The New Zealand Ministry of Education e-Learning Strategy
e-Learning Action Plan
The Ministry of Education released an e-Learning Action Plan in July 2006 to outline the key outcomes and actions for e-learning in the New Zealand school sector for 2006–2010. This document describes the goals for e-learning in schools and the projects, tools, and resources that are being developed to address those outcomes. It also identifies how school-focused initiatives fit in with and support the wider range of digital and ICT strategies being co-ordinated and supported by the New Zealand Government.
The plan demonstrates how e-learning can contribute to the Schooling Strategy (Ministry of Education, 2005) and its priorities for the next five years, which are that:
e-Learning Teacher Fellowships
The e-learning teacher fellowships project was established in June 2003. It reflects the Ministry of Education’s commitment to quality teaching, improving the professional capability of teachers and increasing the use of effective e-learning strategies in schools. It recognises and rewards New Zealand teachers and early childhood educators who have demonstrated an innovative and creative approach to improving students’ learning through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The programme aims to inform e-learning practice in New Zealand by providing opportunities for teachers to be involved in innovative and learning focused research projects. An essential element is the exploration of how innovative use of ICT is able to enhance learning experiences for diverse learners.
Contestable fellowship funding is available for teachers to carry out research in their classroom or school. Successful applicants receive release from teaching duties, support for their research and assisted opportunities to talk with international and national educators. Research and fellowship support is provided through CORE Education in Christchurch. This includes residential and virtual workshops and online mentoring. Partnerships with tertiary providers and relevant businesses are encouraged to provide supplementary support and resources.
ICT PD Clusters
The Information and Communications Technologies Professional development (ICT-PD) Cluster programme is a collaborative venture between groups or clusters of schools and the Ministry of Education to promote and promulgate effective practice for the use of ICTs in New Zealand Schools.
The Ministry provides funding and support to cluster schools to implement a self designed programme that promotes increased understanding by teachers, principals, students and school communities of the educational benefits of ICT.
It is the main method of providing long-term professional development in the use of ICTs to New Zealand teachers.
Digital Opportunities Project
The innovative use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in schools has created a range of exciting learning opportunities for students.
The Digital Opportunities (DigiOps) projects are joint partnerships between schools, organisations involved in ICT and the Ministry of Education with an aim to improve learning through the use of leading edge technologies.
However, it is not just technology for technology’s sake. All of the projects profiled on the site have been funded and supported on the basis that they will contribute to a student’s learning in a positive way and be based around core curriculum subjects.
Software for Learning: information on software for schools: www.tki.org.nz/r/ict/software/index_e.php
Digistore: digital content – learning objects: www.tki.org.nz/r/digistore
* whanau: Maori word for extended family