Introduction:Information Policy Issue: Equity in implementing the Digital Educational Revolution (DER) classroomTitle of Presentation: Is the DER all too hard? What are the issues in providing effective information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the DER classroom?As can be seen from Slide 1 above the DER involves a range of initiatives and this has implications for teachers and students in NSW schools. The way in which schools, students and teachers respond to these initiatives will determine their success or failure. This presentation will show that only by becoming good digital citizens can schools, teachers and students be successful in the DER’s implementations.(Talk: The DER, Digital Education Revolution is an Australian Government initiative to enhance both teaching and learning through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) of both teachers and students. In practical terms this means Laptops for Year 9 supported by a technical officer, Improved school infrastructure and professional learning by staff. This PowerPoint seeks to show that these aims are only possible when schools, teachers and students become good digital citizens. And they can do this by…….)
Teachers and students must come prepared to teach and learn in a digital environment. Standards such as those outlined by the NETS for Teachers 2008(ISTE, 2011) and NETS for Students 2007(ISTE, 2011) shows what teachers and students must bring to their work in order to be successful in the digital environment. The essential conditions outlined by the ISTE for teachers include professional development learning plans for teachers. This would allow teachers the time to share and practice with the new digital media. In this way teachers should take responsibility for their own learning. NETS for Students 2007(ISTE, 2011) indicates that students ought to ‘demonstrate learning for life long learning’ and ‘exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity’ in order to be successful to learn in a digital environment. These student expectations can also be applied to teachers. Students and teachers need to come prepared to teach and learn in a digital environment in order to become good digital citizens. (Talk: Students and teachers both need to show up and be ready to learn in an online environment. It is an expectation of good digital citizenship for both teachers and staff to engage with the technologies. This includes for teachers to maintain a personal professional learning program, share and practice with the new media. The teachers and staff alike ‘life long learning’ and a ‘positive attitude’ is essential for teaching and learning and is a hallmark of being a good digital citizen which is stated in the standards issued by the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) for example)(Talk: Engagement is the key.Students and teachers both need to come to the party, neither can be absent. Student’s and teachers necessarily need to engage in new technologies. For both this may mean experimenting with the new technologies. Experimenting itself can lead to discovery. For example, if an online platform can accept video, then student’s may choose to find a video about a given topic to include that in their work.)
Schools, teachers and students ought to be aware of the acceptable etiquette and protocols that are applied for a given digital environment. The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship(2007, p25) gives examples of appropriate and inappropriate Digital Etiquette as well as Digital Law and Digital Rights and Responsibilities. Teachers and students should take it upon themselves to be knowledgeable of the codes of conduct and as good digital citizens not break them. In particular schools and teachers ought to manage online structures to ensure students are on task just as in any other learning environment. The sharing of usernames and passwords, sharing images from a closed intranet to third parties are all examples of poor digital citizenship. Only if structures and rules are in place and being adhered to can effective and confident teaching and learning take place in a digital environment.(Talk: The DER laptop program for Year 9 students asks students to complete an agreement that seeks to ensure that students follow NSWDET policies when it comes to working in digital environments. The students and teachers as the monitors need to be vigilant in ensuring that these codes of conduct are being adhered to by students. Schools and teachers need to be knowledgeable of The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. (2007) especially those concerning Digital Etiquette as well as Digital Law and Digital Rights and Responsibilities. As with any online environment teachers have the responsibility to ensure students are on task.
Independent learning and self-directed is happening more often when learners are able to access internet and use mobile devices. The advent of hotsots in coffee shops and internet access in homes, the local library and at school has meant that contributions to teacher and learning can be made at anytime and any place. The Stripling Model of Inquiry (Stripling, 2010) is independent of location and device. The key points Wonder, Investigate, Construct, Express, Reflect, Connect lend themselves to this dynamic learning environment which is not dependent on time, location or device type.(Talk: We know that our minds are always churning things over and when we get a good idea it is possible to contribute to teaching and learning straight away. The use of mobile devices and connectability at school, in the local library, at the shopping centre at the local hotspot makes it possible to contribute to teaching and learning regardless of our location or the time of the day. Good digitial citizens are able to learn at any time or place, but this must be supported by school structures…..)
