How to structure ICT coordination in educational centers?


For years, ICT (Information and Communications Technology) has made their way into the learning process of students at all levels. What in turn has become a progressive formal incorporation of ICT in educational centers. In general terms, this process has been bumpy, for example, it is common to find that the use of technologies does not translate into a significant and radical rethinking of the teaching model used, or in the review of the objectives, content and teaching activities developed in their teaching model. [1] But little by little the phenomenon has been formalized and the institutions have dedicated people and resources to the management and adaptation of these technologies.


The incorporation of ICT is also met with a lack of reflective and critical attitudes of why, for what or to whom this innovation benefits. [1] This is demonstrated by the fact that there is a much greater production of knowledge about the coordination, advice and organization of ICT in the educational center, than about the training of teachers in these subjects. [2] Precisely the lack of specific training is one of the most common problems, [3] which in turn translates into a digital divide that hinders the educational use that should be given to digital resources. [2]




Una titiritero que controla las letras T, I y C
ICT Coordinator. Drawing by the author.

To face these difficulties, schools must update themselves and dedicate people and resources to the coordination of digital resources, because this responsibility cannot fall only on the teacher. At the end of the day, changes cannot be promoted individually, but must be a policy of the institution. To carry out this mission, a management team that Sosa and Valverde call "e-competent" is required, which is characterized by having strong leadership, considering the particularities of the situation and analyzing the results obtained to positively influence the incorporation of the TIC. [4] At the same time, ICT should be incorporated as common learning tools for teachers, as communication bridges to bring the educational community closer together and as platforms to facilitate the management of the center. [4]


Below the management of the educational center, one of the key pieces and perhaps the most important is the ICT coordinator. After all, policies can be dictated from the highest levels, but an enforcement arm is required. The central problems with this type of position is that it generally falls on a person who already has too many responsibilities while his tasks are not usually specified. Research indicates that 79% of coordinators consider the written definition of their functions necessary, while 86% show a work overload that ends up occupying more than the established hours. [5]


To shape the responsibilities of ICT coordinators, it is important to review the classification developed by Espuny, Gisbert, Coiduras Rodríguez and González, which is rescued below point by point: [3]


Counseling, facilitation and administration of ICT resources functions

  • Advise the rest of the teaching staff on computer science.

  • Study the needs of the center in terms of ICT.

  • Search, cataloging and organization of the center's ICT resources (media library).

  • Provide guides or tutorials with instructions to perform common tasks in some applications.

  • Bring and provide teachers with curricular material in multimedia supports and strategies that allow their incorporation into didactic planning.

Center's IT resource manager functions

  • Act as an interlocutor with the computer support and assistance service.

  • Control and manage local network services and Internet connectivity.

  • Advise on the preparation of budgets and purchase orders for ICT resources for the center.

  • Coordinate the use of the center's classroom or classrooms.

  • Participate in the design, creation and maintenance of the centre's website.

  • Perform maintenance and troubleshoot equipment or application performance.

  • Make the inventory.

ICT curricular integration functions

  • Disseminate and encourage the exchange of materials among teachers.

  • Publicize projects, experiences of other centers, etc., in order to develop new work activities in the classroom.

  • Identify the areas of the curriculum in which to make use of ICT.

  • Evaluate, together with the responsible teacher, those teaching and learning processes mediated by technology.

  • Collaborate with teachers in the design and / or adaptation of lessons, activities or units that are integrated into the curriculum and that have been enriched through the use of technology.

Reviewing these actions helps to understand the complexity involved in the responsibility of an ICT coordinator. Which in turn allows considering the possibility of distributing these tasks in a team instead of leaving them in the hands of a single person. This decision will obviously depend on the size of the educational center.




Postdata


Incorporating ICT into education can help improve the learning process, but it is a process that requires attention. Among other things, it requires evaluating the needs of the center and constructing an “ICT vision” [4] that understands the complexity of the subject. This vision will have to include human resources that have clear responsibilities and working hours, with the necessary training, with support from the directive and with the necessary infrastructure, among other things. [5] A key piece in this exercise will surely be the ICT coordinator, who should be recognized as such and avoid an informal assignment of tasks that only add to all the pending tasks of a teacher. Starting from these points, it is possible to start thinking about an efficient incorporation of ICT within the learning process.




References


[1] M. Area Moreira, «El proceso de integración y uso pedagógico de las TIC en los centros educativos. Un estudio de casos», Rev. Educ., vol. 352, n.o Mayo-Agosto 2010, pp. 77-97, 2009.

[2] J. J. S. Alonso y A. B. Aguilar, «Integración de las TIC en la educación escolar: importancia de la coordinación, la formación y la organización interna de los centros educativos desde un análisis bibliométrico», Hamut´ay, vol. 6, n.o 2, pp. 24-41, 2019.

[3] M. Romero Rodrigo, J. Peirats Chacón, Á. San Martín Alonso, y I. M. Gallardo Fernández, «Percepciones en torno al coordinador TIC en los Centros Educativos Inteligentes. Un estudio de caso», Romero Rodrigo Mercedes Peirats Chacón José San Martín Alonso Angel Gallardo Fernández Isabel María 2014 Percepciones En Torno Al Coord. TIC En Los Cent. Educ. Intel. Un Estud. Caso Educ. Rev. Pedagog. Univ. Autónoma Barc. 50 1 167 184, vol. 50, n.o 1, pp. 167-184, 2014.

[4] M. J. Sosa Díaz y J. Valverde Berrocoso, «El Equipo Directivo “E-Competente” y su Liderazgo en el Proceso de Integración de las TIC en los Centros Educativos», Rev. Iberoam. Eval. Educ., vol. 8, n.o 2, pp. 77-103, 2015.

[5] C. Espuny Vidal, M. Gisbert Cervera, J. Coiduras Rodríguez, y J. González Martínez, «El coordinador TIC en los centros educativos: Funciones para la dinamización e incorporación didáctica de las tic en las actividades de aprendizaje», Pixel-Bit Rev. Medios Educ., n.o 41, pp. 7-18, 2012.


15 vistas