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Government helps teachers improve infotech skills

Government helps teachers improve infotech skills

Research has found that two government initiatives aimed at helping teachers use Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the classroom have been highly successful for both teachers and students, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard released two research reports relating to programmes initiated in the Ministry of Education’s first schools’ ICT strategy Interactive Education.

“The first report shows that a government-funded three-year ICT professional development programme for teachers in school clusters increased their skills, confidence and attitudes towards infotechnology. This resulted in greater classroom use of a variety of infotechnology and more positive learning experiences for students,” Trevor Mallard said.

“By the end of the research, approximately 70 percent of teachers were using ICTs routinely in their classes compared to approximately 25 percent beforehand.”

The second research report relates to the Ministry of Education’s TKI (Te Kete Ipurangi) website which is an online teaching resource.

“The report on TKI shows teachers and principals’ use of the website grew strongly between 2000 and 2001. In 2000 just under half of all teachers had heard of the site and one third had accessed it at least once. By 2001, 61 percent of teachers had heard of the site and 47 percent had accessed it.

“It’s great to see that all teachers in the research noted improvements in students’ attitudes, motivation and enthusiasm as a direct result of the greater use of TKI. A small number of teachers reported higher achievement levels by their students,” Trevor Mallard said.

The two reports are: What Makes for Effective Teacher Professional Development in ICT?: An Evaluation of the 23 ICT PD School Clusters Programme 1999-2000; and Educators’ Use of the Online Learning Centre – Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) 1999-2001.

To access the reports go to: Questions and Answers

How many schools are involved in the Ministry of Education’s ICT Professional Development School Clusters Programme?

Twenty-three school clusters were initially approved in 1999, each cluster had approximately 8-10 schools and there was a mix of primary and secondary schools in some clusters. A further 28 were approved in 2000, 22 in 2001 and 21 in 2002. There will be 71 clusters operating in 2003. This means approximately one third of NZ schools have been or are participating in the Programme.

How much money has been invested in the Programme?

Each new cluster will be receiving $120,000 per annum for three years. The Government contribution for the new clusters is $2.5 million per year for three years, bringing total yearly government funding for the Programme to $8.5 million in 2003.

Who runs the Programme?

The clusters set priorities and manage their professional development programme, and the Ministry of Education provides national co-ordination.

What does it focus on?

Programmes range from focussing on literacy and numeracy through ICT, to new teaching methods, to supporting gifted and talented students. Several secondary school clusters are focussing on distance delivery of courses

Who is TKI aimed at?

TKI is a website for New Zealand school teachers, principals and other education professionals. It has a vast range of quality-assured teaching and learning resources for use with students categorised by curriculum areas. It also provides direct links to other relevant sites. It houses up-to-date education sector information such as Ministry of Education documents, school contact information and information about education developments and programmes. It has provision for the establishment of learning communities of education professionals in both private and public areas of the website.

How useful are teachers finding it?

TKI has been consistently ranked by independent web analysts as one of the top educational reference sites in NZ

The use of TKI continues to grow significantly as the table below shows.

October 01
Visitors: 57,139,
Page Views: 1,241,547
Total hits: 9,190,369

October 02
Visitors: 154,974
Page Views: 1,764,968
Total hits: 18,924,169.

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