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Computers for Learning in the 21st Century June 2007

J Turner Updated March 2008

This proposal is in response to a request by the Principal for a way to maximise productive use of information
and communication technologies [ICTs] for student learning.

Computers in schools
70s: computer as machine: punch cards, birth of PC, Logo, CAL
80s computer as resource; Computer Studies; individual teacher interest, Computer Science
90s computer as learning tool; 1:1 computing; constructivism; Internet; projects; ICT electives; VCE IT
00s computer as personal tool; increased rates of change; ICT literacy; self-directed learning, Y2K/ICT
Bubbles & Fads; Global net; Home computing power; connected devices; ICT learning objects and
microworlds; Web 2.0
The current approach at PLC is a product of six factors:
1. a commitment by involved teachers towards quality ICT-based learning for all students
2. teachers working together for quality ICT learning [as shown by teacher mentor approach]
3. progressive development of starting points for student ICT skills and understandings
4. staffing and resourcing priorities
5. school priorities and culture
6. recognition of learning as continual, complex, connected, chaotic, co-created, constructed, change for
canonical value

Computers for Learning

For effective use, a school needs to be able to evaluate and work productively with:
• fast changing technologies
• ongoing developments in administrative software and processes
• variable teacher attitudes, aptitudes and pedagogical preferences
• information, administrative and external demands
• standards, assessment and reporting stipulations
• teacher relationships with technology and with each other
• school responsibilities and limits such as industrial timetabling, overloaded and disrupted curriculum,
managerialism, and individual PD
• the potential of ICTs for learning (individual ownership, motivating environments (particularly for middle
school), collaboration, global connections, creative work, ICT literacies; manipulating, disseminating,
storing and managing information.
To be, and remain, at the forefront of exemplary use of ICTs, a whole school approach needs to work with:
• the costs that go with what can be, and should be, achieved for all students
• the educational value of changing technologies within traditional ‘disciplines’
• developing the important resource within any school, its teachers, for student learning
• relationship building between teachers and technology, and between teachers

Goals for ICT curriculum use should cover

[1] All teachers aware of new technologies with potential for teaching and learning
[2] All teacher acquire basic ICT administrative and classroom teaching skills (eg Office, Web, email)
[3] Subject project work supported through over-arching coordination of development of ICT skills & processes
[4] Whole school coordinated and integrated decisions making and budgeting [budget, support, staffing, goals)
[5] Teacher ICT learning recognised within whole school teacher support and development umbrella
[6] Teacher ICT work recognised, valued and shared
[7] Clear expectations on what is required of teachers for ICT use, with inclusive review process
[8] Development of specific ICT skills within context, such as subject project work
[9] Formal evaluation and assessment processes of student and teacher ICT learning / literacy.
[10] Evaluation (with support) of senior students ICT skills required for senior studies
ICT use within a school

The following checklist is provided in support of an inclusive, relationship-building, objective approach for a
school like PLC (but applicable to any school committed to be a leading example. System approach is based
on positive support structures and recognition of teacher professionalism).

1. Teacher learning as
❏ Specified position. Equal leading role within Decision-making [DM]
structure. Resource planning not an adjunct subject to ‘timetable’
integral to a 21 Century
school: availability. Integration of out-of-class professional learning [PL] into
classroom use.
2. Goals: ❏ Specified. Available. Discussion, Audit and Review processes.

3. Decision-making: ❏ Signed off goals, agendas, minutes, reviews covering all decisions and
recommendations for ICT acquisition, implementation and evaluation
for teaching and learning
4. Budgeting: ❏ Budget planning part of inclusive DM processes. Covers technology
resourcing, support resourcing and teacher learning resourcing.
Evaluated against goals.
5. Whole school approach: ❏ Principal can state with confidence school’s position, intention and
structure re ICT use for learning. Teachers have process ownership.
6. Clearly stated ❏ Backed by structure for teachers to be aware of new technology
developments and to keep up with basic software skills
7. Teacher Inclusion in ❏ Teacher input sought and processed through Staff Meetings,
Department Heads meetings, Teacher representation. Reports back.
change management:
8. Teacher Ownership: ❏ Teacher ICT Steering Group [TISG] for sharing developments, teacher
learning and department developments.
9. Targeting of areas for ❏ Resource allocation based on proposals. Review processes.
Integrated into whole-school plans (eg Virtual Learning Environments).
specific development:
10. Relationship Building for ❏ Teacher mentor program. Effectiveness measured by teacher
individual teaching with ICTs. Linked to teacher PL structure.
teacher empowerment:
11. 21st Century Curriculum: ❏ Years 7-9 elective time linked to subject projects and ICT literacy.
Mentor linked. Student learning priorities. Identification, assessment
and reporting of ICT literacy against standards.
12. Teacher mentor ❏ ICT teacher support for student subject learning. ICT teacher teams.
Support for subject development and introduction of new technologies
(eg VLE, Web 2)
13. Cutting Edge Research: ❏ Development of links to external expertise. Global links. Budget
14. Teacher learning: ❏ Materials. Opportunities to learn and opportunities to share expertise
between teachers (Can be provided through teachIT, External
support structures &
processes: Learning Sharing System [ELSS], thinkIT)

Possible structure
• Computer Learning Skills [CLS] lesson time in Years 7, 8 and 9 [6+7+7 lessons]
• Teacher mentor program [swinging] [3+4+3 lessons]
• Teacher ICT Steering Group [12 x 2 lessons]
• After-school sessions [where needed – linked to outcomes]
• Teacher ICT skills development program ( basic and advanced) [2 periods]
• TeachIT: expectation of teachers posting ICT related work
• TeachIT can be expanded for other areas, such as thinking skills
• Budgeting – integrated approach (resourcing [technology, human], support materials, R&D)

Evaluation: How well do we manage change through the three Es?

Inclusive Engagement
Valuing leadership by Example
Constructive use of Evaluation feedback