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Big push for ICT in schools announced

Big push for ICT in schools announced

The use of information and communications technology (ICT) in classrooms is being given another significant push today with the addition of an extra 246 schools into a nationwide professional development programme, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced.

By the end of this year there will be 40 clusters of schools joining the existing 43 clusters already on the national programme for professional development. The number of schools involved in the programme since it began now totals 1044, or about forty per cent of schools.

“This programme is benefiting thousands of students as their teachers, through the ICT clusters, become skilled at and confident with using this technology in the classroom. It’s a major investment by the government, worth $9.8 million in the next financial year,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Our government is deliberately focussing on information communications technology as one of the keys to growing a more innovative economy. Ensuring our students are equipped with 21st century skills is a top priority for our work in education, as it has become an important and very successful tool for students’ learning.

“A report out this week, 'ICT in Schools', found that ICT is making a difference to quality teaching and learning for students, with two thirds of school principals reporting that it is resulting in major improvements to the quality of curriculum delivery in schools.”

The number of secondary schools involved as both lead schools and within clusters has continued to grow. Eleven new clusters have a secondary school as their lead school.

“These schools are located across New Zealand and the diverse and innovative ways they have responded to the challenges of this programme are a good reminder that energy and enterprise is alive and well in helping to give all of our students a quality education,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The lead schools are already successfully using ICT in innovative ways to enhance learning and teaching. Each of these clusters has been given a three-year contract, subject to annual review.”

“The clusters are distinguished by their vision for teaching and learning and their commitment to improving the capability of their teachers.”

The clusters of schools represent a range of geographical and socio-economic locations throughout the country. Each cluster will have $120,000 available each year to support ICT professional development activities.

The programme is strongly focussed on teaching and learning, and will:

Provide professional development for all teachers in participating schools on the use of ICT for teaching and learning and administration;

Develop activities that integrate ICT into teaching and learning, and meet important learning outcomes of the curriculum;

Explore innovative ways of using ICT in educational activities, especially using the education website Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) for students, teachers and their communities;

Develop resources for dissemination by the Ministry of Education that reflect good practice in the use of ICT in teaching and learning;

Use ICT to meet administration needs;

Develop systems and strategies for the technical support of ICT; and

Formulate integrated policies and sustainable development plans for ICT.

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