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Article in today’s Age regarding the introduction of the e-book reader Kindle into Australia.

iPod for books Kindles excitement

October 9, 2009

IT’S the iPod for book lovers. The Australian publishing industry was abuzz yesterday over the announcement that Amazon.com’s foray into the world of electronic readers, the Kindle, is coming to Australia.

The electronic reader, Amazon’s biggest-selling product ever, has previously been available only to US consumers. A new version that can download books, newspapers and periodicals wirelessly in more than 100 countries will begin shipping this month.

Kindle is a reading device that uses the same technology as 3G phones.

About 200,000 books will be available for Australian customers to download through the device from October 19.

People will be able to read newspapers and periodicals from around the world, such as The New York Times, and Britain’s Daily Telegraph. The Kindle will sell for $US279 ($A314). Sony’s e-reader model begins at about $100 cheaper.

Amazon’s vice-president of Kindle, Steve Kessel, was on the campaign trail yesterday and was adamant that Kindle will run seamlessly on Australia’s mobile network.

”The 3G wireless connection means you can be reading a book less than 60 seconds after you order it,” Mr Kessel said.

Classroom Web Tools

Classroom Web Tools  is a nicely organised resource site for teachers wanting to identify Web 2.0 tools for a specific school subject.

Homepage
Homepage
Although not an exhaustive list, there may be several resources listed that are new to you or your colleagues. A good starting point or a handy site to use to add to your collection of strategies.

Krystie Alleaume, Senior Project Officer at the Innovation and Next Practice Division of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has sent Bright Ideas the following information:

 Would you like to learn how to run your own Elluminate session?

Have you thought about the potential of using Elluminate with students or teachers?

We have arranged a series of moderator training sessions for Term 4: ‘Getting Started with Elluminate’ and ‘Next Steps with Elluminate’. Details and dates are below. These sessions are completely free, but places are limited to 15 per session, so get in quick!

To register, visit: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/virtualconferencecentre/use/training.htm

Getting Started with Elluminate – Moderator Training (Part 1)

This 90-minute class is designed for anyone new to Elluminate who wants to learn how to facilitate an online class or meeting. The class will teach moderators classroom management skills, methods for establishing social presence, classroom capture and basic content management. The class will offer hands-on practice to reinforce the Elluminate features taught during the session. After completing this class, you should attend the Next Steps with Elluminate Live! for Moderators.

Dates:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Thursday, November 5, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Next Steps with Elluminate – Moderator Training (Part 2)

This 90-minute class is the second class in the moderator training series. Participants must take the Getting Started class first. In this class, more advanced classroom and content management skills will be taught. Additionally, classroom collaboration tools such as Application Sharing will be taught. Participants will have the opportunity for hands-on practice during the session.

Dates:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

It is well worth the time and effort to learn how to be an Ellminate moderator.

Bright Ideas featured Glogster back in March. Now there is Glogster.edu designed specifially for schools. From their website comes the following information:

A New World of Educational Innovation Awaits You

Glogster EDU is your original educational resource for innovative and interactive learning. Glogster EDU was conceived to imaginatively, productively, and collaboratively respond to the dynamic educational landscape and exceed the needs of today’s educators and learners. We value the participation of educators and strive to assimilate their contributions to Glogster EDU, Glogster EDU is yours! Educators from all over the world are integrating Glogster EDU’s resourceful platform to make traditional learning more dynamic, more interactive and more in tune with learners today. Most importantly Glogster EDU is FUN for teachers and learners alike!

Why Glogster EDU?

For Educators:

  1. A creative, dynamic, and innovative digital outlet that captures learner’s excitement for online creations, keeps learners engaged in course content, and makes teaching and learning more fun.
  2. A private and safe platform, monitored directly by teachers. Teachers control all the activities of their learners.
  3. A valuable teaching tool that integrates diverse core subjects including math, science, history, art, photography, music and more for individual learner portfolios, unique alternative assessments, and differentiated instructional activities.

For Learners:

  1. A fun, imaginative, and powerful learning experience which fosters independent creative self expression, positive learner-teacher relationships, and teamwork on collaborative class projects.
  2. A vibrant, multi-sensory learning experience which integrates learner’s knowledge and skills into traditionally text-oriented subjects and motivates learner’s desire to explore topics in which they may previously have been less interested.

