K. Ragupathi

National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE)
In today’s ever-changing world, students need to be able to learn, to articulate, to adapt and to work. They need to become independent, self-directed, adaptive and communicative learners. How should the teaching practices change? What instructional approaches will promote this kind of learning environment? Educators will not only need to understand their past and present teaching styles and methods but also need to adapt and transform. As campus-wide experience with the use of technology continues to grow, ideas on how best to use and not to use technology to optimize student learning are emerging. However, the transformations should not be driven merely by the use of technologies but by a mindset that encourages educators to develop their own teaching strategies and practices to complement technology use within the curriculum.

This paper discusses how one professional development programme – Technology in Pedagogy series – used communities of practice approach to help educators integrate technology tools into their own classrooms to enhance their students’ learning experience. Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly (Wenger, 1998). The need for supportive, reflective collegial learning communities is crucial for teachers in their attempts to implement new techniques (Darling-Hammond, 1997).

The Technology in Pedagogy series, therefore are primarily dialogue sessions where speakers have 30 minutes at the beginning to present their activity. The participants are then free to ask questions and share their own experiences. The presentation and the lively discussion that ensues keep the participants engaged to see new opportunities in the way they could adopt/adapt the technology being discussed. To make its impact felt beyond the session, the discussion points are then documented and shared publicly with the teaching community and their responses are invited. The paper will also look into attributes that contributed to the success of the programme since its inception and will explore ways to further strengthen it.