Preparing teachers to judiciously use technologies for teaching and learning is the aim of the Next Generation of Teachers (NET) Project, which is designed to assist teacher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. It is one of UNESCO’s most recent initiatives for the professional development of teachers that the organisation has supported for 60 years.
According to Sheldon Shaeffer, Director of the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, by 2008, all regional Member States will be in a position to offer teachers an education on how and when to best use technologies for teaching and learning, through training which is integrated in all national pre-service teacher training institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. “Learners will directly benefit from this new generation of well educated teachers, who will be empowered to use technologies and to facilitate the learners’ active participation in learning, and in the knowledge societies and economies", Shaeffer says.
Key players in the Asia-Pacific ICT in Education field, including EDUCOMP Datamatics Ltd, CISCO, Intel, Internexia and Microsoft have applauded this initiative, and have participated in workshops to further develop the concept and to discuss means of supporting this endeavour.
Microsoft was the first key player to pledge a support going beyond the sharing of materials and know-how: Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PiL) programme has made a generous commitment to financially contribute to the success of this initiative.