Glogster now supports videos from SchoolTube!

From now on you can easily search and embed SchoolTube videos directly from your Glogster edit tool!

Animoto was reviewed in May and have also released an education specific application. This information comes from their flyer:

Your classroom will never be the same.

FOR EDUCATION

http://education.animoto.com

Animoto for Education

Your students are using the Internet to learn already, so engage them on their own turf with Web 2.0 tools like Animoto. Animoto is a web application that turns pictures and text into beautiful video clips with the click of a button.

Use it to create content for your lesson plans, assignments, or course materials – or even have your students create their own educational pieces.

Free All-Access Passes

Teachers and students get free All-Access Passes, giving them unlimited full-length video creations. Check out case studies and apply at:

http://education.animoto.com
 

 

Post your videos to YouTube, put them on your class’s blog, download them for in-class presentations, email them out to parents, use them to recap a semester or year, and so much more! Welcome to the cutting edge of online educational tools.

eField trips

Further to an earlier post about virtual excursions , here is another site which may be useful. eField trips, although US in origin (and some eField trips will be irrelevant to schools outside the US), supply a number of eField trips that may appeal. All eField trips are free and have been developed by Distance Learning Integrators.

A list of trips include:

Finding an eFieldTrip to use with your students is quick and easy!
“This Is No Drill” Attack on Pearl Harbor
Hosted By: Naval Historical Center
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Bats! Fantastic Mammals of Flight
Hosted By: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Ask the Experts Dates: October 20, 2009 to October 21, 2009
Click on the link above for information and registration
Biscayne National Park: An Underwater Ecosystem Adventure
Hosted By: Biscayne National Park
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Brown v. Board of Education: The Struggle for Equality
Hosted By: Brown v. Board National Historic Site
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Butterflies: Unlocking the Mystery of Metamorphosis
Hosted By: NABA International Butterfly Park
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
C&O Canal: Unlocking the Dream of Western Expansion
Hosted By: C&O Canal National Historical Park
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Caves: An Underground Wonderland
Hosted By: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Climbing Denali: The Highest Challenge
Hosted By: Denali National Park and Preserve
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Desert Dwellers of Death Valley: Cool Creatures in a Hot Place!
Hosted By: Death Valley National Park
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Don’t Let It Loose! Invasive Species of Everglades National Park
Hosted By: Everglades National Park
Ask the Experts Dates: November 03, 2009 to November 05, 2009
Click on the link above for information and registration
Dred Scott: A Legacy of Citizenship
Hosted By: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Earthquakes and Mountains and Glaciers…Oh My!
Hosted By: Grand Teton National Park
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Fire’s Role in Ecosystems: A Hot Topic!
Hosted By: Bureau of Land Management
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Glacier Bay: A Living Laboratory for Studying Marine Mammals
Hosted By: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Grand Teton’s Birds of Prey: Awesome Winged Predators!
Hosted By: Grand Teton National Park and Partners
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Invasive Species: America’s Least Wanted
Hosted By: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Keeping Habitats Healthy: We All Can Help!
Hosted By: Bureau of Land Management
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
North Atlantic Right Whales: A Struggle to Avoid Extinction
Hosted By: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Renewable Energy: POWERful Choices!
Hosted By: Bureau of Land Management
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Sea Turtles: Endangered Ocean Navigators
Hosted By: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
The Mammals of Denali: Amazing Animals of Adaptation
Hosted By: Denali National Park and Preserve
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
The Manatee: A Florida Treasure
Hosted By: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
The Reptiles and Amphibians of Everglades National Park
Hosted By: Everglades National Park
Ask the Experts Dates: November 17, 2009 to November 19, 2009
Click on the link above for information and registration
The Rocky Road to Devils Tower
Hosted By: Devils Tower National Monument
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
Timeless Totems: The Carved History of the Alaskan Coast
Hosted By: Sitka National Historical Park
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration
WOW! The Wetlands of Watsonville
Hosted By: City of Watsonville
Ask the Experts Date: To Be Scheduled
Click on the link above for information and registration

Some eField trips were deveopled a few years ago, however, they are still worth considering for use with classes.

