Technology will not replace great teachers but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.
The academic year has now begun and there is already a range of changes being mooted, opposed, discussed and more. This is in addition to extensions to matters forming part of the agenda at the end of 2017. These apply across all levels of education from Early Education through schools to tertiary levels.
Now, if only a number of other matters would give up some of the media attention, perhaps a number of these genuinely important things might gain some traction. Surely they don’t have to be ‘spiced up’ for people in the wider community to take notice ?
Indeed, there are enough options to discuss. We simply aren’t in a position to cover them all. Some we have included may have struck a chord if you had a particular interest in that area, some aspects of some of them may also have attracted your attention, though most probably will not. Some will also link with articles which have been recommended.
How many do you believe you will recognise ? See how well you succeed. You will possibly also have a list from those we didn’t manage to include.
There are recently produced items that warrant at least a brief mention. See what you think about each and whether you agree or not. All items are Australian in origin. Follow each link that piques your particular interests.
Three major concerns with teacher education reforms in Australia
‘We are deeply concerned about advice the Australian Government has been given on teacher education. We believe it is seriously flawed. The advice has led, and is leading, to major reforms to teacher education throughout Australia. Our misgivings arise from a report by the Australian Commonwealth government appointed Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group [TEMAG] called Action Now : Classroom ready teachers. The report was commissioned by the Australian Government to recommend reforms to teacher education in Australia. We want to put some of those thoughts in this blog’.
Commonwealth’s role in improving schools
Grattan Education. ‘The Commonwealth should not use the extra money it is spending on schools as an excuse to intervene more broadly in school education. Experience shows that well-meaning Commonwealth interventions into systems primarily run by the states and territories can end up just increasing red tape and destroying policy coherence’. See what Julie Sonnemann and Pete Goss have to say, particularly in relation to their recommendations for appropriate but limited areas where the government may in fact be effective.
An interesting, but different, document which looks at Australia’s role in developing and implementing educational technology in multiple areas. As they say, ‘Education technology – or edtech – is the provision of technology solutions for education purposes’. Some illuminating information across a wide range of aspects.
Inside Australia’s first Virtual
Tom Greenwell poses the question, ‘Could a new model of online learning break down the growing divide between Australian schools ?’. He then goes on to look at Aurora College, a pioneering virtual school started in 2015 in NSW. In doing so he talks not only to those at the college but also people at a school involved in the program. Fascinating possibilities that could benefit many and which are already being used fairly extensively in other countries such as the US.
Career Teacher Attrition
‘Early career teacher attrition is seen as an issue of concern around the world. Here, scholarly articles and media reports regularly state that between 30 and 50 per cent of Australian teachers leave the profession within the first five years. But, where do those figures come from and how accurate are they ? A study published in the Australian Journal of Education, suggests there is no robust Australian evidence and data. Author Dr Paul Weldon joins The Research Files to discuss his findings’. Podcast. Download or read the transcript online.
Diversity... for the others
Dean Ashenden reviews a book by Glyn Davis titled The Australian Idea of a University. Ashenden goes on to say ‘Davis brings a new argument to this long-running conflict. If Australia’s public universities are to survive the looming threats of digitally delivered education, globalisation and big capital, we need a new policy framework and new kinds of public institutions’. Seems I have heard rumblings in this direction of late. While he goes on to detail various components and suggestions, he is also at pains to indicate ‘Davis is not the first and will not be the last to put proposals along these lines’. The review is good. The book is surely also worth reading for what it contains.
Young Australian of the Year Macinley Butson slams Australian school system
Doubts cast over impact of school autonomy
[The Educator Australia, 15/3]
Australia doesn’t have too many universities. Here’s why
[The Conversation, 15/3]
Computer-based assessments for HSC being ‘researched’: NESA
[SMH, National, Education, 15/3]
Adapt to survive fourth revolution
[The Australian, 14/3]
Victoria to spend $240 million on land for new schools in growth corridors
[ABC News, 13/3]
Educ academics warn teacher education policy now based on ideology not research
[Campus Morning Mail, 13/3]
Five things parents can do every day to help develop STEM skills from a young age
[The Conversation, 12/3]
Labor’s $250m promise to Catholic schools reveals a funding horror story
[The Guardian, Opinion, 11/3]
Should the U.S. Look to Australia’s Example of Student Loan Reform ?
[The Student Loan Report, 10/3]
Australia's new education leadership plan
[EducationHQ Australia, 9/3]
The NAPLAN nervous ninnies
[The Centre for Independent Studies, 8/3]