As students and staff increasingly use mobile devices to access online resources school must cater for this need. In particular access to online school resources ought to be possible regardless of the internet connection or the type of device. These mobile versions better fit the limited screen space on some mobile devices. This will allow students better viewing and interactions with online resources. The DER needs to provide funding for school structures and personel to enable these services. This suggests that schools themselves ought to become good digital citizens by providing those services. Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship(2007, p20) details those communications that lend themselves to appropriate and inappropriate digital learning. These can all be adequately serviced by mobile devices which implies an even greater need to install systems in schools that provide for such devices.(Talk: This is a picture thanks to Flicker CC that shows the contents of a DER students bag. The interesting thing is the number of devices dependent upon the use of wireless technologies. We should be moving to mobile versions of all out online resources including moodle. These mobile versions better fit the limited screen space on some mobile devices. This will allow students better viewing and interactions with online resources. This will be supported through technology experts (the dude on the left) to ensure compatibility across a range of devices.). In this way schools themselves need to become good digital citizens themselves. The increasing number of mobile devices and smart phones implies a greater need for learning environements to support them.)
The increasing number of devices and connections from more places necessarily increases the need for improved security for students and staff. Schools need to ensure funds provided by the DER are managed in such a way to support secure and safe online environments. Closed networks (such as DET’s intranet) provide some security but lack the functionality of new digital technologies. By maintaining secure and safe digital environments schools, teachers, students and parents can have confidence in online learning.(Talk: With more devices connection from more places networks necessarily need to become more secure. Schools need to use funds provided by the DER are spent to ensure secure, safe online environments that are not necessarily on closed networks (such as a school or DET intranet). In this way schools, teacher, students and parents can have confidence in digital learning environments).
Farmer (2009) makes the case for the Teacher-librarian to take a leadership role in the digital environment. Making the case that the Teacher-librarian is best places for this role. DER funding for staff development ought to be shared among staff which can take a leadership role. The Teacher-librarian and those ‘pioneer teachers’ who for example have Year 9 classes with laptops ought to be funded to ensure they can lead the rest of the staff through their newly found knowledge and expertise. Farmer (2009) references the NETS for Teachers 2008(ISTE, 2011standards (see Slide 2) in providing a leadership framework. However, the range of digital media makes it too hard for their only to be one or two experts in a school. Hence, a digital community needs a range of leaders ‘pioneers’ who can provide direction and expertise over a number of technologies and platforms.(Talk: The DER also includes the implementation of staff training. This training is essential in creating teachers that can meet ESTE (2007) standards. Leadership roles are essential to provide direction and focus for teachers and students. Farmer (2009) makes the case for the well-placed teacher-librarian to take on such roles. However, one or two leaders is not sufficient because of the number of technologies. ‘Pioneer’ teachers are required. For example those teachers who have Year 9 with laptops can lead in the area of using the laptop in effective classroom teaching. However, this may cause equity issues.....)
All staff ought to be provided with training and the opportunity to use digital technologies. Unfortunately school and DER funding doe such development is finite. The NETS for Teachers 2008(ISTE, 2011) standards for teachers may not be able to be met by some teachers due to restraints on funding. As mentioned on Slide 4 the teacher-librarian is well placed in providing expertise across the school community. Additionally ‘pioneer’ teachers especially those with Year 9 laptop classes are also well placed to impart expertise to others and also should be funded.(Talk: Staff training ought to be driven by student need. In this case as students demand ICT skills staff ought to be trained in those technologies. Staff ought to be provided with training and the opportunity to use digital technologies. Asschool and DER funding for teachers is limited this necessarily brings about inequities. As mentioned in Slide 4 the Teacher-librarian is well placed in providing expertise and ought to be funded, so too can ‘pioneer’ teachers especially those with Year 9 laptop classes. Certainly staff should adopt NETS for Teachers 2008(ISTE, 2011) standards to become effective in working in digital environments however opportunities may not be available… Other inequities are also apparent…..)
