1. WWW in teacher education:
Partner 2 has looked into the possibilities of the WWW
in teacher education, and an increasing number of web sites are being created
by the institute and individuals within it. These sites include new
pages for the college (units, departments, services), for staff and
students, and courses (developed by staff and/or students). Web sites
have also been created by both staff and students intended as important
resources for schools across the country, e.g. a web site with on-line
educational games, suggestions for their use, and with links to other related
sites. In addition, web sites have been created for research purposes
to gather data. In order to increase user-friendliness, the re-design
of the college library home page, was partly based on the results of a
survey that focused on the service offered by the library, and distance
students' knowledge in the field of information search. The above
web sites, as well as other Icelandic materials in the following areas,
are of value far beyond the college but need translations for partners
and wider audience within and beyond the European community. However,
the capability of Partner 2 to share knowledge and materials is heavily
dependent on human and monetary resources, and therefore, unfortunately,
only a limited amount of materials can be translated in relation to this
2. Data collection as a basis
for educational policy:
To support the national policy on IT in education and
cultural life (published in 1996) a small group of staff members at KHI
was appointed and authorised to write a policy for IT in teacher education.
The writing was partly based on the results of extensive interviews
with all the teachers of the college on their experiences, expectations,
and plans concerning the utilisation of information and communication technologies.
For the same purpose, leading persons of every unit within the institution
(such as the library, resource centre, teaching centre, in-service department,
and computer services) were requested to write reports on information and
communication technologies concerning their units. Collecting data
on the incoming students' knowledge, experience and skills in ICT is also
considered very important. Therefore, a new questionnaire was designed
to be given to all students in the beginning of the school year in 1997.
To enable comparison, the deisgn of the questionnaire was mostly based
on an earlier survey given to all pre-service students in the spring
1995. The data collected and analysed are basis for new or supporting
operations or support to existing operations in staff development, design
of new courses or adaptation of older courses, and administrative decisions
about the electronic working environment of staff and students within the
college. The translation of the results and preparations for publishing
in print and on the web are taking place. A special result of the
policy is increased use of IT in a variety of courses and a reinstalled,
mandatory course for all B.Ed. students on the use of IT in education.
Another result is a special request made by the in-service department to
all leaders of summer courses to integrate IT to some extent in their courses.
3. Staff Development:
A variety of staff development initiatives have taken
place for increasing teacher educators' knowledge and skills in using
ICT for teaching, research, and general communication. Many short courses
and workshops (e.g. on creating web pages) have been organised by the college
lecturer on IT in co-operation with the college resource centre.
Counselling has followed such initiatives and sometimes discussion on the
staff postlist. Several members of the staff have participated (as
students or teachers) in ODL courses offered by foreign universities
or in co-operation of the nordic countries. Special focus has been
on ODL skills for the teacher educators as a large proportion of them are
actively engaged in the distance education program at the college.
They plan, develop and/or improve materials and try out different teaching
methods. Several seminars on ODL for staff and students have been
given by the active participants of APPLAUD, other staff, and foreign visitors.
To strenghten their knowledge and skills an increasing number of the staff
members is active in lecturing or running courses on the use of ICT in
education for individual schools or in school districts, for groups of
parents, organisations, or in other universities in Iceland or abroad.
Finally, an increasing number of staff members and departments within the
college are participating in and/or proposing projects involving European
co-operation related to the use of ICT in education.
4. Distance education program:
An Internet-based distance education program (B.Ed) was
established at the college in 1992 for teachers teaching grades 1-10.
The program has served students located across Iceland, as well as
Icelandic students living in several other European countries. During
the APPLAUD project, both the technological and human infrastructure supporting
the program has been strengthened. One staff member at the college
has extensively studied the experience of the first cohort going through
the program. His results give important information on the
methods used in the program and how they can be improved. Due to
the positive experience of using the Internet-based methods and to the
policy (described above) the Internet-based methods have also been adopted
by and earlier distance education program (a one-year teaching license
program for teachers at the upper secondary level). Positive media coverage
of the B.Ed. distance education program at the college, with interviews
of students describing their experience, has fostered recognition of the
qualification that the students acquire that go through the program.
