Implementing iTEC scenarios in Portugal
September 23, 2011 11:27 AM
During the past years Portugal has reinforced the availability of ICT for education through several initiatives like e.escola and Portal das Escolas (the Schools Portal) which provides, among other sections, the national learning resource repository. This provides a favourable ground to test and implement iTEC teaching and learning scenarios in Portuguese schools.
In December 2010 the Portuguese iTEC partner DGIDC (standing for Directorate General for Innovation and Curriculum Development) launched a call for projects “Learning and Innovating with ICT“ to be undertaken by Portuguese schools of all levels. About 290 schools sent in their projects, of which the best 100 ones were selected. In the projects the schools will take advantage of the infrastructures and equipment that they have been provided with by the Ministry of Education under the Technological Plan for Education, consisting mainly of computers, interactive whiteboards and broadband Internet access.
When preparing the pre-pilot for the first iTEC cycle, it was logical to involve these schools in the whole iTEC process. Two teachers, biology and mathematics, from Lisbon-based schools were very keen to take part and turn one of the scenarios – A breath of fresh air – into an engaging, productive learning experience for their students. From the feedback of both teachers we can safely say that the experience was a success.
Within iTEC the selection of schools and teachers is obviously one corner-stone of a successful piloting. The aim was to find motivated schools and teachers willing to go ahead with a large-scale experiment. The selection of the teachers was supported by Portuguese Competence Centres, units mostly based at universities and other tertiary education institutions around the country, contracted by DGIDC to support schools in the use of ICT. As a result, there are now 14 Portuguese teachers ready to start scenario piloting.
This pilot preparation process has also led to the selection of other 14 teachers. Two of them will be part of the Advisory Board, whose role is to assist other piloting teachers and three others who will be our case study teachers.
All involved are rather excited at the idea of participating in iTEC and being part of this extended community. The engagement is there. The positive results will surely ensue.