The Australian Bureau of Statistics report on Household Use of Information Technology, Australia 2008-09 (9 February, 2010) reports that not all households have the same access to computers or broadband internet. This necessarily has an impact on the location of students contributions and learning. Luckily other access points are available as mentioned in Slide 6 (Herbert, 2011) such as free hotspots and public library access. The fact that same student’s do not have household computers or internet drives the DER. In particular wifi laptops for Year 9 provides opportunities for students to work online before school, recess, lunch. This disparity between student backgrounds also suggests that students ought to be given by schools the opportunity to access the internet after school in for example the school library in a ‘homework center’.(Talk: We know that our student’s come from disadvantaged backgrounds. We can see this from the graph from the Bureau of Statistics. When creating learning programs and setting online tasks we must recognise that some students do not have broadband at home, or even a computer. Year 9 can use their laptops before school, recess and lunch and now after school in the Homework Centre. Student’s in other years must be given the opportunity to complete assignments that require web access in the computer lab, or at recess or lunch (more time perhaps should be given to students without home internet being careful not to single those students out).
School communities may find it necessary to find local solutions for providing digital environments opportunities to staff and students. Class-sets of laptops for example is a way to ensure that all students experience that technology even if each student does not have their own laptop. The DER and other technology funding of schools ought to be cognoscente of the current level of technology and support of a given school community.(Talk: All schools aren’t created equal. However the great thing about schools is their versatility. Class-sets of laptops for example is a way to ensure that all students experience that technology even if each student does not have their own laptop. The DER and other technology funding of schools ought to be cognoscente of the current level of technology and support of a given school community).
School Communities, Schools, Teachers and Students have the responsibility for their own learning in digital environments. The NETS for Teachers 2008(ISTE, 2011) and NETS for Students 2007(ISTE, 2011) standards are an effective starting point and encourages growth of knowledge by teachers and students. The DER can improve staff development, school infrastructure and have a direct impact with Year 9 students by supplying them with laptops. However, success in working within online environments is dependent on a number of factors. Digital environments need to be secure and safe, students and teachers need to accept codes on conduct and adhere to appropriate behaviors. Inequities including student access to devices and opportunities to work with technologies as well as limited staff training and lack of digital resources in schools need to be reconciled at the school community level in order to create positive online learning outcomes.(Talk: “Please read the questions.” The 1st reading is the ABS report. It provides other really interesting information about online use by Australian households.The 2nd reading contains the 9 elements of digital citizenship. It provides excellent examples of appropriate and less appropriate behaviors in digital environments.And the 3rd reading are standards for teachers in order to become effective digital citizens.)
BibliographyAustralian Bureau of Statistics report on Household Use of Information Technology, Australia 2008-09 (9 February 2010).http://abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8146.0/CHAPTER 2: The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. (2007). Digital Citizenship in Schools (pp. 13-37). International Society for Technology in Education.Digital Education Revolution. (2011). http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Pages/default.aspxFarmer, L. (2010). 21st century standards for information literacy. Leadership, 39(4), 20.NETS for Students 2007. Digital Citizenship in Schools. http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students/nets-student-standards-2007.aspxNETS for Teachers 2008.Digital Citizenship in Schools. http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashxStripling, B. (2010). Teaching Students to Think in the Digital Environment: Digital Literacy and Digital Inquiry. School Library Monthly, 26(8), 16-19.(Talk: All the images have been taken from Flicker CC).
Is the DER all too hard? What are the issues in providing effective Information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the DER classroom? The DER (Digital Educational Revolution)
provide for new information and communication technology (ICT) equipment for all secondary schools with students in years 9 to 12 through the National Secondary School Computer Fund
support the deployment of high speed broadband connections to Australian schools
support systemic change to increase the level of ICT proficiency for teachers and school leaders across Australia to embed the use of ICT in teaching and learning and support the development of innovative projects and research that enable professional learning in the use of ICT
support the development of high-quality digital tools, resources and infrastructure that can support the Australian Curriculum
enable parents to participate in their child’s education through online learning and access
support mechanisms to provide vital assistance for schools in the deployment of ICT.
Questions Who has the responsibility for the learning of students and teachers via ICT ? Are we effectively implementing the DER or are we setting up our students and staff to fail? Are we ensuring that our DER classrooms are equitable? Readings The Australian Bureau of Statistics report on Household Use of Information Technology, Australia 2008-09 (9 February 2010) . http://abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8146.0/ CHAPTER 2: The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. (2007). Digital Citizenship in Schools (pp. 13-37). International Society for Technology in Education. http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html NETS for Teachers 2008 (2011). International Society for Technology in Education. http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx
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