In an ironic twist, Saturday’s Age published two stories about e-books. One by author Carmel Bird (see previous post) who states that the intimacy of turning the pages of a book can never be replaced. The second by Jane Sullivan explains how readers of The Age can access a new and exclusive digital story:

Now screening: a digital book for you

JANE SULLIVAN

October 3, 2009

“NOBODY is going to sit down and read a book on a twitchy little screen,” US writer Annie Proulx said in 1994. “Ever.”

What a difference 15 years make. Today, millions read books on a variety of “twitchy little screens”: laptops, e-books, iPods or iPhones. And from October 12, Age readers will be able to read a serialised story on their mobile phones.

In the tradition of Charles Dickens, who launched his novels in serial form, Melbourne writer Marieke Hardy has created a 20-episode story, to be sent out to mobiles over four weeks.

”It will be quite riveting,” promises The Age’seditor-in-chief, Paul Ramadge. “Marieke is a wonderfully talented and immediately engaging writer.” The idea is to test the story’s reception, get reader feedback and develop the potential to talk to Age readers “in multiple ways”.

It’s probable that this is Australia’s first sizeable fiction written for the mobile phone. But in Japan, millions of readers are devouring novels on their phones, often when commuting to work or school. They download the novels – usually racy romances – and read them in 70-word instalments.

As many as 86 per cent of high school girls read these phone stories, and the novels subsequently turned into print form have raced to the top of bestseller lists.

In other countries, alternatives to the traditional book are catching on more slowly. But Nick Cave wrote the first chapter of his novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, on his iPhone, and the book is available as an iPhone application.

Hundreds of other titles are being downloaded on to e-book readers such as Kindle or Echo Reader, or smartphones such as iPhone or iPod touch, either free or for a fraction of the price of a print book.

Melbourne mobile media theorist Paul Green does not see these alternatives taking over from print. “The novel is going to be pretty awkward to read on the small screen,” he says. “But there will be a place for the audio book, and a trend towards reading and writing short books with short chapters on these devices, as their screens get bigger.”

Sydney writer Richard Watson, author of Future Files, thinks the publishing world is about to undergo a seismic shock. Books as we know them will exist beside a host of new alternatives.

The creation of a book may not include an agent or a publisher: instead, authors will self-publish using software and online services such as Blurb, and search out niche markets. As well as downloading books, readers will print them through automated publishing machines, or buy e-books in 99-cent instalments.

It’s enough to make you want to get away from it all and curl up with a book.

Details of how to register for The Age mobile phone story will be announced next week.

It will be interesting to gauge the response to the digital story.

The intimacy of turning pages

This lovely article by author Carmel Bird appeared in Saturday’s Age:

Intimacy of turning pages

CARMEL BIRD

October 3, 2009

IN A photograph of the Obama family at home, taken by Annie Leibovitz in October 2004, surrounded by images of Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali, there lies, all alone on a clear surface, front and centre, a slightly dog-eared copy of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. It’s a cosy, informal family portrait, suggesting maybe that just before it was shot one of the parents was reading the storybook to the little girls. The book, flat on the table, draws the eye, and suggests that the photographer has interrupted an intimate and blissful moment, a moment familiar to many parents and teachers.

I treasure memories of lying in my father’s arms while he read from a green-covered volume of The Wind in the Willows, a book that gradually fell to pieces from loving over-use. The books I read to my daughter have a glow and resonance in my mind and heart. Some are still in either my possession or hers, but sometimes I think of one, and if it is lost, if it is out of print, I rush to find a second-hand copy. These replacements have a special quality of their own; they are part of a treasury of reclaimed and revisited moments of intimate bliss.

I recently got a replacement copy of a picture book called Miss Jaster’s Gardenby N.M. Bodecker. This is a story about a hedgehog that becomes part of the garden to the extent that flowers grow in his prickles. A rather poignant thing about the book I got is the inscription in handwriting — “To Grayson from his loving Aunt Jeni and Uncle Brett, for Christmas 2003″. But then maybe our old copy has wound up on someone else’s nursery bookshelf. I hope so.

