Autumn, and first semester, officially begin on March 1st, only a few short days away.
I am celebrating the start of the season a little bit early by beginning to use my new handbag. I received it as a Christmas present, but set it aside to start using in the cooler months.
What's that pinned on it? Why it's the handmade brooch that Maria K. (A mind lively and at ease) sent me!
I think that it matches perfectly, and gets me in the mood for Autumn!
I'm also posting here the first draft of the first part of my first assessment for EER500. Lucky you! You get to read it and critique it for me! It's a short summary of an education department report. If you're Australian, you would have heard of the Digital Education Revolution, synonymous in many people's minds with the government pledge to provide all high school students with their very own laptop. In fact, there's a bit more to it than that, and the strategic plan outlines the government's plan to ensure a technology-rich enviroment in all schools.
Success through partnership: Achieving a national vision for ICT in schools. Strategic Plan to guide the implementation of the Digital Education Revolution initiative and related initiatives. 5 August 2008. Retrieved from http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Pages/default.aspx
This strategic plan is the document that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed will direct the implementation of the Digital Education Revolution (DER). All policy and program decisions related to information and communication technology (ICT) in schooling will be directed by this plan.
Currently, the availability and use of ICT is highly variable from state to state and school to school. Many students have limited access to computers and online information due to computers being located in labs rather than classrooms, and broadband connections being inadequate. Access to and quality of digital learning resources is also highly variable.
The DER provides a vision for students to achieve high outcomes in a technology enriched environment. The aspirational goals of this vision are that:
• Students have unlimited access to information.
• Teaching and learning is student centric, innovative and stimulating, while being rigorous and addressing curriculum standards. Contemporary learning resources and activities meet students’ individual needs.
• Courses, resources and communication between teachers, students and parents are accessible without limits.
• Web 2.0 is used for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
• School leaders plan for ongoing improvement.
The DER commits to:
• Supporting infrastructure by providing devices (e.g. laptops), high speed affordable networks, technical support and “learning portals”.
• Providing digital learning resources and software appropriate to national curricula, including tools for safe online collaboration (web 2.0 tools) and a model for content supply, including copyright issues.
• Improving teacher capability by promoting models of teaching and learning that incorporate digital resources, applying ICT standards to pre-service training and professional development, and transferring effective practice between different agencies.
• Supporting leadership by providing training for school leaders in the development of system and school level planning for implementation of ICT.
The first guiding principle of the DER is coordination, which requires a commitment across governments and sectors to collaboration, communication and consultation; leading to coherence. The other guiding principles of the DER are sustainability and flexibility.
The strategic plan includes all the school’s systems for the use of ICT, including:
• Selection, creation, storage, retrieval and use of digital teaching and learning resources.
• Development of ICT infrastructure to meet all needs of the school, including use of ICT to support and improve its business processes, and to facilitate improved communication with the wider school community.
• Use of ICT to assess student learning, including ICT capability, communicate the data, and manage student information.
• Planning for and implementation of professional learning in regard to the implementation of ICT.
• Capacity to use ICT to extend and differentiate student learning opportunities.
If you are familiar with the report, I'd love to hear if you think I've captured the essence of it.
If you are not Australian, I'd love to hear your take on how ICT is incorporated into schools in your part of the world.