Two types of teacher competency indicators for ICT in education on were developed in 1999–2002 and 2004. The first indicator, the ICT Skill Standard for Teacher (ISST),
focused on teacher computer literacy and information on processing based on the teaching career, while the second indicator focused on teacher use of ICT for education based on career and subject.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) established the ISST in the late 1990s to facilitate teacher skills of ICT literacy and information processing.
ISST was developed for both the certification system of teachers’ abilities in ICT and teacher training. For certification, the ISST based assessment instrument was developed
for the teacher, ICT master teacher, vice-principal, and principal levels. The government supported the ISST certification system for 10% of all teachers annually.
The ISST certification system played an important role in motivating teachers to improve their ICT skills. The government offered incentives to applicants with ISST
certificates in teacher recruitment. Several Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education (MPOEs) also provided incentives to promotion and transfer candidates.
Teachers are considered to be important agents of ICT in education, as they are the final decision makers who select what kinds of ICT to use and how to do that.
In this respect, Korea’s government has provided teacher training for both ICT literacy and integration purposes since the late 1980s.
At the early stages of introduction of ICT in education, ICT education in the sense of computer literacy is at the primary focus, rather than ICT in education
(i.e., curriculum integration). This was the case for Korea in 1988–1995.Topics of computer education generally include hardware and software programmes such as
programming programmes, operating systems, word processors, spreadsheets, presentation programmes, etc.
In particular, the Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) was included in teacher training at that time, but many limitations for integration into classroom
teaching were reported, because CAI did not fit into school teaching methods.
Accordingly, several authoring tools such as New Korea Net, GREAT, and GREAT II were developed to support teachers in their development of teaching materials
(Son, 2009). Regional offices of education implemented teacher training to facilitate the effective use of these tools. The arrival of 32-bit PCs, Windows OS,
and the Internet supplies in 1995 was followed by teacher training for development of multimedia materials and Internet, and the number of teachers participating in
training programmes radically increased.
Beginning from 1996, teacher training was conducted within the Second Master Plan for ICT in Education and had a stronger focus on technology integration.
Teacher training at this phase was divided into general courses for classroom teachers and special courses for training-of-trainers and inspectors.
Teacher training was focused on the development of multimedia materials and the introductory level of integration. The first phase of ICT teacher training covered over
25% of teachers per year. At that time training had limitations for teachers’ ICT integration into both their pedagogy and curriculum (Son, 2009).
Provision of ICT infrastructure to schools was completed in 2000, teachers got computers and Internet connection, each classroom was equipped with a projector,
thus teachers had to use computers in teaching. Therefore, in 2001–2005, teacher training was oriented to ICT integration into curriculum rather than ICT literacy.
Training programmes included mandatory and optional courses. The mandatory ICT training delivered by the regional offices of education provided official
training credits upon completion.
This training involved 33% of teachers per year. Optional ICT training programmes offered by schools for at least 15 hours per year included various topics based on the
individual schools training needs with no official training credits.
Since 2006 teacher training for ICT in education within the National Master Plan III has entered the mature stage focused on u-learning and the knowledge society.
The ROK government built the teacher training framework for ICT in education based on teacher career stages, from induction to retirement so that teachers and supervisors
could know what training programmes were needed for each stage. School CEOs have played a critical role in ICT in education within each school. In addition to ICT literacy,
training programmes for school CEOs included supervision for ICT in education.
ICT-applied school management, building a learning community through a school website, and case studies of ICT in education. As a result, 33% of school CEOs received annual
ICT training during the period between 2001and 2008.
Cutting-edge technologies continuously evolve, thus the ROK government designed training programmes for integration of emerging technologies such as the Establishment of
schools of the 21st century (Web 2.0), IPTV, etc., which at all times help teachers to integrate ICT into teaching practice.
Since its development in 2008, the National Teacher Training Information Service (NTTS) system helps teachers find appropriate information on teacher training,
conduct self-assessments of teacher competency, and offers information on the current status of teacher training programmes.
Service (KERIS), and 16 MPOEs – contribute to ICT teacher training in the Republic of Korea, each playing its role in this process. MEST elaborates ICT master plans,
including a wide spectrum of teacher competency development such as teacher training, teacher competitions, standards development, etc. Final decisions and support for
teacher training are the responsibility of MEST. Based on MEST master plans and budgets, KERIS plans, implements, monitors and evaluates teacher training programmes.
KERIS has developed teacher-training programmes (e.g., Creative Lesson Planning and Teaching 21st Century Learners) and customized external programmes
(e.g., Microsoft and Intel programmes). In addition, KERIS implemented T-T-T (Training-The-Trainers) sessions for all developed and customized training programmes.
This is the cascading approach that can effectively diff use training programmes to a number of trainees in a short time. KERIS activity focuses on master teachers and
pilot sessions. All training programmes are implemented by designated MPOEs. Generally, MPOEs customize training programmes to suit their own training needs. Due to the
fact that MPOEs are able to make the final decision with respect to the training budget, they build annual operation plans for the training programmes.