Connected Learning in an Australian Technology Program: A Case Study

Connected Learning in an Australian Technology Program: A Case Study

Jane Louise Hunter (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch423

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The Australian Context

In Australia significant reports published by the Ministerial Council on Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs Information and Communication Technologies in Schools Taskforce (2005, 2006, 2008) document technology integration in teaching and learning. Other key education guidelines (Kearns, 2002), in particular the Education Goals for Young Australians, cite reasons for schools to give priority to student learning with technology:

Successful learners have the essential skills in literacy and numeracy and are creative and productive users of technology, especially ICT, as a foundation of success in all leaning areas when students leave school they should be confident, creative and productive users of new technologies, particularly information and communication technologies, and understand the impact of those technologies on society (p.4).

Initiatives of the Schools Taskforce and the National Goals seek Australian or bi-lateral collaboration on digital content, systems and services, policy, standards and operational agreements. This action supports the development of a framework by which jurisdictions can evaluate and report their progress on the implementation of ICT priorities detailed in Learning in an Online World (2005).

Prior to the election of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2007, the promise of a “digital education revolution” further positioned technology as a key political platform for effective learning for students in Australian schools. Commitment by the Federal government involves $AUS 1.2 billion over five years (2008-12) to “turn every secondary school in Australia into a digital school” (Ministerial Council on Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008, p. 5).

In July 2008, the Federal Minister for Education, Training and Industrial Relations, Julia Gillard, wrote to all teacher employers in Australia indicating that funds of up to $AUS 11.25 million will be directed to ICT- related school based professional development for teachers under the Australian Government Quality Teacher Program (AGQTP). Further funds for such programs are not available beyond 2009, and are being replaced by new funding arrangements for teacher professional learning using ICT.

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