Microsoft offers 40 scholarships to help remove barriers to technology use in the classroomSYDNEY, Australia, 15 September 2005
Microsoft Australia, Charles Sturt University (CSU) and IT Masters today announced the introduction of an Australia first post-graduate course which aims to up-skill teachers to incorporate technology into the classroom.
With inaugural enrolments scheduled for semester one 2006, the Graduate Certificate in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Education, will equip teachers with skills and knowledge to successfully develop and deliver engaging learning activities using the latest technology.
Completion of the Graduate Certificate in ICT Education will qualify as an inclusion towards a full Masters in Education.
Teachers from around the country will also have the opportunity to win one of 40 student fee scholarships that Microsoft Australia has donated to help establish the new qualification. Half of the scholarships have been set aside for applicants teaching in rural, isolated and financially disadvantaged schools.
Announcing the new qualification, Dr Irfan Altas, Sub Dean, Industry Partners, CSU, said: “We're finding that many students have grown up with computers as part of their everyday life and often they have a better grasp of technology than their teachers. It's natural then that students greatly desire and expect technology to form an integral part of their whole-of-school learning experience.
“Through this new course we'll be able to help teachers to meet and exceed those expectations, while simultaneously making learning more relevant and beneficial to the 21st century student.”
Dr Altas further said that the Graduate Certificate in ICT Education will cater for teachers from a variety of backgrounds and technological skill levels, and will be available to teachers throughout Australia by distance-learning.
“The Graduate Certificate incorporates specialised curriculum developed by IT Masters and offers professional development in a variety of areas, starting with an introduction to technology basics. Over the course of the certificate, teachers will come to understand how technologies can be used to help students learn,” Dr Altas said.
The Graduate Certificate will include the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) industry certification and the Microsoft's Partner in Learning programme, which is designed to assist graduates to share their learnings with other teachers.
Ms Felicia Brown, Academic Programs Manager, Microsoft Australia, said that the education environment was rapidly changing as technology became more prevalent throughout society.
“There was a time when student exposure to technology in school was limited to a once-a-week computing class. Today's students approach technology much like a text book or an educational video. Technology is now part of the curriculum, not just a standalone optional subject.”
The Australian Computer Society (ACS) Foundation has also thrown its weight behind the new qualification.
“We believe it will be critical in helping our children to be engaged and excited about technology in their formative years at school, remembering, afterall, it is this type of knowledge and experience that they will need to succeed in later life,” said Mr John Ridge, Executive Director, ACS Foundation.
The Graduate Certificate in ICT Education follows the successful introduction by CSU of a world-first, industry-based Masters program for IT professionals in 2002.
To obtain further information on the scholarships or to apply, teachers should visit www.ictteachers.info.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.
About Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University is the eighth largest university and the largest distance education provider in Australia, providing significant educational, social, cultural and economic benefits to its regions. The university has earned a reputation for working hand-in-hand with business, the professions and government to provide courses and advice to meet the demands of a changing workforce and changing times. CSU's partnerships and alliances are marked by a diversity and drive that make it distinctive from other universities in Australia.
For further information or to arrange an interview:
Ben Tan/Kieran Moore
Ph: 02 8281 3830 or 0418 488 827