Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Will there be funding on-line course development and teacher training?
I was planning to ask the Minister for School Education at the School Funding Forum today: "Are Schools The Appropriate Unit for Funding In the Internet Age?". But I decided to make it a little esoteric and instead asked if there would be funding for on-line course development and training teachers to tutor online. I explained that universities (such as the ANU, just across the road from DEEWR HQ) are setting up for blended learning: combining face-to-face classes with e-learning. To do this they are investing in course development and lecturer training. Schools will need to do the same. Otherwise schools will have to purchase their course content from overseas and have the tutoring done by overseas teachers, via the NBN. The Minister replied that the Australian Government is investing in the development of curricula and teacher training, through initiatives such as Education Services Australia. (I see they are building an "ICT in Everyday Learning - Teacher Online Toolkit" and have a "National Digital Learning Resources Network"). That was a good answer. I wanted to ask "How Much?", but we were out of time. Talking at one of these events is nerve racking, as only are you watched by a room full of people in suits (one later said he was disappointed that I did not ask my original question), but is was also being sent out on Sky.