It has been observed that despite a significant and ubiquitous role being played by digital devices and media in changing characteristics of learning outside of schools, ICT remains abysmally under-used by students and teachers in classrooms, and ICT-enabled student-centred teaching and learning approach finds no ground of pervasiveness within school systems, especially for developing countries.
While the barrier of access to ICT has been gradually surmounted, three obstacles still remain in the way of teachers’ using ICT to its full potential toward enhancing student learning and improving the quality of education: 1) the lack of policy encouragement (especially at the school level), 2) the lack of knowledge on new pedagogy and techniques of integrating ICT in student-centred teaching and learning activities, and 3) the lack of long-standing professional support which further leads to teachers’ lack of confidence.
In response to these, through the generous support of the Korean Funds-in-Trust (KFIT), UNESCO Bangkok implemented the “Facilitating Effective ICT-Pedagogy Integration Project” (shortened as “KFIT project” henceforth) from January 2010 to March 2013 with the goal of creating an enabling environment that facilitate students’ direct and effective use of ICT for more meaningful and productive learning activities, with a specific focus on project-based telecollaboration.
The KFIT project looked into piloting and demonstrating an institutional strategy in facilitating students’ ICT use through designing and facilitating student-centred ICT-supported activities, building capacity of teachers on ICT-pedagogy integration, and advocating the development of a whole-school support strategy on integrating ICT in Education. In addition, it strategized to build and strengthen partnerships between school teachers and teacher educators to promote peer coaching and follow-through support within the local contexts. It was hoped that the strengthened local trainer-teacher partnership will not only serve as a demonstration of effective facilitation modality for policy makers and as a project exit strategy for UNESCO in the short run but will also sustain practice-oriented professional development of both teacher educators and teachers in the long run. In this regard, the KFIT project likewise produced relevant publications and provided regional and international platforms to share lessons learnt and to sustain communities of practices for both teachers and teacher educators.