CERTIFICATION IN TEACHING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENGINEERING GRADUATES
Burgas Free University (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Bulgaria is one of the first countries in the world to introduce Informatics as a subject high schools - in the late 1960s a facultative training in programming started in several schools. In 1979, a training program in Informatics (with Logo) was launched experimentally in 27 schools in Bulgaria. In 1981, a strategy for computer training in Bulgarian schools was adopted and as a result the first complete program for computer education in Bulgaria started in 1984. In 1986, Informatics becomes compulsory subject in all Bulgarian high schools.
Information Technology (IT) is introduced as a separate compulsory high school subject in 1994 and later, in 2006, in lower secondary schools. In 2019 students are studying IT as a school subject from the first to the last school year, which leads to rapid need for more teachers (in numbers) and for higher qualification of these teachers. What is more, IT specialists are hired in software companies with high wages and the dynamic development of IT itself requires modern and constantly improved methodological tools.
The stakeholders in education in Bulgaria (government, Ministry of Education and Science, universities, schools, etc.) are trying to fill this gap through a series of measures, one of which is giving the opportunity to bachelor and master engineers to become qualified teachers in IT subject.
In recent years, in Burgas Free University certifying courses on IT teaching for students with engineering degrees have been introduced. During their training, these students acquire knowledge and skills in the area of teaching. The focus is on pedagogical, psychological, didactic and methodological knowledge and skills, as well as on specialized knowledge on the IT curriculum in high schools. These are: basic programming skills, databases, computer communications, software technologies, artificial intelligence, and others. The training of future teachers is subordinate to four main ideas: to learn to think as a teacher, to act to learn as a teacher, to learn to feel like a teacher and to learn to develop as a teacher. There are two forms in IT teachers training in Burgas Free University– one is part-time learning and the other is distance learning. In part-time learning, the trainees attend courses, but with reduced number of hours (compared to full-time students) and use digital resources as supportive materials, while in the second form - they use only the online resources for theoretical knowledge and complete the required practice hours in best reputable schools. The platform, containing the online training resources, is Moodle, located at https://moodle.bfu.bg/.
This article presents the authors' rich experience in creating and upgrading the knowledge, skills and attitude of the students in these courses; as well as to pursue professional self-improvement to develop personal qualities such as flexibility and mobility. The main emphasis is on taking into account the specifics of the training in IT, describing the training process, learning outcomes and the e-courses structure – text, images and interactive resources, tests and assignments. The paper also contains some training. In addition, some aspects of e-learning are outlined as well as several problems encountered during the training are analyzed. Opportunities for improving learning outcomes, based on results and trainees feedback have been discussed.
Keywords: Information technologies, IT teacher qualification, education, e-learning, project-oriented learning.