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The Failed Revolution? 23 February, 2013

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Politics.
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4 comments

I’ve posted several articles here about Kevin Rudd’s/Julia Gillard’s Digital Education Revolution, from its ambitious inception through to one state’s innovative interpretation of it, and ultimately its relegation to national folly status.  Then I read Greg Whitby’s latest article.

gregwhitby

I tried posting a comment on the Australian Teacher Magazine’s guest article last night, but comments are moderated because their teachers and readers can’t be trusted to comment professionally, and I just can’t allow Mr Whitby’s post to stand without any visible responses.

I’m so sorry that other states and educational jurisdictions did not have the foresight back in 2007/8 to realise that the Federal Government’s original funding plan for computers to allocate to students alone was never going to be “revolutionary”. The $2.3B plan was flawed from the start and every state should have challenged the Federal government to deliver a viable end to end solution rather than something that might sound good to voters. You can’t get value from PCs if they are not connected to the Internet and if they don’t have local technical support. And most importantly, you can’t use them effectively as a teaching and learning tool without targeted professional development for teachers.

That’s exactly what the NSW Government of the time did through the strong recommendation of the NSW Education Department. They actually directed all public high schools in NSW to boycott the first year’s funds (something that was totally unheard of!) until the Federal government finally relented and agreed to a further $550M to also fund managed wireless in every single learning space, a full-time in-school Technical Support Officer for every high school and funding to allow for necessary ongoing staff development each year and the creation of relevant and practical resources. In addition, the NSW Government understood how critical it would be that every high school teacher also has their own laptop computer and funded that purchase themselves.  All of this was done to ensure that that state’s version of the Revolution could have the chance to actually be successful and revolutionary.

The DER NSW project is now in its 5th and unfortunately, final year. Did its legacy deserve to be described as Greg Whitby did? Hardly. It’s worth looking at a real academic evaluation of the program before judging it as “an initiative of its time”. The NSW Government arranged for such research and has proudly posted it all for the world.  That’s why “the New South Wales Government (is) seeking a funding guarantee from the Commonwealth to replace outdated computers”, Greg.

How many light bulbs does it take to change teaching? 3 January, 2010

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, My Thoughts, technology.
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54 comments

Everyday my email inbox alerts me to at least one teacher who has become a new follower on Twitter. Now while I’m definitely not the best ed-tech guy in Twitterland to follow, I like to think that for each of those emails, a light bulb has switched on somewhere and a teacher is working to change, or at least keep up with the change that’s continually going on all around them.


photo courtesy of purplemattfish

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You Better Start Swimmin’ or You’ll Sink Like a Stone 4 September, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts, Politics, technology.
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21 comments

Today I “attended” an educational technologies conference. Well sort of. I wasn’t there, but then again, I was. IWBnet’s “Leading a Digital School” conference was on at the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland and while I was unable to be a delegate at the venue, I had the next best thing. Many of the delegates who were there, were happy to instantly share their experience with the rest of the world via Twitter.

visibletweets
Relive the IWBnet Conference via Visible Tweets

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What ICT Teachers Think… 20 May, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, My Thoughts.
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10 comments

EVERY School Term for the past ten years, in conjunction with my team, I have been running Information Days for school ICT Coordinators. Over 250 teachers representing over 200 public schools consistently come to find out the latest information relating to ICT in school education in our little part of the world. Now while I’m usually the one passing the latest news onto them, I often like to ask them what their point of view is – that is, being a school educator that uses ICT in the classroom, or in other words, being a minority within the teaching faculty.  Here’s what some of them have told me.

ictteachers1

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Still Waiting for the Revolution… 26 January, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, NSW, Politics, technology.
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7 comments

Date Log: January 2009. Still waiting for the revolution.

Australia’s Digital Education Revolution is coming. Even before it started, it was identified that the $1.2 billion promised was not going to be enough, so now with the injection of a further $807 million, Educational Authorities across the country are investigating hardware options including laptops and wireless connectivity. But Dr Alan Kay is still not convinced that this will be the revolution our children need.

alankay

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Australia’s Digital Education Revolution? 1 June, 2008

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, children, education, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts.
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18 comments

NOT LONG after Kevin Rudd’s Labor Party was whisked into power in Australia after 12 years of conservative government, there were immediate and obvious differences that appeared. Rudd took no traditional “honeymoon” period, instead preferring to get straight to work on delivering his pre-election promises. One of these being the $1.2 billion “Digital Education Revolution“.

AAP image - by Alan Porritt

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