With the rapid developments in technologies in recent decades, there have been transformations in economies and societies which have resulted in changes in terms of the skill-sets and abilities demanded by employers. This has led to pressure on schools, teachers and teacher education institutions (TEIs) to ensure that school-leavers are adequately prepared for the changed workplace.
Recognizing this situation, the UNESCO ICT Education Unit, initiated the Next Generation of Teachers (Next Gen) Project. The project aims to assist TEIs to provide trainee teachers with skills in the operation of ICT, in how to integrate ICT effectively into teaching, and in how to utilize ICT to enhance preparation of teaching materials. It also aims to enable TEIs. The project also aims to enable TEIs to prepare teachers for their changed role, as facilitators rather than knowledge –providers, and to train teachers to utilize more learner-centered methodologies. This project was supported by its key partners Microsoft and CISCO Systems and organized three day workshop in Bangkok, Thailand from 16-18 May 2006.
During the three day meeting discussions and activities of focused on compiling information about the current situation in TEIs regarding ICT integration and learner centered methods of instruction, and on refining needs analysis instruments. It was also an opportunity for representatives of Ministry of Education and TEIs to sign a Memorandum with UNESCO to implement the project. Towards this, representatives from Ministry of Education and National Institute of Education participated.
As per the agreement under the Next Generation of Teachers Project, there are series of workshops that have been held in Sri Lanka.