On the day I received Miss Jaster’s Garden in the mail, I was writing a speech to give at the launch of Glenda Millard’s gorgeous new picture book, Isabella’s Garden. And I was listening to the radio. There I heard someone speaking about the coming disappearance of books as paper objects. They will be replaced by electronic devices of various marvellous kinds. This assertion seems to be quite widespread, but was strangely at odds with my pleasure in the two picture books on my desk.

In lots of ways I am old-fashioned, but I am also pleased to use quite a bit of modern technology. I don’t deny that there are and will be ways of reading that do not rely on blocks of paper covered in black type. I read things on the web and I often enjoy the experience. But if books as books are going to disappear, what will replace those Wind in the Willows/Charlotte’s Web moments that nourish the love between adults and children, and that sow the seeds of storytelling and language?

Does it matter? I think it does. I was reading How Fiction Works by James Wood. Referring to the “cherry-coloured twist” in Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, Wood says: “Reading this to my daughter for the first time in 35 years, I was instantly returned, by the talismanic activity of that cherry-coloured twist, to a memory of my mother reading it to me.” The book, the language, the melody of it all, are part of the embrace of the mother for the son, the son in turn for his daughter. The stories of Potter are not simply a collection of disembodied words, but are part of something organic and emotional that goes where electronic reading devices possibly cannot go.

And it’s not just the children’s storybooks that will disappear with the book, so will the beloved physicalities and idiosyncrasies of all books. I have a lot of books, although I could not be described as a “collector”. They line the walls of several rooms and make me feel at home. In a mild and haphazard way, I am a collector of different editions of The Great Gatsby. I love all the different cover designs. Apart from fascinating differences, each edition brings back memories of when and where I got it, when and where I read it.

There is a moment, perhaps more touching now than when it was written, when Nick encounters the owl-eyed man in Gatsby’s library. The man asserts with amazed excitement that the books on the shelves are not fakes. “Absolutely real — have pages and everything.”

So altogether it seems to me it will be a sad world if books are completely replaced by other devices delivering text and information. Who would not want to see the pages turning, to hear the voice of their father intoning: “So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped.” The words are good, but my father’s voice coupled with the memory of the velvet autumn leaves on the armchair gives them a marvellous added resonance. Or if you are James Wood reading to your daughter, you can hear your mother in your own voice, possibly reading from your childhood version of the book: “Everything was finished except just one single cherry-coloured button-hole, and where that button-hole was wanting there was pinned a scrap of paper with these words — in little teeny-weeny writing — NO MORE TWIST.”

You can find the texts of Potter and Kenneth Grahame on the web, where you might have the added entertainment of pop-ups offering you lovely Russian girls or cures for blindness, but I believe that nothing can really replace your mother or father holding you in their arms while they read you the story from the dog-eared little book. 

Technology and e-books have their place, but who can deny the pleasure of reading and sharing a  book that you can touch?

Glenys Lowden, Head of the LRC at Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School has developed an interesting wiki resource with English teacher Jenny Cas. Part of the Year 10 English course requires the students to read and study a book of their choice from a list available on the wiki.

Reading wiki homepage
Reading wiki homepage

Glenys outlines why the wiki was developed:

Jenny and I set up the wiki to encourage the girls to discuss and gain insight into texts which we had purchased specifically for this purpose.

It is great to see, when visiting the wiki, that students have indeed joined and made comments about their books. In some instances, these comments have become conversations when either Glenys, Jenny or other students engage in further discussions about the texts. Glenys outlines some of the issues that she and Jenny faced when setting up the wiki:

We had some problems with students gaining access to the wiki although I think this may have been due to our settings.  Consequently it took ages for the students to get their comments up and by this time the short program has almost finished.  When I last checked not all students had followed through with commenting.  This is another issue which needs to be addressed prior to the next group.  However it has been good to learn from this group and improve the process ready for the next group to start.

Glenys and Jenny have also kindly agreed to publish their supporting documentation; a letter to parents, an introduction to the program and the introductory discussion questions they have been using.

Glenys and Jenny have set up a useful wiki for the girls and have obviously learned a lot through the developmental stages. Well done!

LearnCentral are encouraging educators to run webinars via LearnCentral public Elluminate. Any educator can use these resources for free as long as:

the events must be 1) education-oriented, 2) free (you’re not charging those who attend), 3)  recordable, and 4) open to anyone to attend.  We’re really excited to see what you do with this capability, and are hoping that it allows you to regularly gather other educators around curricular interests in “historic” ways.

