I’m in the process of reading up on the Australian Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution. There appear to be some interesting things going on, but there are also a few things that I’m shaking my head at.
For example, there is this report that maps ICT professional learning which includes range of recommendations, some of which are quite good. For example, Recommendation 2 sounds good
Recommendation 2: Foster transparency: share what works in professional learning for ICT
Helping teachers share what they do and be aware of all the good stuff others are doing is, I believe, an important enabler for improving the quality of ICT use in schools.
But why oh why did they have to recommend this solution?
That funding for school-based ICT professional learning is supported by an interactive website that shares good practice and fosters accountability through transparency of practice.
Why do government reviews, projects and bodies think that creating yet another website is going to encourage sharing? Is there any such website that has actually worked well in a sustainable way? ALTC failed at this approach, didn’t they?
I hesitate to use it, but haven’t they heard of “Web 2.0” and of aggregation. Why are they seeking to replace the individual blogs and websites of teachers for publishing and the use of search engines and social media/networks for finding the really good stuff?
Based on my experience during my first 32 days of prac teaching, the Learning Federation/Scootle sites hosting “learning objects” are used in schools. But my experience using those sites was that using Google to be much more rewarding in terms of the diversity and quality of the learning resources I found for teaching.
I am assuming that the main rationale for this approach is so that accountability can be fostered. i.e. that someone can check the quality of the practices being shared. I find this assumption that someone has to check the quality to somewhat condescending (i.e. it assumes that teachers can’t judge that themselves) and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how the new “digital world” works. Which is a bit sad as one of the aims of the DER is to prepare students for participating in the “digital world”.