CSER is moving into a new phase of teacher support - An update!
As a valued member of our community, we would like to share with you an important update about the face-to-face and lending library components of our K-12 Digital Technologies Education program as we transition to a new phase of teacher and school support.
So far, we have worked with over 40,000 teachers across Australia, including over 30% of teachers from low-socioeconomic and rural/remote schools. We are thankful for the 4-year funding we received through the NISA initiative that has made this valuable in-school support for Digital Technologies possible and our ongoing partnership with Google Australia who has supported us to build a number of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for teachers.
As our NISA funding comes to an end, our face-to-face MOOC professional development (PD) sessions provided through Project Officers in schools and our national Lending Library program will be suspended on April 30th, 2020. Our Lending Library has been suspended earlier than expected due to Covid-19 and schools with kits have been asked to hold onto them for the time being with further information to follow.
However, we are pleased to announce that our CSER Team will continue to provide ongoing support through new, exciting initiatives, some of which are outlined below!
Our Project Officers have worked closely alongside teachers in schools across Australia to personalise our MOOC content and to build teacher confidence in using the latest resources and equipment in PD workshops. So far, we have collectively delivered over 1,803 sessions, reaching 26,851 teachers!
Throughout this time we have:
- seen many teachers flourish in their confidence and emerge as confident Digital Technologies champions in their schools.
- supported school leaders to creatively piece together our program for personalised whole-school training.
- worked in partnership with many wonderful programs, such as the Digital Technologies Hub, CSIRO, ACA, Teacher Associations and more to run PD sessions.
- focused our support on those who are most disadvantaged, for example working with the Smith Family to upskill their teachers and running tri-state events in remote regions.
- been able to pivot quickly in response to Covid-19, rapidly developing resources and providing online support sessions for teachers.
Our program has delivered over 1,902 digital technology kits to schools, far and wide across Australia, from Thursday Island at the very top end of Queensland, to the very southern location of Dover in Tasmania.
Over the last 4 years, we have been thrilled to see students excitedly learning new digital skills and knowledge with equipment such as Beebots, Spheros, Arduinos, Dash & Dot, Makey Makeys and developing their Computational Thinking skills via Tweets and guest blog posts from their teachers. We have been humbled when we receive heart-warming messages of thanks tucked away in our kits.
Our next phase
We are moving to a new phase, and while our in-school PD programs have been suspended, we are excited about new ways that we can support teachers with upcoming MOOCs and opportunities to continue to support teachers through professional development in emerging Digital Technologies areas of cybersecurity, cyber awareness, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Keep an eye out for new announcements via our e-newsletter or social media pages!
All of our MOOCs and their online communities, including our Foundations MOOC for teachers just commencing their Digital Technologies journey, will continue to be freely available to support teachers, providing PD as needed and where needed.
Our PL-in-a-Box resources remain available, supporting school leaders and educators to deliver personalised professional learning to staff, with freely downloadable PL packs on Digital Technologies topics and our MOOCs.
Although our main Lending Library Kits will be suspended, we will recommence sending our new AI, AR and VR Lending Library Kits to schools when it is safe to do so. Lesson plans developed for all of our lending library kits will remain on our website for teachers to freely download and use with the equipment they may have in schools.
Working with you
Although our level of support is changing, you can continue to maintain engagement with us across our social media channels and within our MOOC communities. We are keen to continue working with our industry, government and education stakeholders and would love to have a conversation about ways that we could make that happen.
For the time being, we would like to thank you for being part of our CSER community and we look forward to continuing our work with you in the future!