The Australian Education Union (AEU) has reaffirmed its decision to boycott the NAPLAN national literacy and numeracy tests due to be held in May. The action is in response to concerns that the statistics on school performance provided on the Australian Government's MySchool website may be used to create ranked lists of schools. See statement in response to the union by Australian Minister for Education Julia Gillard, 12 April 2010, and recent statements from the AEU. See also article 16 April and earlier article 15 April in The Age; article 16 April and earlier article 15 April in The Australian; opinion piece 15 April in The Sydney Morning Herald; article in The Canberra Times 16 April; report 16 April and earlier report 12 April on ABC News; and article in Brisbane Times 14 April 2010.
The Australian Government has announced the creation of a taskforce charged with managing queries and examining expenditure in relation to its program for funding school infrastructure. See statement in The Australian by Australian Minister of Education Julia Gillard 13 April 2010. See also related article and opinion piece also in The Australian, article in The Sydney Morning Herald, and article in The Age, all 13 April 2010.
Over recent weeks there has been widespread discussion about bullying in schools. See Australian Education Minister Julia Gillard's address to the recent National Centre Against Bullying Conference, describing Government funding for research and anti-bullying programs. See also article in The Age 11 April 2010 on bullying in the early years; article in Adelaide Now 12 April 2010 on teachers' lack of preparedness to deal with cyberbullying; article on the need for new laws to deal with cyberbullying in ABC News 9 April 2010; article on compensation for bullying experienced at school in The Age 29 March 2010; and article on the challenges faced by same-sex attracted or bisexual students in schools in The Age 9 April 2010.
The Primary English Teaching Association (PETA) has issued an initial comment on the draft national English curriculum, stating that it 'details very well the content expectations within the interrelated strands of language, literature and literacy'.
Concerns have been raised that the increasing emphasis on digital research environments has led to the building of high-tech libraries without adequate funding for teacher librarians. See article in The Independent Weekly 12 April 2010. See also article in Adelaide Now 9 April 2010 in relation to shortages of teacher librarians.
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has raised concerns to the New South Wales Premier, Kristina Keneally, regarding the permanent introduction of secular ethics classes in public schools, according to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald 13 April 2010. See also opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald 11 April 2010.
Launched on 16 March 2010, the Digital Education Research Network (DERN) is an Australian-based network focused on research about education and the use of digital technologies to improve teaching and learning.
The theme of this year's ACEL Victoria conference is 'Leadership and Capacity Building: New Insights'. Presenters include Jenny Lewis, speaking on the ACEL Leadership Capability Framework; Frank Crowther, speaking on teaching in the 21st century; and Brian J Caldwell, speaking on leadership that secures and sustains success.
Software developers are targeting the USA's education market with a range of free or inexpensive educational applications designed for use on the new Apple iPad. See article in eSchool News 5 April 2010. Meanwhile technology company Marvell has announced a tablet computer designed for school use. See article in eSchool News 26 March 2010.
New research in the USA has found that young people between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day using entertainment media such as television, computers, iPods and mobile phones. See article in Times Daily 14 March 2010.
A computer program called Planet Turtle, designed to teach students maths and improve their engagement with the subject, is one of several social networking-based solutions being trialled in the US. See article in Star Tribune 26 March 2010.
The versatility of interactive whiteboards has seen them grow in popularity in school classrooms in the USA, with teachers using them for lessons and test preparation. See article in Dayton Daily News 28 March 2010.
The Tell Us Campaign is a national online survey that invites all secondary students to describe what success in school means to them. The survey closes 30 June 2010. The campaign is an initiative of the Foundation for Young Australians and the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
A study has suggested that school hours be changed to accommodate the sleeping patterns of teenagers. Professer Tim Olds suggests a later start to the school day in order to take into account students' cyclical sleeping habits and to reduce sleep debt. See article in ABC News 9 April 2010.
The Global Children's Challenge is a health initiative designed to improve activity levels among children aged 8 to 12. As part of the challenge, children record their activity levels, aim to keep healthy, and take part in a virtual walk around the world designed to teach them about health, nutrition and exercise. The challenge runs from 22 September to 10 November 2010. Applications close 31 May 2010.