More on the NSW DER now from Dianne Marshall, Program Director, New South Wales DET (Department of Education and Training) on “The Digital Education Revolution in New South Wales government schools”.
The kids can’t avoid the digital education revolution – they all have a Lenovo netbook and are eager to use it. 7,000 teacher laptops and 66,000 student laptops netbooks. All wireless. All Windows-only. Starting the roll-out with 15yr olds. 124 digital learning resources produced. What about OER ? Can they get YouTube ? A ‘DigRev’ taskforce has been created to complement onsite technical support.
Direct correlation between leadership and successful laptop programmes. And shift in pedagogy required – Weston & Bain 2010. Days of teachers owning their own courses are gone – emphasis is now on sharing and collaboration. Heaps of resources available to help teachers visualise what the ‘laptop classroom’ will look like.
Problem for me is grafting the non-linear network device onto a lockstep outcomes-driven curriculum. The wireless networked device will encourage bricolage, tinkering, social engagement, – is the curriculum evolving in response to this ? Perhaps that’s why the network has to be filtered, locked-down – the walled gardens under strict teacher control. I asked this question in relation to the ‘disconnect’ between what kids are doing in the open social network space and what happens in the classroom (presentation yesterday) – and the presenter confirmed that strict monitoring is in place with YouTube, Facebook etc. blocked – The kids are learning cool tools though and will arrive at university with good digital literacy and perhaps a creative mindset ? – depends on whether the assessment standards allow for this. Raises questions I guess about the role of schooling in the digital knowledge economy.