E-competence for teachers – not only technical know-how

When discussing the need of e-skilled tutors and teachers it’s important not only to mention practical skills and how to handle all the new communication tools. It’s equally important to stress theoretical and legal issues. If we’re looking to the whole web sphere it’s obvious that the copyright-debate taken much of the attention so far. However, for those engaged in teaching there are other important issues too. Source evaluation, understanding about how to find information on the Internet, knowledge about behaviours and identity and of course pedagogy, the idea how to teach and how we learn in a digital environment, are all examples of skills that can help increase the quality of the course.

Identities are particularly interesting in education in virtual worlds, in communities and on blogs. Anonymity, role playing etc, is very important things to know about for future teachers (in teacher education) but can surely also be used for pedagogical purposes. It’s important to really make use of the possibilities that the social tools gives us and not just use the web for one-way communication. Don’t just post video clips, sound files and text, engage in real active discussions. I’d say that the most important e-competence for e-learning teachers is to be familiar with socio-cultural learning theories, to know that the web actually can motivate and meet the learners at their premises.

Written for the Knowledge Foundations blog: 21st Century Skills in Teaching. Based on my Swedish blog-post E-kompetens för högskolelärare.

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