Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Future of School Education in Canberra

The ACT Government, which looks after Canberra's schools (both public and private) has issued a discussion paper and invited comment on The Future of Education. There is an invitation to join the conversation through social media #EducationforthenextGeneration on Twitter and Facebook, plus and the ACT Government own Your Say Platform.

These discussion questions were provided to start the conversation:
  • "What works, or could be improved in our education system?
  • How do we make sure the way we teach suits how every child and young person learns?
  • What does success look like? How can we help our children be successful in a way that suits them?
  • How should schools; their communities and the community sector better connect to support learning?
  • How can we increase access to affordable quality early childhood education and care (childcare), particularly prior to preschool?
  • How do we make sure all vulnerable children and young people have high quality education and care?"

Here are some thoughts on what could be improved:

"The ACT Government could provide training for new teachers so they are ready for the transition from campus/classroom based to primarily on-line education. While school campuses are likely to continue to be provided, especially for younger students, most of the education for older students is moving on-line and off-campus. The ACT Government already has some excellent initiative for this, such as the Canberra Institute of Technology having facilities integrated into the Gungahlin
public library and collocated with Gungahlin College.

Demolition of Manning
Clark Centre
(ANU 2017)
However, teachers need to be trained to teach using technology and also how to teach in teams for the smaller, but still important part of learning, which will take place on campus.

Australia's universities are phasing out obsolete lecture theaters, replacing them with blended, flipped and work integrated learning. The ANU Manning Clark Center lecture theater complex was demolished a few weeks ago, to be replaced with flexible spaces.

The best way to prepare teachers to teach in new ways is to train them using the same techniques. Canberra's teachers need to be comfortable and familiar with learning on-line and teaching in a team with other teachers.

I have explored some of these topics in my book on Digital Teaching.

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