Reference to the findings of past projects and research have highlighted key principles that should, along with the educational foundation, form the cornerstones of this framework. These are:
1. Educational goals must be primary to the project.
Whereas the infrastucture plays a vital enabling role, achievement of educational goals should be the prime motivation for the selection, implementation and maintenance of hardware.
2. There is no single best practice or general recipe for success.
Each educator will follow a different development path, according to individual needs, expectations and experiences.
3. Educator development programmes must be needs driven.
Wherever possible, programmes should not be offered to communities of educators and learners until the needs of that community have been established.
4. There must be flexibility in access, modes of delivery and content in order to make learning possible in a meaningful and equitable way.
Programme content and structure should be contextualised to take into account the unique work and social circumstances of South African educators.
5. Educators must receive situated / experiential learning support.
Most effectively learning for educators takes place in the classroom. Programmes should be structured to incorporate the maximum amount of classroom practice.
6. Educators must reflect on their practice while implementing new ideas involving the integration of ICT.
This reflection should be encouraged and would be enhanced by collaborative discussion of problems and ideas.
7. Educators must reflect on change as they learn and plan strategies to implement new ideas.
Reflection on practice and in practice is sterile without the planning of strategies for change and improvement when deemed necessary.
8. Teaching practice, including classroom organisation, must change if ICT is to be implemented effectively.
Educator development for ICT requires an eventual adaptation from traditional teaching and learning strategies, in addition to the acquisition of ICT skills.
9. Workshop leaders and mediators must model desirable educational practice in training.
In designing the course materials the modelling of best practice in both the course process and learner activities should be included.
10. Quality educator development is a process and not a product.
As such, a two-day course cannot be deemed to be sufficient to achieve sustainable outcomes. The programme should include a more sustained interaction between the educators and supportive resources.
11. The most effective approach to skills development is to a) have context, b) use the just-in-time approach, c) use the adult learning style.
Ongoing support cannot be over-emphasised.
Such support can be provided in flexible ways but is often based on the following hierarchy of support needs:
This model of a hierarchy of support for educators using ICT is based on interpretation of the ACOT research findings and experiences in current and past projects in this country.