5. ODL influencing courses
at all levels:
As from this year, the new policy at KHI requires students
to complete an equivalent of 3 credits in relation to IT in education,
partly within existing courses and partly in specially designed courses
focusing on the use of ICT. Examples of the ways ICT is integrated
in the coursework include the following:
||Exploring a variety of on-line interaction and types
of discussions for deeper understanding tried out in a math.ed. course
with the participating students located within the college, in practicing
schools, or at home. Analysis of the discussion is used in the course.
||Trying out new ways in art education within the distance
education program which then has helped to open up new ways in the traditional
||Creating a course for children (ages 10-13)
integrating IT in a subject which is run by the preservicestudents under
the guidance of their professor to particularly open up possibilities of
linking theory and practice closely together.
||Exploring a number of ways in using ICT in language teaching.
Several courses within in-service education are now integrating
ICT or even run as ODL courses in addition to courses that staff has specially
designed to assist the leaders of IT in individual schools. Examples
||A course on the use of the web in education that included
an introduction on the use of Cu-SeeMe.
||A long term course with the majority of the staff from
several schools focusing on the IT influence on mathematics in learning
and the use of mathematics within other subjects. The course included
parent meetings, and trying out the possibilities of desktop video conferencing,
discussion between schools on a postlist and it was adapted to particular
needs and interests of individual schools
||An Internet-based course (all meetings are
virtual) for 35 teachers and their classes of students (ages 10-16) on
problem-based learning. The web page created for this course is partly
closed but partly open to the public as an introduction for parents and
other interested parties to new ways of learning and teaching.
6. Student activities and actions:
A prototype of a course was made and piloted on
the influence of IT on learning and teaching. It was an ODL course
but participant s also met for lecturing and co-operation. The course
was run as a constructive exercise where the individuals focused on the
effect of IT on particular subjects, and other aspects, such as the role
of library within learning, and special education. Participants examined
these effects at three different levels: the intended curriculum (of subjects),
implemented curriculum (learning materials & teaching), and the actual
situation of students (skills, knowledge, attitudes). All participants'
work is part of the course web site and as such considerable contribution
to the Icelandic educational community.
Teacher education students at all levels are contributing
to the IT development. They began using e-mail in connection with some
courses several years ago and for the past years every student has had
an e-mail address and used it in some courses as well as personally. They
interact and communicate in this way with teachers within the college,
from schools or from home where a steadily increasing number of them have
facilities. Other activities include the following: Some students
have interviewed school administrators, IT coordinators and teachers in
primary and secondary schools on the integration of ICT and influence of
it on the schools' teaching and learning practices. Groups of students
have participated in courses within other European countries and in particular
in an intensive course at the coordinating institute of APPLAUD (Helsinki).
These students presented their experiences and ideas to other students.
Students have increasingly been using ICT as a focus or platform for their
final B.Ed.thesis and thus helping to construct material that can be of
value for schools. Web site creation and analytical writings on the influence
of ICT in specified areas are among those worth mentioning. Contact with
the other partners in APPLAUD has been of value in this respect.
7. Organisational changes/technological
Since August 1996, partner 2 runs the Icelandic Educational
Network (Ismennt). The network is designed to assist teachers and
students in seeking information and contacts, and operating to support
the national policy regarding the use of IT in education. Ismennt
runs an educational WWW page (http://www.ismennt.is)
for the educational system and offers web-based, distance education courses
for teachers on the Internet and the numerous possibilities it provides.
Partner 2 has been seeking means to increase substantially the activity
of the Ismennt, serving all levels of schools from pre-schools to universities
and increasingly serving the schools with materials to use in teaching
different subjects. And, for that purpose, staff members at Ismennt
have collected data from users and non-users through a web-based survey
to improve its operation and to identify people using the Internet with
their students in innovative ways and are willing to share their practices
with others. In accordance with the KHI IT plolicy and to increase efficiency
and avoid redundancy, work has begun to run the Ismennt courses and develop
new ones in co-operation with the In-service department.
In addition, the technological infrastructure of KHI has strengthened with
the merging of the Ismennt network with the existing KHI network.