National project to provide unique learning for teachers

1 JANUARY 2003

With the help of a Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic, a new $7.8 million national project will ensure future teachers can provide every Australian student with the best learning opportunities in an increasingly online world.

Professor Toni DownesWith the help of a Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic, a new $7.8 million national project will ensure future teachers can provide every Australian student with the best learning opportunities in an increasingly online world.
 
Initiated by Professor Toni Downes, president of the Australian Council of Deans of Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education at CSU, the project, Teaching teachers for the future, will help all pre-service teachers acquire the skills to incorporate information and communication technologies (ICT) into classrooms across the nation primarily focusing on English, mathematics, science and history.
 
“This is a unique opportunity provided by the federal government, drawing together major organisations with a vested interest in the next generation of teachers,” Professor Downes said. “The beauty of this project is that all Australian universities with teacher education faculties are involved along with the nations key educational organisations.”
 
Led by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), the project team includes the Australian Council of Deans of Education, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, Education Services Australia and the Australian Council for Computers in Education. All 38 Australian universities providing teacher education courses will be involved in the project.
 
“The project will see national organisations and tertiary institutions working collectively to ensure teachers are well-placed to take advantage of new technologies that can improve student learning in key national curriculum areas.”
 
Over the next 18 months highly accomplished educators will work in universities and change how the use of ICT is taught to student teachers. The project team will design and develop digital resources for training new teachers in the effective use of ICT – including lesson plans, videos of exemplar practice, advice on the use of technology, research articles and tools to support collaboration.
 
“The restructure of professional learning experiences for student teachers will ensure they can use a range of digital technologies effectively in the classroom to support student learning and the national curriculum,” said Professor Downes. “As well as establishing an ongoing national support network of ICT and curriculum expertise, the project will develop a framework to describe the ICT skills, knowledge and understanding required by graduating teachers, and support an estimated 55,000 student teachers in Australia to map their level of ICT in education proficiency against the new National Professional Standards for Graduate Teachers.”
 
Funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the project forms part of the Digital Strategy for Teachers and School Leaders which aims to assist with the creative and effective integration new technologies into student learning.
 
This nationally significant project will support successive generations of teachers to deliver on the federal government’s Digital Education Revolution within the Australian Curriculum and National Standards for Teachers.

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