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In the current climate of assessment, accountability and accreditation teachers are increasingly required, from the early years of beginning teaching throughout their career, to document and thereby demonstrate professional competency. Supporting pre-service teachers in practising this process is a vital role teacher educators play to ensure their graduates are well prepared for the rigours of demonstrating teaching proficiency particularly in their beginning years of teaching. Against a backdrop where The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA, 2008) is informing the construction of national teacher accreditation, it is made clear that there is a firm expectation that graduate teachers from Australian universities will be conversant in digital technologies. These beginning teachers are expected to use Information Communication Technologies (ICT) in the preparation of teaching lessons, as a pedagogical tool in the classroom, and as a means of extending their own ongoing professional knowledge and interaction.

Through inter-university collaboration and online learning communities, students in their final years of teacher education across three universities are currently involved in an 18 month ALTC project designed to assist students in developing ePortfolios which exemplify NSW Professional Teaching Standards achieved during professional experiences. The purpose of such a project is to enhance the skills and knowledge of pre- service teachers with regard to professional teaching standards through an ICT platform in a supported community. This paper will explain the rationale behind the selected processes and ICT tools and will demonstrate how they have been utilised to assist beginning teachers in meeting current professional demands. Observations, survey feedback and ePortfolio artefacts form the basis of data collected and will be shared in the presentation. Preliminary results drawn from the qualitatively analysed data suggest that the use of ePortfolios enhance critical ICT skills and pedagogical knowledge that beginning teachers need in order to demonstrate teacher competency.

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Conference Paper

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