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2001 Gwen Gawith: Digitised Cinderellas

2001 Cathy de Moll: The Internet and September 11 disaster

2001 Mark Treadwell: Cognitive and conceptual development

2001 Gillian Eadie: ICT directions

2001 Rob Green: Integrating ICT into the secondary curriculum: PD for teachers

2001 Gwen Gawith: Garbage detection is a key component of information literacy

2000 Ron Johnston: Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce

2000 Stuart Hale: The last communication revolution.

1999 Pete Sommerville: Virtual field trips.

1999 Gwen Gawith: An open letter to Bill Gates.

1999 Gwen Gawith: Hype, hope or information literacy.

1998 Mark Treadwell: The emperor's new computer.

1998 Nola Campbell: A conversation about being online.

1998 Gwen Gawith: Intelligent technologies: Teaching for information literacy.

1997 Gwen Gawith: Technology and ODL: Rent an information literate luddite!

1997 Gwen Gawith: Technology and learning.

1996 Gwen Gawith: IT: charms or challenges.

1994 Gwen Gawith: new technologies: new skills for information literacy.

information literacy:
ICT & learning online

ICT Directions

Gillian Eadie

Principal,

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School

In the second excerpt from her Winston Churchill Millennium Fellowship report, Gillian Eadie comments on several innovations which are helping to ensure that ICT is used effectively to support learning...

Teachers in schools using ICT effectively, soon find that much of the repetitive 'busy work' and unreal, contrived exercises are no longer relevant in an environment that allows students direct access to engaging information sources.

This realisation has led to new approaches being made to curriculum content and the encouragement of information literacy skills development. Students are being encouraged to use higher order thinking and given strategies for powerful learning in this new environment.

Using Higher Order Thinking Skills

At John Paul College, Queensland, strong school policies regarding the integration of IT and research in the curriculum have seen a greater emphasis on digital presentations. These have lifted senior scores and oral communication considerably. The 'hunting and gathering' side of research has been closed down, resulting in much more analysis and synthesis of information. All assignments Years 8 - 12 have to be submitted to the Head of Science who checks resources available, higher order thinking content and ICT content prior to approval being given. She thus has a global picture of what students are studying; works closely with academic staff and Director of IT. Redesigning activities for digital form has been challenging and began with Social Sciences.

Because of IT projects in junior schools, the exercise book size has been changed to A4 with lines on one page and plain on next, printed especially for JPC. This allows the seamless integration of handwriting and desktop publishing.

Revising course materials for on-line learning

For publication on the school Intranet, what is being taught has been reviewed and rewritten by staff. Students can access the curriculum and find sections entitled: Essential learning: Basic ideas, Themes, Assessments (self-assessments, major assessments), Concepts and Concept Checks, What is being taught, Required Assignments, Useful resources, Key information and ideas, Things to follow up and Extension.

Providing Structures for Learning with ICT

At Worth School, Sussex, a strategy sheet is now used by all students for longer assignments with the aim being to structure students' thinking and encourage them to evaluate the best methods for approaching a task (which may not involve computer use). Marco Torres requires teachers to complete planning guides prior to using learning technologies. They match their tasks with ICT and curriculum objectives and must include 'HOTS' components in their tasks.

Promoting Powerful Learning

Staff members at Glen Waverley Secondary College, Bendigo, use computer technology to support Teaching and Learning. There has been an unequivocal focus on theories of learning, brain research, powerful learning, learning to learn, metacognition, visual organisers and other thinking strategies.

Principal Darrell Fraser's keynote entitled ‘Thinking and Learning Skills: the last Hurrah?’ explored the essential ingredients in creating and sustaining a learning community based on defining the Thinking Curriculum. The school mission is Developing Autonomous Learners. Do we teach them to be autonomous? What do they need to be able to do? What is powerful learning and how do we enable students to develop the skills to be powerful in learning? How do we promote it?

To promote a thoughtful classroom, teachers have been trained in strategies to foster metacognitive processes, to learn and apply critical thinking skills and use the language of metacognition. GWSC ran a Learning to Learn programme for Years 7 to 9 with a Teaching and Learning coach supporting staff to make the changes needed to focus more clearly on thoughtful classrooms. There is school wide use of thinking ‘scaffolds’ and organisers. For one semester, each class was withdrawn for 20 lessons (100 minutes a week), the aim being to move from Thinking Skills to Thinking Classrooms. All staff also went through the course so that there was a shared understanding of what the terms meant, e.g. metacognition, co-operative learning.