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Teachers get $12m to learn how to use computers

With hardware commitments for schools in place, Minister for Education Julia Gillard has now announced funding to train teachers up on how to use their new kit.
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Written by Suzanne Tindal, News Editor on

With hardware commitments for schools in place, Minister for Education Julia Gillard has now announced funding to train teachers up on how to use their new PCs.

The training will complement the goverment's so-called digital education revolution — an AU$1.2 billion scheme to provide every senior secondary school student in years nine to 12 access to a computer at school.

Yesterday Gillard announced AU$650,000 to fund programs such as workshops on using ICT in maths, English and the sciences, online learning resources for teachers, and supporting ICT-related master classes run by experienced fellow teachers.

The states will also receive an AU$11.25 million bonanza to use on ICT professional development for teachers.

As impetus for the investment, the department highlighted a survey released at the beginning of this year of 5,209 primary teachers and 5,394 secondary teachers which said that 66 per cent of primary school teachers and 60 per cent of secondary teachers felt the need to make more effective use of computers in student learning.

Phil Callil, VP of the Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association, welcomed the announcement.

According to Callil, general teacher understanding of the pedagogy behind learning with computers in schools hasn't really changed much over the last 10 years.

"The quest for digital literacy is something that requires new thinking and a re-examination of what constitutes good teaching and learning. That requires a change in culture on a day-to-day basis and that change needs direction and support from school leadership and pre-teaching institutions," he said.

"Teachers need time to learn how to take advantage of the opportunities that using ICT allow, to develop resources that enable students to demonstrate their learning in dynamic, contemporary ways that engage students," he continued.

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