Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Many countries now regard understanding ICTs and mastering the basic skills and concepts of ICTs as part of the core of education, alongside reading, writing and numeracy.
One of UNESCO's overriding aims is to ensure that all countries, both developed and developing, have access to the best educational facilities necessary to prepare young people to play full roles in modern society and to contribute to a knowledge nation. Maintaining a capacity to advise national governments on the use of technology in schools and, in particular, on the optimal balance, given local circumstances, between ICTs and older educational technologies and assisting countries in developing educational software and materials that reflect their own national and regional cultures are key components of the Organization's strategy to achieve the Education for All goals.
The present publication, Information and Communication Technology in Education: A Curriculum for Schools and Programme of Teacher Development is the last in a series of thematically complementary publications developed in 2002 by the Division of Higher Education and should be seen as UNESCO's contribution to assist Member States in successfully integrating the new technologies such as multimedia, e-learning and distance education delivery into their educational systems. The book pursues two key purposes. The first is to specify a curriculum in ICTs for secondary schools that is in line with current international trends. The second is to propose a programme of professional development for teachers necessary to implement the specified ICT curriculum successfully. In addition, it provides a practical and realistic approach to curriculum and teacher development that can be implemented quickly and cost effectively, according to available resources.
It gives me pleasure to acknowledge the genuine international co-operation spirit thanks to which this new publication has seen the light of day and the contribution of several internationally renowned experts from Europe, Asia, America and Australia. A word of sincere thanks goes to the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) for having been the initiator of this project.