UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers

©Fengchun, Miao

The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT-CFT) is intended to inform educational policy makers, teacher-educators, providers of professional learning and working teachers on the role of ICT in educational reform, as well as to assist Member States in developing national ICT competency standards for teachers with an ICT in Education Master Plan approach.

Modern societies are increasingly based on information and knowledge. So they need to:

  • build workforces which have ICT skills to handle information and are reflective, creative and adept at problem-solving in order to generate knowledge
  • enable citizens to be knowledgeable and resourceful so they are able to manage their own lives effectively, and are able to lead full and satisfying lives
  • encourage all citizens to participate fully in society and influence the decisions which affect their lives
  • foster cross-cultural understanding and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

These social and economic goals are the focus of a country's education system. Teachers need to be equipped to achieve these goals, and UNESCO has created an international benchmark which sets out the skills required to teach effectively with ICT: UNESCO's ICT Competency Framework for Teachers.

UNESCO's Framework emphasizes that it is not enough for teachers to have ICT skills and be able to teach them to their students. Teachers need to be able to help the students become collaborative, problem-solving, creative learners through using ICT so they will be effective citizens and members of the workforce. The Framework therefore addresses all aspects of a teacher's work:

  • Understanding ICT in education
  • Curriculum and assessment
  • Pedagogy
  • ICT
  • Organisation and administration
  • Teacher professional learning

The Framework is arranged in three different approaches to teaching (three successive stages of a teacher's development). The first is Technology Literacy, enabling students to use ICT in order to learn more efficiently. The second is Knowledge Deepening, enabling students to acquire in-depth knowledge of their school subjects and apply it to complex, real-world problems. The third is Knowledge Creation, enabling students, citizens and the workforce they become, to create the new knowledge required for more harmonious, fulfilling and prosperous societies.

UNESCO and its private sector partners are currently preparing an update of the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers first launched in 2008. The new version is a result of a close cooperation between the Communication and Information Sector and the Education Sector, and will present an updated framework including practical examples of its application as well as full example syllabi and exam specifications. The ICT Competency Framework for Teachers version 2.0 is due later in 2011.

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