The Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning has been approved for implementation to provide the various role players within the education sector with clarity on professional development for digital learning. Capacity building roadshows have therefore been scheduled across all provinces, commencing in the North West Province from 09 to 11 July 2018. The purpose of the roadshows will be the capacity building of Provincial Core Training Teams (PCTTs) as well as the training of subject advisors in various disciplines in preparation for provincial roll-outs; and this will involve the training of teachers. In addition to the planned sessions in provinces, workshops for providers of digital learning courses as well as education faculty members at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will take place on 17 and 26 July 2018 respectively in Johannesburg.
It is necessary for teacher professional development to specifically address how digital tools and resources can support teaching, and enhance learning in different subjects within the wide range of socio-economic contexts that South African teachers encounter.
The main aim of the Framework is to provide guidelines for professional development, specifically to ensure competent educators who use ICTs to enhance teaching and learning, and leaders and support staff who are able to facilitate the development of educator digital learning competencies. The primary target audience of the Framework is teacher trainers, school leaders and teachers, e-learning specialists and curriculum subject specialists. It further aims to define professional development for digital learning in an education system that seeks to improve access, quality, equity, redress and efficiency. Achieving this aim will ensure that teachers have a clear plan for their individual needs for professional development in digital learning using digital tools and content resources.
Digital learning, which encompasses e-learning and mobile learning, describes learning that uses appropriate digital tools and resources to strengthen a teacher’s teaching and a learner’s learning experience resulting in more effective achievement of curriculum learning objectives. This Framework views digital learning as a more modern expression of “ICT integration”, which is itself a broader concept than “IT skills”. Key to achieving the goals of this Framework are the educator competencies in planning and facilitating digital learning, which will form the basis of a teacher’s needs analysis and planning for professional development in digital learning. Teachers seeking to more effectively achieve the curriculum aims and objectives will seek competence in digital learning in three key areas: Professional Growth, Curriculum Focus and Leadership.