Appointment of new Digital Education Advisory Group
The Commonwealth Government has announced the formation of a Digital Education Advisory Group made up of leading education and IT experts, which will strive to pave the way for incorporating new technology into the classroom.
The group will build on the government’s $2.4 billion Digital Education Revolution (DER), which began at the beginning of 2008 and is due to finish by the end of 2011. It will focus on providing advice to the government on the latest ICT developments, as well as the best ways to convert these developments for classroom use.
According to School Education Minister Peter Garrett, the government’s focus on using the latest technology available in the classroom is designed to “make sure that all students, no matter where they live, get the best education possible”.
The DER is made up of a number of funding initiatives (detailed below) that provide computers for schools across the country, deliver digital learning resources and train teachers in the use of ICT in the classroom.
These DER initiatives are designed to bolster the new Australian Curriculum and will be supported by the building of the National Broadband Network, which will deliver affordable high-speed internet into classrooms and allow greater access to online content.
State governments have their own policy commitments to deliver ICT infrastructure and digital education resources in order to realise this national vision. The Victorian Government’s iPads for Learning initiative is a good example of this.
DIGITAL EDUCATION REVOLUTION INITIATIVES
- National Secondary School Computer Fund: provides new computers and other ICT equipment for students in Years 9 to 12 across Australia, as well as the infrastructure necessary for maintenance and future developments. The fund aims to achieve a ratio of one computer to every student in Years 9 to 12 by the end of 2011.
- ICT Innovation Fund: four projects that aim to assist teachers to use ICT in the classroom in order to support the delivery of the new Australian curriculum.
- Online Curriculum Resources and Digital Architecture initiative: contributes to the development of digital resources and infrastructure that can support the implementation if the Australian Curriculum online and enable collaboration in schools and sectors across the country.