The irruption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is causing a profound transformation in our society and requires the rethinking and restructuring of our Education system. The ICT is a key instrument in the process as it allows innovation and creativity and at the same time personalizes learning and fosters a new model of open and collaborative community. Well-prepared teachers are at the centre of the process since smooth and effective transformation of schools depends on them. Such changes will allow the students to acquire competencies that every citizen needs in order to thrive and continue with the lifelong learning in the new Knowledge Society.
The two mutually supportive objectives –ICT and teacher training– map out the areas of work for Intef in promoting the transformation of the schooling system with the use of technology. The ongoing projects, jointly formulated by the autonomous communities, cluster around the Syllabus for Digital Culture in Schools and Common Framework for Teachers’ Professional Development and the activities of the International Cooperation.
The Syllabus for Digital Culture in Schools, designed and implemented in cooperation with the autonomous communities, is based on five core projects and two transversal activities:
I. Connectivity of schools, a project which provides schools with ultra fast broadband of 100 mbps, in accordance with the Framework Agreement on the Connectivity of Schools from March 2015, with 330 million Euros allocated to it.
II. Inter-operability and standards in educational technology, which include the node of exchanging academic records between the teacher and the student, a unique identifier for each student, as well as connections to the databases of schools and the faculty development.
III. ‘Procomún’ space for open online content with over 100.000 educational open resources (REA) of the Ministry and of the autonomous communities. Along with ‘Procomún’, Intef coordinates through Cedec, the development of eXeLearning –the authoring application which assists teachers and academics in the publishing of web content–.
IV. General catalogue of paid educational resources: Punto Neutro, which promotes agreements with different agents involved.
V. Common Framework of Teachers’ Digital Competence, a document which sets out the model for the development of faculty’s digital competence. It serves as a reference in directing teacher training in ICT skills, as well as creating evaluation tools for measuring the impact of projects on the implementation of ICT in Education.
VI. Collaborative spaces for autonomous communities as meeting points between those communities and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (MECD).
VII. The official website and the social networking sites of Intef, in particular the Educalab portal, which brings together the Intef blog, the Spanish National Institute for Education Assessment (INEE), Cniee, and other partner websites. Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare and Pinterest also have a significant impact on the entire educational community, with 113.000 followers of the account @EducaINTEF.
The Strategic Framework of the Teachers’ Professional Development is being realised by Intef in accordance with the EU policies regarding Education and development of the Education and Training 2020 Program and the proposals of the new strategy Reframing Education.
The training takes place as blended learning or full online courses which have been enriched by the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) introduced in the past couple of years.
Several MOOC courses dedicated to innovative use of ICT in education have already been offered, like the Personal Learning Environments (PLE) and the Project-based Learning, which all together gathered over 20.000 students from all over the world, where the students from Latin America accounted for over 30% of all subscribers.
International Cooperative Education: We shouldn’t forget to mention some of the Far-reaching Digital Educational projects in which Intef takes part, like for example eTwinning, which has been in existence for 10 years.
Spain is currently among the main stakeholders of the program. Out of more than 35 countries participating in eTwinning, Spain is the fourth country for the number of teachers registered on the platform (26.660), and the fifth country in terms of active projects.
Director of the Spanish National Institute of Education Technology and Teacher Training (Intef)