Bořivoj Brdička : The Role of Internet in Education xxC O N T E N T SxxxxxxI N D E X


This study material was created using the experience gained during organizing the European courses Socrates - Comenius 2.1 that were dealing with the training of teachers in exploiting the project methods for instruction. These were formally the PIST (Project makers In-Service Training), TRANSPRO (TRANSnational educational projects using the PROject method and ICT in in-service-training for teachers) and the current PROMISE (the PROject Method In School projects through E-learning). These courses are based on the methodology of project learning being implemented in Scandinavia, especially in Denmark, for many years. Therefore, there already existed a theoretical background of this methodology derived from practical experience. Another integral component of these courses is the implementation of modern technologies. During the terms of early nineties of the 20th century it was not an exception that teachers with only little experience in computing applied for the course. It resulted in wasting precious time teaching them basic computing skills. As there were official state action plans for implementation of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education introduced in many European countries, this situation has gradually changed. Therefore now the teachers generally enter the courses with quite sufficient technical and computing skills, and the process of integration of computing and methodological activities of teachers working with project methods can be launched. These are the primary objectives of this text.

The core of this study material is exposition and further description of the impact the ICT have on educational processes. We may assume that there should be certain influence. In fact, the recent predominating opinion is that this impact is essential. It is not necessary to mention that the current society is often beginning to be called "Information Society". Technologies penetrate into every aspect of human life. The sphere of education is not an exception. But the necessary changes in education take place slowly and reluctantly. Nevertheless they are inevitable. A certain transformation process has already commenced by introducing the ICT and the Internet to schools. This transformation is not always ideal. Lets try to define the form the changes brought about by the introduction of ICT into education should have.

The description of these changes with various recommendations, examples, quotations, and links may serve the teachers and professional public as a  guide in this field and help to make up his/her opinion. The aspiration of this material is to increase the interest of teachers in using the ICT in proper manner. One of the objectives is also to offer the theoretical base and support of activities the ESP organization (European Schools Project) has been doing in the field of implementation of Internet into education for more than 10 years. This body was behind the above-mentioned courses and today, within the project Comenius Network ECOLE (European COllaborative Learning), they are building a network of cooperating European and overseas institutions keen on the best way of incorporating the ICT into real educational service. Our institution (The Department of Information Technology of the Charles University Prague, Faculty of Education) is honored by the fact that it coordinates the work on all the projects mentioned here in the Czech Republic. It is also the solver of several international researches in the field of educational technology. The most prestigious of these is the Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES). So it naturally becomes the dissemination body for these ideas and methods among Czech teachers.

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