Abay Myrzakhmetov Kokshetau University

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Pioneers without a tie. Where do teachers in digital technologies aim to go?


Not all countries have the concept of developing digital skills in society. The European Commission went even further and developed a whole framework for digital skills separately for teachers. This document highlights various criteria for technology proficiency for teaching and learning, which can be used to assess where the teacher is on the digital skills development scale and what to strive for:

Beginners are aware of the potential of digital technologies for improving teaching and professional practice. However, they have very little contact with digital technologies and use them mainly for lesson preparation, administration, or organizational communication. Beginners need guidance and encouragement to expand their Arsenal of digital tools.

Researchers are aware of the potential of digital technologies and are interested in studying them to improve teaching and professional practice. They use digital technologies, but do not follow a comprehensive and consistent approach. Researchers also need to be encouraged, understood, and inspired by the example of colleagues as part of a joint exchange of practical experience.

Integrators experiment with digital technologies in different contexts and for different purposes, applying them in their teaching practice. They use them creatively to expand various aspects of their professional activities. Integrators are looking to expand their digital Arsenal. They just need more time to experiment and reflect, as well as share knowledge with colleagues.

Experts confidently, creatively and critically use a number of digital technologies to increase their professional activity. They purposefully select digital technologies for specific situations and try to understand the advantages and disadvantages of various digital strategies. Experts are curious and open to new ideas that they haven't tried out yet. They use experiments as a means of expanding, structuring, and consolidating their Arsenal of strategies. Experts are the backbone of any educational organization when it comes to innovative practices.

Leaders take a consistent and integrated approach to using digital technologies to improve teaching and professional practices. Their Arsenal includes a wide range of digital strategies, from which they use the appropriate one for a specific situation. They continuously improve their own skills. By exchanging opinions with colleagues, leaders are constantly up to date with new developments and ideas. They themselves are a source of inspiration for other people, to whom they pass on their own experience.

The pioneers question the adequacy of modern digital and pedagogical practices, of which they themselves are leaders. They are well aware of the limitations or disadvantages of a particular technology and promote further innovation in education. Pioneers are pioneers and constantly experiment with highly innovative and complex digital technologies, and perhaps even develop new pedagogical approaches themselves. These are unique and rare people. They lead innovation and are role models for young teachers.

Which of the six categories do you belong to and where do you want to go?