Changing patterns of preservice teachers' ICT competencies and what it means for preservice teacher education programs
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Preservice teacher education programs are under pressure from employing authorities to prepare teachers to be confident and competent users of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their classrooms. It is no longer sufficient (if it ever was) for teachers to leave tertiary institutions with basic ICT competence and depend on employing authorities to provide the necessary professional development to turn those competencies into meaningful ICT classroom practices. Frequently employers are looking to recent graduates to provide ICT leadership and exemplary innovative ICT practice. The rapidly changing nature of ICT and the enormous divergence between the ICT competency base of entry students poses a considerable challenge to academics responsible for the development of the ICT components of preservice teacher education programs. The research that forms the basis of this paper involves a longitudinal study of the changing nature of preservice teachers' entry ICT competencies and attitudes. These data are used to inform practical outcomes for the ICT components of the teacher preservice program that better meet the demands of employing authorities, the rapidly changing nature of ICT in learning, and the diverse ICT competency base of entry students.
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