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Developing an effective digital learning culture

The National Framework for Digital Literacies in ITE aims to develop the digital skills, behaviours and dispositions of our student teachers and central to the success of this is the learning culture within which the student experience is situated.  The student experience across all ITE programmes is one that will see the development of digital literacies explored within an open culture that is committed to ongoing teacher improvement (Vanatta and Fordham, 2004). This open culture of exploration, discussion and sharing is one that will also allow students and staff to gain hands on experience with a range of digital tools and spaces so that they can personally experience digital technology’s power as a learning tool (Guskey, 1986).  

It is also important that ITE providers give consideration to the learning culture they establish across their programmes in order to create conditions in which both students and staff can collaborate and critically reflect on their use of a range of tools and spaces and discuss appropriate pedagogical, instructional and research based practices (Burns 2002; Cobb, Wood & Yackel, 1990; Johnson & Owen, 1986). In particular, teacher educators should be viewed as crucial role models for the development of pre-service teachers’ digital literacies’ competencies (Ping, Schellings & Beijarrd, 2018; Tondeur, et al., 2019). Aiming to provide authentic experiences that develop knowledge and skills in various aspects of digital literacies (Adnan & Tondeur, 2018; Tezci, 2011) and modelling effective practice in integrating content, pedagogical and technological knowledge to enhance learning (Becuwe, et al.,2017; Koehler & Mishra, 2009).  

Teacher educators can be supported in the development of their own practice through a focus on the development of cooperative learning communities, encouragement to reflect on their own activities and time and support to experiment with innovations in curriculum design (Rienties, et al., 2013; Uerz, et al., 2018). Professional learning situated in their daily practices such as teacher educator design teams (Tondeur, et al., 2019) could provide the focus needed to further enhance their skills and are likely to be more effective than focusing on the development of specific ICT skills in isolation (Wentworth, Graham & Monroe, 2009). 

ITE providers can support an effective culture by articulating a clear vision for digital literacies development, improving cooperation amongst staff and across other institutions, providing appropriate training and making sure that teacher educators have access to appropriate resources. In order to support the aspiration for cross ITE cooperation a shared bank of resources and materials to support ITE programmes in Scotland will be established. Efforts to create an online community where ITE staff and pre-service students can share, learn from and connect with each other will be facilitated via the use of a shared #scotITEdigi hashtag. 

Adnan, M., Tondeur, J. (2018). Preparing the next generation for effective technology integration in education: Teacher educators’ perspectives. Presented at the EdMedia + Innovate Learning Conference. 

Becuwe, H., Pareja Roblin, N., Tondeur, J., Thys, J., Castelein, E., Voogt, J. (2017). Conditions for the successful implementation of teacher educator design teams for ICT integration: A Delphi study. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. 

Burns, R. (2002). Models of Knowing, Learning, Delivering: An initiative using the application of Problem Based Learning for Staff Development to support the move to online learning in two contrasting departments in HE in Ireland. In Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association. 

Cobb, P., Wood, T. and Yackel, E. (1990). Chapter 9: Classrooms as learning environments for teachers and researchers. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Monograph, 4, pp.125-210. 

Guskey, T.R. (1986). Staff Development and the Process of Teacher Change. Educational Researcher, 8. 

Johnson, N., & Owen, J. (1986). The two cultures revisited: Interpreting messages from models of teaching and clinical supervision to encourage improvement in teaching. Paper presented at the Australian Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Melbourne. 

Koehler, M. and Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)?. Contemporary issues in technology and teacher education, 9(1), pp.60-70. 

Ping, C., Schellings, G., Beijaard, D. (2018). Teacher educators’ professional learning: A literature review. Teaching and Teacher Education, 75, pp. 93–104. 

Rienties, B., Brouwer, N., Bohle Carbonell, K., Townsend, D., Rozendal, A.-P., van der Loo, J., Dekker, P., Lygo-Baker, S. (2013). Online training of TPACK skills of higher education scholars: a cross-institutional impact study. European Journal of Teacher Education, 36, pp. 480–495. 

Tezci, E. (2011). Factors that influence pre-service teachers’ ICT usage in education. European Journal of Teacher Education, 34, pp. 483–499. 

Tondeur, J., Scherer, R., Baran, E., Siddiq, F., Valtonen, T., Sointu, E. (2019). Teacher educators as gatekeepers: Preparing the next generation of teachers for technology integration in education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50, pp. 1189–1209. 

Uerz, D., Volman, M., Kral, M. (2018). Teacher educators’ competences in fostering student teachers’ proficiency in teaching and learning with technology: An overview of relevant research literature. Teaching and Teacher Education, 70, pp. 12–23. 

Vanatta, R. A., & Nancy, F. (2004). Teacher dispositions as predictors of classroom technology use. Journal of Research on Technology in Education36(3), pp. 253-271. 

Wentworth, N., Graham, C. R., & Monroe, E. E. (2009). TPACK development in a teacher education program. In Handbook of research on new media literacy at the K-12 level: Issues and challenges (pp. 823-838). IGI Global.