The current instructions are below.  This is a new service, so your feedback and help are greatly appreciated!

Before Scheduling a Meeting

We ask that you go through the live or recorded free Elluminate training (http://www.elluminate.com/support/training/index.jsp) before hosting a session, and suggest strongly that you attend another session as a participant to see how an Elluminate session works.  Please don’t go in without any actual experience–it won’t be good for you or your attendees!  :) This is an honor system, but we do ask that you are prepared as we don’t want these free sessions to reflect poorly on Elluminate!

To Schedule a Meeting

To schedule a meeting in the LearnCentral public-use Elluminate room, please create the event using the calendar for this group by going to the events tab here and clicking on “Create Event.”  Please check the calendar first and take care not to schedule over another event.  Please also leave at least 30 minutes before and after each event (so that you and the organizer who follows you both have time to come into the room to prepare before your events).

The URL to put in the calendar event, or to give out to others to attend, is https://sas.elluminate.com/d.jnlp?sid=lcevents&password=Webinar_Guest. You can also use this shortened version:  http://tinyurl.com/lcparticipant.  Participants do not need to be members of LearnCentral to attend the event, but please encourage them to join!

Once your event is scheduled in the group calendar, you are welcome to also add it to the calendars of other groups you are a part of.  If you believe your event might be of interest to the LearnCentral community as a whole, please email me at stevehargadon@elluminate.com so that I can place it on the community calendar.  You also need to email me for the moderator log-in information of this is your first time holding a LearnCentral Elluminate meeting. 

Please keep meetings to under two hours in order for others to be able to use the room.  If you need a session that is longer than two hours, please contact me directly.  Also, the LearnCentral Elluminate room has limit of 300 participants.  If you believe that you will need to accommodate more than this number, please contact me directly as well.

The Actual Meeting

When you enter the room, there will be one or two standard slides that we ask that you leave in place.  Any slide you want to upload should be placed after our default slides. 

You will also need to start the recording.  There should be a pop-up box asking if you want to do so.  You should wait until your formal session is about to begin.

If you need to set up a telephone bridge, see the instructions in the Elluminate manual at http://www.elluminate.com/support/docs/9.5/telephony/index.jsp.  You’ll need to have your own conference call system and dial-in number. 

Ending a Meeting

When your session is over, please clear the room of all participants, yourself included.  The room must be empty for the recording to process.  If you have participants who have left the session running and don’t exit on their own, you can click on them in the participant window, then right-click to manually remove.

After a Meeting

When your meeting is done, you will need to find your recording link and place in the post-event URL.  Here are the steps:

1.  Go to the Recording Table is at https://sas.elluminate.com/drtbl?suid=D.40F698971780B7AEE5FAD85F5E2D6D.  Look for the date and time of your session for the link (you can change the times to reflect your time zone).  When you have found your session, right-click on the “Play” link to copy the URL. 

2.  Return to the LearnCentral and find your event.  It’s usually easiest to do so by going to the group calendar in the “Host Your Own Webinar Group” or by using the top “Event” menu item and then selecting “My Events.”  Click through to your actual event details page, then click on the “Edit Event” button.  Scroll down to the “Other” box and click on “Expand.”  You’ll then see a “Post-event URL” field, and you should now past the link to play your event recording. Then click the “Submit” button at the bottom to save these changes.

3.  Repeat this process for each listing of the same event if you’ve put the event in multiple groups.

Feedback

We hope you have fun and find lots of good uses for this service!  Please give us your feedback and ideas by posting in the discussions of this group, or by emailing Steve Hargadon directly at stevehargadon@elluminate.com.

 A great way to save time, money and the environment! As a regular user of Elluminate, this is a great tool.

The annual report on emerging technologies - planning for change has been published. Education.au has released the report, which is part of the Strategic ICT Advisory Service, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The 102 page report may not be accessible to everyone in terms of taking the time to read it, so here are some salient points:

The Horizon Report identifies a number of meta-trends in ICT in education:

• the evolving approaches to communication between humans and machines

• the collective sharing and generation of knowledge

• computing in three dimensions

• connecting people via the network

• games as pedagogical platforms

• the shifting of content production to users

• the evolution of an ubiquitous platform.

