Teachers, technology and education first priority CANBERRA, Australia, 1 July 2005
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Department of Education and Training today announced the launch of the Partners in Learning programme, a joint initiative with Microsoft Australia, which will assist government schools throughout the ACT to implement contemporary teaching practices using the latest advances in information technology.
The ACT will undertake four innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) programmes to promote whole school technology adoption, improve student achievement and nurture professional information technology learning communities. The four programmes are:
- The 'Whole School Learning Technology Project', which will provide teachers with training and professional development to use technology as a central tool in the classroom. The role out of this programme will be staged, with pioneering schools becoming mentors for those that implement the measures later.
- 'Peer Coaching': teachers will have the opportunity to become professional mentors for their colleagues in the use of ICT as a learning tool in the class room.
- The 'Embedding Learning Technologies Program': a showcase of learning technologies used in school curriculums.
- Sharing of best practices that have contributed to and created a culture of innovation for using ICT in student learning will be facilitated through 'School Excellence Tours'
Additionally, two teachers from the ACT will be recognised for their outstanding contribution under the Partners in Learning programme, awarding them the opportunity to join their Australian and Asia Pacific peers in Seoul in the latter half of 2005 for the annual Asia Pacific Innovative Teachers' Summit.
Partners in Learning Advisory Council Member, Ms Jenny Lewis, said, “Our vision is to provide all ACT students with equal access to learning technologies in the classroom. We have identified that the most effective way to integrate technology in the classroom is to ensure that educators are facilitated with the necessary skills and understanding of how technology can be effectively implemented in the classroom.
“Through the four Partners in Learning programmes, teachers can adopt a culture of innovation in the classroom, which will benefit both educators and their students,” she said.
Partners in Learning is a partnership between Microsoft and the State and Territory Governments where a series of education programmes are collaboratively designed to assist and reward outstanding teachers and provide professional development for teachers who act as technology and educational change agents at their school. The programmes consist of key funding investments, software and training.
“Partners in Learning is all about Australian kids and teachers. It's about how teachers can better use technology in the classroom and helping equip students with the skills necessary to be effective participants in an information rich society,” said Mr Kevin Ackhurst, Director Public Sector, Microsoft Australia.
“The programme is designed to assist students and teachers access the benefits of information technology in the classroom,” he said.
Microsoft Australia is investing $AU10 million in cash and resources in Partners in Learning over the next five years, part of a $US250 million worldwide commitment to deliver IT skills, quality training initiatives and dedicated programme support for teachers and students.
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