ERIC Number: ED503306
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 108
African Schoolnet Toolkit
Commonwealth of Learning
A schoolnet program is an organized set of activities that expands the use of ICTs and promotes sharing of educational resources by teachers and students at schools. Schoolnet programmes may be located inside or outside government, may be large initiatives with substantial funding, or may be smaller innovative projects without big budgets. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and SchoolNet Africa (SNA) have developed this toolkit for developing schoolnets in Africa. Similar to a resource developed last year by UNESCO (Bangkok) and COL, the African Schoolnet Toolkit is designed to support education policymakers and practitioners in their use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to improve the value and quality of education. This Toolkit is a practical resource about ICTs in education, and more specifically, about setting up and operating schoolnet programmes and projects. This Toolkit is structured into four main sections, designed with different readerships in mind. "Guidebook 1: ICTs in Education and Schoolnets" is intended for everyone. It describes the value of ICTs in education, and the broad processes that need to be integrated to ensure sustainable impact. It looks at the characteristics of schoolnet programmes and different organisational and leadership models for schoolnets. It also outlines a variety of functions that schoolnets perform and services that they can deliver. Lastly, it presents ways of assessing the effectiveness of schoolnet programmes and gives some examples of active schoolnets. "Guidebook 2: Planning Schoolnet Programmes" is intended for policymakers and high-level managers, and for schoolnet programme managers. It examines the policy and planning implications of schoolnet programmes, such as relating ICT programmes to broader economic and education development goals; understanding the financial and other resources that will be required and working within a range of constraints; establishing appropriate partnerships; and using change management strategies. It describes ways in which the education system should respond to the introduction of ICTs, such as changes in curriculum structure, assessment strategies and professional development programmes for teachers. Lastly, it looks at factors that influence sustainability at various levels, broadening and extending the impact of schoolnet programmes. It also looks at methods of evaluating and assessing impact. "Guidebook 3: Implementing Schoolnet Programmes" is a practical and operational guide for managers of schoolnet programmes, covering project planning and implementation and the key elements involved in an ICT project. It provides advice on choosing appropriate technologies and putting in place support, maintenance and troubleshooting systems. It describes models of training provision and how to create and operate online services and schoolnet communities. It also provides indicators for measuring participation and impact. Finally, "Guidebook 4: Practitioner's Guide" provides pointers on ICT integration for educators, school management and others directly involved in producing or using educational ICT resources in a school context. It covers the ICT integration process; changing ways of assessing learning outcomes; selection, use and adaptation of ICT software and resources; collaboration with other educators in online communities; and recommendations for skills and competencies that teachers should build through professional development programmes. The Toolkit also includes a list of abbreviations and acronyms and a glossary of ICT terms. It is intended that the Toolkit be a living document, which will be enriched over time by adding further stories about and experiences of African learners, teachers and schoolnet organisations.
Descriptors: Computer Uses in Education, Program Effectiveness, Foreign Countries, Professional Development, Educational Resources, Educational Technology, Budgets, Planning, School Policy, Educational Development, Change Strategies, Program Evaluation, Technology Integration, Computer Software, Skill Development, Access to Computers, Sustainable Development, Computer Networks, Cooperative Learning, Computer Mediated Communication, Shared Resources and Services
Commonwealth of Learning. 1055 West Hastings Suite 1200, Vancouver BC V6E 2E9, Canada. Tel: 604-775-8200; Fax: 604-775-8210; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.col.org
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver (British Columbia).
Identifiers - Location: Africa