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UN agency publishes new guidelines for using ICT to advance learning

UN agency publishes new guidelines for using ICT to advance learning

Realizing that it takes more than just having a computer in the classroom to enable teachers to pass on the skills students need to do well in today’s world, the United Nations has developed new guidelines to help instructors better use information and communication technology (ICT) in education.

The new guidelines – ICT Competency Standards for Teachers – was developed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in cooperation with technology giants Cisco, Intel and Microsoft, as well as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said the guidelines – which will be presented to education ministers from more than 100 countries at the Moving Young Minds Conference in London next week – provide a tool that will help policymakers and teacher-training developers plan their use of ICT.

“These standards consist of modules that will help trainers prioritize their needs and design training curricula adapted to specific requirements and resources, reflecting UNESCO’s conviction that countries must occupy the driver’s seat of educational planning,” he stated.

The agency noted that the standards go beyond just addressing ICT skills, and takes into account the specific needs of teachers, curriculum and school organization. They should “contribute to the education of a better-informed citizenry able to advance economic and social development.”