives. In this seminar, two of these European initiatives (iTILT and SMARTVET), will shed their light on different training approaches that all strive to make training relevant for teachers from different educational sectors.
The training practices discussed include a) online training (through more than 140 IWB practice reports from six European countries, some 30 instructional clips and the provision of additional resources), b) paper-based training in the form of handbooks with realistic examples and c) a blended learning component.
In order to guarantee relevant results, both projects have based the designs of these training models on a needs analysis, using partly identical research instruments including respondents-generated input, and on up-to-date findings from IWB specific and general professional development research.
Flexibility realised by the modular and blended learning design and the focus on competency development necessary for exploiting the IWB in ways consistent with current pedagogies for specific subject teaching in specific contexts rather than a technological perspective all contribute to the innovative character of the approach.
The two European projects, funded within the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, are:
a) iTILT - ‘Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching’ (2011-2013).
iTILT focuses on foreign language teachers from primary school to higher education. The website www.itilt.eu will provide them with over 140 multimedia IWB practice reports, containing examples of IWB-activities from foreign language classrooms from six European countries. These examples also include relevant feedback from teachers and learners and related teaching materials. The aim of the IWB practice reports is to support teachers in developing the necessary competencies for exploiting the IWB in ways consistent with current theories of language teaching pedagogy.
b) SMARTVET - ‘Supporting Continuous Professional Development of VET teachers in the use of Interactive Whiteboards’ (2011-2013).
SMARTVET addresses issues related to the IWB competence levels of (Irish) teachers in the vocational education and training (VET) sector. The project is developing materials to support a train-the-trainers approach based on the results of local needs analysis research and good practice as identified in international IWB training contexts and initiatives.
Higgins, S, Beauchamp, G and Miller, D (2007). Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Learning, Media and Technology, Vol 32 No 3 pp 213-35.
Kennewell, S. (2006). Reflections on the interactive whiteboard phenomenon: a synthesis of research from the UK. http://www.aare.edu.au/06pap/ken06138.pdf
Koenraad, A.L.M. (2008). Interactive Whiteboards in educational practice: the research literature reviewed. http://www.koenraad.info/sites/koenraad.drupalgardens.com/files/LitReviewstudyIWB_Koenraad2008_final_tellc_0.pdf