We’re all very aware of all of the massive changes that are occurring in Australia’s Education system at the moment. The new National Professional Standards for Teachers as well as the Australian Curriculum are helping to create a massive amount of reform in education profession. Along with these changes comes the need for training and support for the professionals who are getting to grips with their newly defined responsibilities.
A major announcement has been made by DEEWR today to help us all by creating a range of new digital resources to help teachers get to grips with the content of the Australian Curriculum. A total of $41 million dollars has been set aside from the Digital Education Revolution to the benefit of Teachers and their students. Within that $41 million we can expect the following:
“•$10 million to support teachers by providing high-quality online professional learning resources that further their professional development. These may include helping teachers learn how to use wikis and blogs; advice on using online assessment tools for individualised teaching; and exchanging information and ideas online about implementing the curriculum.
•$5 million to support flexible delivery of language teaching and learning. This includes developing a Language Learning Space comprising podcasts, webinars, lesson plans, and videos to help teach languages to students; allowing students to practice online with native speakers, even when there is no native speaker in their school.
•$11.4 million for new online materials for teaching students English, maths, science, history, geography, languages and the arts. There will also be teaching materials for the new cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture, Australia’s engagement with Asia, and sustainability. The new resources will include film clips, animation, interactive tools, web resources and other digital learning objects that are designed to engage students and develop 21st century learning skills.
•$5 million for improving the technical infrastructure to enable these online materials to be used by schools across Australia.
•$9.8 million to link each part of the Australian Curriculum to relevant resources so teachers can easily find quality online teaching materials.” (Quotation taken from DEEWR Site)
Obviously, this has major implications for teacher Professional Development, all of which seem very positive. It’s fantastic to see such a large amount of money being put behind the Australian Curriculum. It goes, at least part way, towards acknowledging the vast amount of change the teaching profession is experiencing. Couple this funding with the government “Professional Learning Flagship: Leading Curriculum Change” scheme, designed to help teachers to bring
“curriculum to life through innovation and excellence” (AITSL)
which is still taking registrations and it is clear that an effort is being made to support teachers. The questions is, is this the right kind of support? What do you feel are the most important factors affecting you and your professional development?