Saturday, September 20, 2008

Declaration of Educational Goals: ICTs

MCEETYA are seeking input on the new National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians for the next decade. See previous post.

The "rapid and continuing advances in ICTs" that are "changing the way we share, use, develop and process information" and the "massive shift in power" to learners features in the draft preamble of the new declaration. But it also calls for a "quantum leap" in our knowledge of effective ways of embedding ICTs in learning in schools.

One goal refers to learners who are "creative and productive users of technologies, particularly ICTs" and the preamble identifies the need for "digital media skills" and to be "highly literate in ICT".

Some are disappointed however that the 'commitment to action' section only mentions
  • maximising the use of the latest technologies in teacher professional learning (d)
  • integrating key multidisciplinary perspectives into the curriculum which includes ICT (e)
  • using new technology to minimize red tape and make information easily accessible to the public (g)

To some this appears odd given the focus in the preamble, the current Digital Education Revolution national agenda and the level of detail in the DER strategic planning documents.

Perhaps the draft declaration needs to include something about using ICTs to achieve each goal - and some/many of the 'commitment to actions' - or is that assumed? Can we assume anything if we are talking about the need for "quantum leaps" in effectiveness?

Should the document include something about using ICTs to

  • enable personalised learning?
  • create safe and developmentally appropriate spaces for blended learning, communities of inquiry and digital folios?
  • facilitate assessment of, for and as learning?
  • bridge formal and informal learning - including computer game and special interest 'affinity spaces'?

Or perhaps given the ongoing rapid rate of change in ICTs to 2020 we need to rethink our approach in this area?

How can we be ready for powerful mobile computing, complex virtual worlds, sophisticated games AI, highly interactive media, ubiquitous geo-tagging, and many more ... as they deliver new affordances in education? Particularly when they are likely to be delivered directly to most (but not all) learners? And particularly when learners won't necessarily 'see' either the new ICT or the new affordances?

How can curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment be much more responsive to this rapid change? How can we keep the focus on learning, teaching and assessment without being distracted by shiny gadgets with short lives? How can we reduce the professional learning burden on teachers?

What other questions should we be asking and which assumptions should we be questioning?

Perhaps this is where we need a 'commitment to action'.


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At 9:53 AM, Blogger dean said...


1) teachers understand how to manage collaborative learning, especially in large numbers via technology.

2) that students only bring 'good habits' from youth culture derived 'skills'

3) That teachers can effectively select and scaffold learning via digital research tools

4) That teachers understand copyright

5) That teachers are interested in developing digital methods

6) That students 'enjoy' using computers

7) That cartesian formative and summative assessment is going to be reformed - by government policy

8) That government is committed to Australia wide infrastructure changes - and willing to force reform on Telcos to deliver it

9) That cutting edge technology means a wireless laptop

10) That Australia is not in fact LEADING grass roots classroom reform already and we actually need to be in the same orbit as America. The focus on US derrived 'expert' views is not something that is natural to Australian culture. We should look to ourselves first, not second for answers.


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