This project, ‘Teachers’ Professional Training in Information Technology Use’, ran from April 2008 – June 2012 and had two specific aims: to improve teachers’ ICT skills through the ECDL programme so that they can better incorporate technology into their teaching practices, and to improve their career prospects within the labour market.
Its general aim has been to improve teaching practices and general education levels in rural and urban areas by providing ICT skills to almost 6,000 teachers throughout the region.
This project was delivered by ECDL Poland, the ‘Regional Labour Office in Cracow’ and the ‘Małopolska Training Centre’, in cooperation with the ‘Marshal Office of the Małopolska Region’ and other local governments. It was co-financed by the ‘European Regional
Development Fund in Human Capital Programme’ and the budget of the Małopolska regional government.
This project was directed at the teachers of non-ICT subjects working in the Małopolska Region and provided fixed training (which is an 80-hour course) or blended-learning (16 weeks virtual training coupled with four on-site/physical sessions). Training was based on three subject areas: general computer use, Internet use, and multimedia in teaching.
Participation in the full training programme enabled candidates the possibility to take tests for the 4 module ECDL Start1 certification free of charge. The project progressed very well, with 3,441 teachers having received training by August 2010.
Factors for Success
There were several main factors why this project has been such a success:
- Professional trainers’ network – ECDL Poland worked with the best ICT training specialists in the Małopolska Region
- Local government support – The relevant regional government departments were fully committed to the success of the project
- Geographical diversity - The training courses were organised in diverse parts by respective regions (e.g. in small towns and villages) and in different kinds of schools so that they were very close to (or often in) teachers’ places of work
This project has raised awareness about the importance of ICT skills throughout the entire region. Many of the participants recommended the project to other teachers, resulting in a continuous stream of applicants. In their recommendations, they emphasised the benefits of their newly-acquired ICT skills on their teaching practices.
This project has promoted ECDL within the Małopolska Region so much so that the creation of new ECDL Accredited Test Centres has been necessary, mainly in very small, often isolated communities. There has been a 90% pass rate for ECDL Start candidates, which is a very positive reflection on the quality of the training provided.
“I would recommend the course to other teachers, as it gives knowledge that can be used either at work or in their private life.” Jolanta Fraczek-Gołab, participant “A very important element of the course was the excellent preparation of the trainers and their ability to arouse participants’ interest in the computer as an indispensable tool for working at a school in the 21st century.” Beata Wisniewska-Pasierb, Headmaster of a group of schools in Babice
“The Teachers’ Professional Training in Information Technology Use project is a very valuable and successful initiative. It is an answer to all of the challenges connected with information society development in the Małopolska Region.” Roman Ciepiela, Vice-Marshal of the Małopolska Region
“Through the Teachers’ Professional Training project we are interested in every single teacher and his/her evolution. We want to give them the chance, knowledge and skills, so that they can incorporate technology into their classes and really involve students in their subjects.” Andrzej Martynuska, Director of the Regional Labour Office in Cracow