The New South Wales Department of Education and Training wanted to make it easier for teachers, administrators, and students to share best practices and work together to create materials, so it launched projects to evaluate products in Microsoft Office 2010 such as Microsoft OneNote 2010. Now the Department intends to use Office 2010 to create dynamic educational materials that will enhance teaching and learning.
The 96,000 teachers, administrators, and staff at the New South Wales Department of Education and Training know that high-quality education is key to the social and economic well-being of every community in New South Wales, Australia. By improving student engagement and achievement, the Department aims to increase the proportion of the New South Wales population with higher levels of education and qualifications that lead to better economic and social outcomes.
The Department operates more than 2,200 public schools and 130 Technical and Further Education (TAFE) campuses where 96,000 teachers and staff educate more than 1.24 million primary, secondary, and vocational education students. To increase literacy achievement and graduation rates for all students, the Department is implementing several innovative initiatives. Launched in 2009, the Digital Education Revolution (DER) program will, by 2012, distribute more than 200,000 portable computers to every New South Wales public school student enrolled in years 9 through 12, and the Connected Classrooms Program will deliver technologies that enhance teaching and learning in the twenty-first century.
Regional DER Professional Learning teams work with schools to develop curricula, and teachers work with colleagues and students to develop educational content. However, meeting in person was challenging because the stakeholders are often geographically dispersed, and sharing documents by e-mail resulted in delays. Messages got lost in large volumes of e-mail, and exchanging multiple versions of documents often caused confusion and error.
The Department wanted a more efficient way for students and teachers to work together, and it needed a centralized collaborative environment where educators would be able to capture best practices and develop effective teaching plans. “We needed to think about how we use these technologies,” says Ben Jones, Professional Learning and Curriculum Support Project Officer at the New South Wales Department of Education and Training. “We have to make sure that we actually enhance educational outcomes.”
In 2009 the DER program distributed more than 80,000 portable computers—all running the Windows 7 operating system and the Microsoft Office 2007 suite of productivity programs—to year-9 students. When Microsoft released early versions of Microsoft Office 2010, the Department quickly established pilot projects to evaluate the new products.
||Our goal is to build a collaborative learning community where teachers and students can preserve their learning, showcase their achievements, and where millions of connections are made and shared.
Chief Information Officer. New South Wales Department of Education and Training
In April 2010, DER trainers and teachers conducted a Regional Sharing Day to share teaching best practices and curriculum recommendations. Participants used Microsoft OneNote 2010 to capture and share information, collaborate on documents, and provide real-time input during panels and workshops. After the event, participants reviewed notes taken during the sessions and provided additional information to colleagues with OneNote 2010.
During the same period, a class of Certificate III/IV students and their teachers at the TAFE NSW - Northern Sydney Institute (NSI) used a range of Office 2010 products including Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft PowerPoint presentation software to coauthor business-course materials. The Department deployed Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 at the NSI to enable the coauthoring functions in Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010. With this revolutionary new collaboration feature, multiple students and teachers could work together to simultaneously author, review, and edit individual documents and presentations.
After completing the pilots, the Department intends to deploy Office 2010 throughout the education system.
With Office 2010, the Department will promote more efficient collaboration among students and staff, create high-quality educational materials, and enhance learning and teaching to increase student achievement and promote economic prosperity.
“Our goal is to build a collaborative learning community where teachers and students can preserve their learning, showcase their achievements, and where millions of connections are made and shared,” says Stephen Wilson, Chief Information Officer at the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.
More efficient collaboration. Using coauthoring in Office 2010, the Department can reduce the time it takes to create documents among teachers and support staff. With Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010, and SharePoint Server 2010, teachers, trainers, and administrators can work together to quickly produce documents, presentations, spreadsheets, budgets, and educational materials across the whole curriculum—without having to waste time reconciling changes or working on the wrong version of a document.
Enhanced learning, more opportunity. By using technologies to create dynamic teaching environments, the Department will enhance student learning. “OneNote 2010 is a shift from instruction to construction where students can learn together and drive the lesson,” says Manoj Chandra Handa, Professional Learning and Leadership Co-ordinator at the New South Wales Department of Education and Training. “It will change my world and my students’ world.”
When TAFE NSW students graduate with skills and experience in the collaboration tools in Office 2010, they will not just be employment ready; they will bring a new approach to many industries in New South Wales. These future employees will be capable of completing complex tasks and effectively managing knowledge and information.
Stronger educational material and initiatives. The Department will be able to improve the quality and consistency of the educational content it produces by promoting broader collaboration across the agency. By automatically recording notes and processes with OneNote 2010, teachers and other staff will be able to retain knowledge and build on past success.
Watch New South Wales Department of Education and Training's experience with Office 2010 at these links:
For more information about Microsoft Office, go to: