JITT or ‘just in time teaching/training’, is an organic, serendipitous or spontaneous intervention that occurs on a ‘need to know’ basis, when needed or “just in time” (The role of ICT in the PYP, 2011, p 3) these are,
"... spontaneous and short tutorial sessions—both student to student and instructor to student—driven by immediate requirements." (Mishra & Koehler, 2006, p 1036).
Teachers acquire ‘problem-solving’ technical skills to overcome first order barriers (Ertmer, 1999) as ‘short, sharp, specific’ interventions at the point of need, within instructional practices that incorporate meaningful uses of technology (ibid). In this way collaborative learning can be achieved which is “shorter, smaller and more frequent”, the kind of ‘needs-based training’ advised by Karagiorgi & Charalambous (2006, p 406), tailored to each teacher’s needs.
Emergency contact?Simply providing nervous teachers with my ‘emergency’ contact number, is one simple but effective way to manage the technical barriers and the resulting stress that is common when (not if) ICT fails to deliver. Having someone—‘gofer’ is seen by many of our teachers as very effective. Someone who, at short notice, can, literally, ‘pop in’ for a few minutes to provide a brief intervention. This is a form of ‘training’ targeted directly at the point of need—
ICT free plan CA tech 'incident' no longer needs to result in the potential abandonment of a lesson, but becomes more about making productive use of the ‘wait time’ for help to arrive by having an ‘ICT free plan C’, because plan B still relies on technology (Crook, et al, 2010); although, reassuringly, it is not uncommon for teachers to resolve the problem themselves by the time help arrives. Somehow, knowing that help is coming alleviates stress; this often seems to free the teacher to resolve, or at least circumnavigate the problem themselves, or (more excitingly) with the help of their students.
The Cyclops Effect
|IWB = Cyclops Effect|
Nevertheless, clearly equipping teachers and students with a rigorous set of core ICT skills is bound to ameliorate this problem; the question then is, which skills, and when? Good question, hopefully this is a reasonable answer.