Teacher training: technology helping to develop an innovative and reflective professional profile
© The Author(s) 2015
Received: 15 November 2014
Accepted: 15 March 2015
Published: 15 April 2015
The society of the early twenty-first century is characterized as the knowledge society. Schools cannot afford to remain detached from the fast-moving changes that are taking place and have therefore made innovation one of their main priorities. One of the most profound changes and innovations experienced in the last few years concerns digital technologies. While knowledge and mastery of digital tools and processes are guarantees of equity in the education system, schools also have to face the challenge of making digital tools and applications available to all their pupils without neglecting any aspect of their educational function. At the same time, teachers must also involve themselves in the digital competences that are the unavoidable landmarks of the education of today and of the future. As with other professions in other sectors, being familiar with these digital tools and processes, mastering them and constantly updating them are now components of the teaching profession.
When viewing these new learning environments from a general transformational perspective and the technology-related teacher-training perspective, we need to bear in mind the following three dimensions:
Firstly, both initial and continuous teaching training programs should largely focus on developing the competences teachers need to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for teaching purposes. Continuous training should be organized around the teacher’s autonomous learning but it should also incorporate a training and implementation strategy that is based on work carried out by teams of teachers.
Secondly, the undeniable emergence of new codes and languages that have their origin in digital technologies brings new ways of thinking and doing and new ways of learning and accessing knowledge. It also means that teachers must be prepared to abide by a set of professional ethics and standards that require them to work individually and collectively to conceptualize the educational role that should be played by digital technologies.
Thirdly, the signs of the times require us to think about creating teaching center models that incorporate pedagogical innovations and open, flexible, creative, real and participatory digital projects and in which digital technologies can be the best pretext for innovation and for encouraging creativity in the classroom in order to introduce cross-disciplinary and organizational changes and open up schools to the community. These digital projects should make teachers question their individual roles, promote teamwork and involvement with others, generate synergies with other departments and areas as well as other teaching centers and their staff, and, finally, help to realize the dream of being “networked and web-based”.