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The impact of the Digital Education Revolution in NSW government schools: Baseline data

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... Rowe 1993;Shears 1995). In many ways this culminated in 2008 when the Australian government funded secondary schools, or school systems, to provide a computer per student; many used the funds to provide portable computing (Howard and Carceller 2010). Personally, I have been fortunate to be able to conduct a substantial amount of research from the beginning, including from 2003 the first 1-to-1 program at a WA government secondary school (Newhouse 1998(Newhouse , 2008. ...
... In my own state of Western Australia this encouraged the government to set up the first 1-to-1 program in a public secondary school, and I was given the opportunity of evaluating this initiative over a period of 8 years (Newhouse 2008). And then, from 2008 a 1-to-1 program was implemented for government secondary schools throughout NSW and in many schools in other states in Australia (Howard and Carceller 2010). Although much of the research has been focussed on secondary schools there have been notable examples in primary schools (Rowe 1993;Suhr et al. 2010). ...
Article
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Portable computing technologies such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, wireless networking, voice/stylus input, and plug and play peripheral devices, appear to offer the means of finally realising much of the long heralded vision for computers to support learning in schools. There is the possibility for the technology to finally become a ubiquitously invisible component of the learning environment, empowering children to attempt feats well beyond their current capabilities. These technologies are finding a place in many schools, and there has now been over two decades of research conducted into their use in schools. What is now known about implementing portable computing technologies in schools? What should educational leaders take from this research before making decisions about the technologies used in schools?.
... This program is to provide one-to-one wireless laptops to all students from nine to twelve years old by the year 2012. The program is funded by the Australian Government's National Secondary School Computer fund (Howard & Carceller, 2011). Also in Uruguay, their national policy makes provision of free laptops to every child and teacher through its El Ceibal project, this goal was achieved in 2009 (UNESCO, 2O12). ...
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The purpose of this study was to document the perspectives of teachers who form an important stakeholder to the newly established eConnect and Learn (eCAL) programme in a Caribbean Island state. eCAL is a programme introduced by the government to enhance teaching learning in the country. A qualitative cross-sectional study was undertaken through a one-on-one structured interview with 7 teachers of different departments in the school who have been exposed to the programme since inception. Data was analysed using the Boyatzis (1998) thematic analysis strategies. Teachers provided varied and unreserved perspectives about the eCAL programme including the benefits. They also provided their concerns, and challenges of the programme among others. These results were discussed vis-à-vis the intentions of the programme as well as the literatures on the research issue. While recommend that a formal evaluation of the programme be carried out Island-wide, the researchers however provisionally recommend that the many useful benefits the programme currently enjoys should be further maximised by greater involvement of all the major stakeholders through adequate training and workshops on the programme. (http://www.ztjournals.com/index.php/JEPER/article/view/323)
... The author was involved in evaluating the first 1:1 program in Western Australia from 1993 to 1997 in a private school and then the first whole of government school program commencing in 2003 [16]. Since then an increasing number of schools have been moving towards such programs, nowhere more widespread than in New South Wales where every student in government schools from Years 9 to 12 has been given a netbook, software and wireless networking [8]. ...
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This paper discusses a range of issues around 1:1 student to computing devices programs in schools and reports on the critical factors that will contribute to the success of this approach. The researcher was privileged to evaluate one of the early adopter laptop programs and then follow-up by evaluating the first program in a Western Australian government school. Research has found that while the 1:1 model does tend to better realise the potential of the technology doing so in real school settings is not a trivial matter and those responsible need to consider, and plan for, a range of factors.
... cheaper mobile devices, many of these schools moved to 1:1 provision. The DER funded secondary schools, or school systems, to provide a computer per student in whatever way they chose;; for example, in New South Wales state government schools the system decided these funds would be used to purchase a particular laptop for every student in Years 9 to 12 (Howard & Carceller, 2010). In Western Australia the decision was left to the school and thus in some schools the funds were used for a 1:1 program. ...
Conference Paper
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In 1993 the first WA private school adopted a 1 to 1 computing strategy and then ten years later the first government school did so. With the advent of the Digital Education Revolution initiative many schools in WA commenced 1 to 1 strategies and it has almost become an expectation in secondary schools. Our Snapshots studies involved two new government schools and a long established elite private school that had a similar vision for learning with digital technologies. The two government schools had 1 to 1 strategies, but had found that their chosen tablet PC was not robust enough, and had concluded that the current policy was not sustainable. They were debating the merits of BYOD or BYOT strategies in the light of constraints and the nature of their clientele. The private school, unlike most of its peers, had not had a 1 to 1 strategy but was planning to do so using iPads. However, it appeared that they already had an informal BYOT strategy. In this paper we discuss the differing situations these schools have found themselves in, the vision they have for learning with digital technologies, and the issues they are debating that will allow them to implement and sustain this vision.
Article
We report a case study of two highly qualified science teachers as they implemented laptop computers in their Years 9 and 10 science classes at the beginning of the ‘Digital Education Revolution,’ Australia’s national one-to-one laptop program initiated in 2009. When a large-scale investment is made in a significant educational change, it is important to consider teachers perspectives and responses to such change and we draw from sociocultural perspectives for our analysis. Through interviews and classroom observations, our interpretive analysis identified four key tensions and contradictions. These include the following: (1) barriers to innovative science teaching; (2) maintaining classroom and school connectivity; (3) teacher versus student expectations; and (4) changes to classroom management. Analysis leads to implications for the future of this and similar programs. The study shows that while these two teachers were committed to developing and delivering technology-rich science lessons, there were many factors that challenge how the implementation progressed. The findings from this study have implications for the continued engagement of teachers in this and other jurisdictions considering the introduction of one-to-one laptop programs.
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To explore the perceptions of the teachers at a Boys School in Trinidad and Tobago about the extent to which eConnect and learn (eCAL) programme enhances the teaching-learning activities in their school. The eCAL programme was introduced into secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 with the aim to bring technology to teaching-learning activity in the twin Island nation. Since then, there have been praises and complaints from the Teachers’ Union, parents, etc. about the programme. There has not been any formal assessment of the programme. This study intends to document the perceptions of the key stakeholders in the execution of the programme. A qualitative case study was undertaken at a popular Boys School in the Island. It utilised a criterion-sampling technique where only the teachers who have used the programme for four years or more were engaged. Data were analysed using themes and codes and presented as narratives or stories around the themes. Most teachers have positive perceptions of the programme but hinted the need for better training, proper integration and assistance with more resources including Information Technicians. The study in general conformed to other studies of similar nature from other countries. We however recommend among others, a more managed system to properly harness the usefulness of the programme. A formal evaluation of the programme is due, having used the programme for 4 years. Key word: Information Technology, Caribbean Schools, Secondary Education, Developing countries. http://www.apexjournal.org/jerbs/archive/2015/Jan/fulltext/Onuoha%20et%20al.pdf
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