 The challenges for policy makers20 listed below are summarised from the discussions at the ICT in Learning Symposium and, along with the other references used, have helped shape this report’s recommendations. The challenges are:

• to provide a flexible framework that supports information sharing and reduces duplication through fragmentation of effort

• to choose where to invest in research, tools and systems that support integration

• to address the barriers to scaling innovative and transformative practice

• to monitor performance of the system against key outcomes that are learner focussed

• the development of a flexible national curriculum for schools and assessment so it is responsive to the potential of technologies to engage, enhance and improve learning outcomes for a 21st century economy

• the provision of tools, mechanisms and systems that encourage the development and sharing of content and of good teaching practice

• the development of policy frameworks that encourage widespread use of new technologies through a shared risk management approach the instigation and support of transformational professional learning programs across all sectors that effectively engage educators in incorporating the use of ICT to improve learner outcomes

• the provision of spaces and mechanisms for trial and evaluation of new ICTs and for sharing of good practice across sectors, between organisations, and across jurisdictions

• the development of a management, maintenance and governance model for managing a complex distributed and connected environment for all stakeholders

• the development of decision making frameworks that describe minimum standards for interoperability to encourage national integration of tools and services while allowing for local flexibility

• the provision of sandpit spaces for trial and evaluation of new technologies

• the promotion of frameworks and systems to encourage sharing of content and best practice in teaching and learning.

 This report makes eight recommendations, each accompanied by suggested strategies to support the achievement of those recommendations. The recommendations are listed here, but should be read in concert with the strategies.

The recommendations are:

SICTAS: Planning for Change Education.au 10

• Implement an ICT in teaching and learning continuum so that learners’ new media literacyskills and abilities are augmented as they move through the education sectors.

• Task a national body to support national collaborative partnerships to reduce fragmentation of effort, and make best use of the existing and future investments made in ICT.

• Research and establish mechanisms to enable the more rapid adoption of innovative practice in the use of ICT across the teaching and learning workforce.

• Commit to providing ongoing resourcing and funding to maintain, sustain and enhance a technology rich environment for the education and training sector.

• Develop and implement a national approach to software infrastructure that minimises the barriers to effective use and sharing of resources, and maximises access.

• Address the complications of Australian copyright law in a way that encourages sharing and exchange of resources in the education and training sector, including the implementation of Creative Commons across Australian education and training.

• That the Australian Government takes a leadership role in collaboration with jurisdictions, sectors and educational institutions to develop a national professional learning strategy based on sound research into good practice.

• The Australian Government takes a leadership role, in partnership with other education authorities and entities, in implementing and maintaining the ICT competency framework for teachers as described in the ‘Raising the Standards’ report, but look to apply this to teachers in each of the education sectors. A key component of the described framework is teacher standards. The Government should undertake to task AICTEC, through its advisory bodies to develop teacher ICT standards for:

o Pre-service teachers

o Practicing teachers

o School leaders

o Teacher educators

o VET teachers

o University teachers

The report also provides a set of possible actions that could be taken to help position Australia to manage constant change in ICT in the education and training sector. A primary issue is delegation of responsibility: who will take responsibility for managing and implementing the range of actions, strategies and recommendations?

The current system of dispersed responsibility and fragmentation of effort does not enable strategic implementation ensuring equitable access to quality ICT in education for learners across jurisdictions and sectors regardless of where a learner or teacher is in the system.

Some of the Actions that are suggested in different areas are the same and therefore vital: 

• Embed new media literacy skills in teaching and learning at all levels and in all sectors to enable learners to manage identity and privacy issues and empower students, teacher and leaders as digital citizens.

• Include online and collaborative learning pedagogies, online facilitation skills, new media literacy skills161 and appropriate assessment regimes and ICT tools in teacher education as part of the standard curricula

• Include new media literacy skills in professional learning programs (as defined in the SICTAS Collaboration in Teaching and Learning report162).

• Regularly review and (re)align professional learning programs to shifts in learning theory, pedagogical approaches and assessment regimes.

Having such a respected organisation reinforce many of the things that we all believe is powerful. Perhaps Principals and other leaders would like to read the report and implement some of the suggestions?

 

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