Craft and Science of ICT in
This section provides a brief discussion of the Craft
and Science of "traditional" teaching and learning, versus
the Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning in
environments that thoroughly integrate ICT.
Definition of ICT
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) includes
the full range of computer hardware, computer software, and
telecommunications facilities. Thus it includes computing
devices ranging from $4 handheld calculators to multimillion
dollar super computers. It includes the full range of
display and projection devices used to view computer output.
It includes the local area and wide area networks that allow
computer systems and people to communicate with each other.
It includes digital cameras, computer games, CDs, DVDs, cell
telephones, telecommunication satellites, and fiber optics.
It includes computerized instruments, computerized
machinery, and computerized robots.
In brief summary, ICT is a huge, rapidly changing, and
rapidly growing field.
The 3Rs and ICT
One way to understand the educational implications of ICT
is to look back at the development of reading, writing, and
arithmetic by the Sumerians approximately 5,000 years ago.
These developments changed the world. A few of the key
reasons for this are:
- Reading and writing facilitate the accumulation of
human knowledge and the transmission of this knowledge
over time and distance.
- Reading and writing are a powerful aid to the human
- Arithmetic (mathematics) helps to overcome the
limited innate human capabilities in a particular area
that is especially important in science, business,
government and many other aspects of everyday life.
Now think about ICT in the same vein.
- ICT facilitates the development of huge libraries
(such as the Web) that can be accessed by large numbers
of people, and that large numbers of people can
contribute to. That is, ICT is a powerful aid to the
accumulation of human knowledge in a manner that can be
shared over time and distance.
- ICT provides new forms of documents that can be
"written" and "read" (developed and viewed). For example,
we now have interactive multimedia.
- ICT allows an accumulation of knowledge and skills in
an "I, the ICT system, can do it for you." mode. That is,
an increasing part of accumulated human knowledge and
skills can be automated in a manner so that ICT systems
can actually carry out some or all of the work of solving
many problems and accomplishing many mental and physical
It is important to understand the close parallel between
the 3Rs and ICT. ICT builds upon and extends what the 3Rs
have brought to the people and societies of our world.
Craft and Science of
Teaching and Learning
As educators, we know and understand about the Craft and
Science of teaching and learning. We understand the
challenges of deciding on "traditional" curriculum content,
instructional processes, and assessment. We know that there
is a huge amount of accumulated educational Craft and
Science knowledge and skills.
Similar observations hold for ICT in education.
- The Craft and Science of ICT in education builds upon
the accumulated Craft and Science of education that has
been developed during the past 5,000 years of formal
educational systems. It is not being developed in a
vacuum. It addresses the same problems, but it also
brings new problems to the field.
- ICT first began to enter precollege education in the
late 1950s. We now have nearly 55 years of accumulated
ICT in education Craft and Science knowledge and skills.
There are two aspects to this:
- There is a huge amount of ICT in education Craft
and Science that is closely aligned with the non-ICT
aspects of educational Craft and Science.
- There is a Craft and Science specific to the new
dimensions that ICT brings to education. This is of
significant size and is steadily growing.
- It takes a long time to adequately prepare a person
to be a well qualified teacher. Nowadays, it takes
approximately 12-13 years of precollege education, 4-5
years of college education, and 5-6 years of on-the-job
experience that is accompanied by appropriate inservice
- For a number of reasons (including the fact that ICT
is not well integrated into K-12 education, college
education, and into a teacher's job), we have relatively
few teachers who are well qualified to work in
educational environments that include the thorough
integration of ICT throughout the "traditional"
curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Because of the
continued rapid pace of change of ICT, it will take a
number of generations to solve this educational
In brief summary, the Craft and Science of ICT in
education is large, complex, and growing. It takes a
significant amount of formal education and experience for a
preservice teacher to gain a level of expertise that meets
the contemporary standards being established by school
districts, states, and organizations such as the
International Society for Technology in Education.
The general flavor of this Craft and Science of Teaching
and Learning section is summarized by:
- We expect all K-12 teachers to have a reasonably high
level of expertise in the 3Rs. We cannot adequately
educate K-12 students in the 3Rs by having just a few
specialists in these areas, and having students go to
"labs" a couple of times a week to receive instruction by
these specialists. The same comment applies to college
and university students and faculty.
- If we want to prepare K-12 students, their teachers,
and the teachers of teachers adequately in ICT in
education, then we need all preservice teachers and all
of their faculty to have a reasonable level of expertise
in ICT in education. We need to integrate routine use of
ICT throughout all curriculum, instruction, and
- This will require a very long term commitment by a
large number of faculty and programs of study that will
extend over many decades.