The Australian Government has released the Australian Water Education Toolkit, an online repository of hundreds of water education resources. The Toolkit will assist teachers at all year levels to access national, state, territory, regional and urban water resources. All the resources are free and include: lesson plans; student activities; resource sheets; Australian Curriculum links; and maps and charts.
Teachers are now able to access ICT in Everyday Learning: A Toolkit for Teachers (ICT Toolkit). The ICT Toolkit provides access to online professional support materials that will enhance teachers' capacity to incorporate varied technologies into their classroom practice. The ICT Toolkit materials are accessible through education portals and Scootle. These materials can be found using the Australian Curriculum Connect tool, by specific key learning areas and keywords. The ICT Toolkit project has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations through the ICT Innovation Fund.
Pathways for Learning Anywhere Anytime: a Network for Educators (PLANE) is a new, innovative educator community, networking space and virtual world, providing accredited professional learning, courses, multimedia resources, ICT skills development, e-portfolio, collaborative tools, games-based learning and peer coaching. PLANE has been funded as part of Australia's Digital Education Revolution and is run as a consortium consisting of: the NSW Department of Education and Community; the Catholic Education Commission NSW; the Association of Independent Schools NSW; and the Council of Deans of Education, together with industry partners, Adobe and Microsoft.
Several commentators this week have discussed the place, purpose and public perception of Australian history in the curriculum. See article 14 July, opinion 14 July and opinion 18 July in The Canberra Times, and earlier article in The Mercury 12 July 2012.
A group of science teachers in Victoria have raised concerns over the proposed content of the senior secondary subject, Earth and Environmental Science. See article in The Canberra Times 19 July 2012.
Quick response or 'QR' codes are simple, scannable images that are a form of barcode. Scanned through a mobile device, they provide information in forms including text, links, bookmarks or email addresses. An article on the ZDNet blog describes how QR codes can be used to engage and involve students, and provides many links to further information.
A range of education organisations in New Zealand have raised concerns at the potential publication of ranked lists of New Zealand primary schools. See statement from the New Zealand Principals' Federation and article in the New Zealand Herald, both 17 July, and NZEI statement and academics' open letter, both 16 July 2012.
New Zealand Education Minister, Hekia Parata, has announced the chair and members of the committee that will review the role and functions of the New Zealand Teachers' Council.
Departments in government have been reluctant to adopt mobile technologies due to concerns over data security, according to a recent study reported in an article 17 July 2012 in Government News. The study indicates that IT departments are struggling to integrate mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets into their service delivery strategies.
A new Policy and Procedure Register provides staff and the broader community with access to all Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment procedures and an index to departmental policies in the Policy Instruments Framework.
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