Exploring the postdigital

In working to unpick the complex dynamics at play in the way that digital technologies have been taken up (or not) by schools, I have been exploring the concept of the ‘postdigital’ as a way to theorise what is going on.

On the one hand, there is much discourse suggesting that schools are not doing enough to equip students to work in a globalised highly-technological economy and that they need to do a better job of embedding educational technologies in schools. On the other hand, schools make a great deal of use of highly technological administrative systems, and are increasingly using educational technologies such as learning analytics, adaptive computer testing, administration packages and learning management systems. So are schools digital enough yet? Continue reading

Will we get an updated Melbourne Declaration?

Mel dec

Signed on the 5th December 2008 the Melbourne Declaration supersedes the 1989 Hobart Declaration and the 1999 Adelaide Declaration. The Melbourne Declaration outlines ‘The Educational Goals for Young Australians’  and represented collaboration and joint agreement between all Australian Education ministers – the federal education minister and the eight education ministers of the states and territories. Goal One states that ‘Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence’ and Goal Two is that ‘All young Australian become: successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’ (p. 7).

Many of the elements of the Melbourne Declaration were present in both the Hobart and Adelaide Declarations. Common elements of the three national educational goals documents include:

  • the desire for Australia’s schooling system to be characterised by ‘excellence’
  • a holistic view of education, which provides for students’ intellectual, physical, moral spiritual and aesthetic development.
  • to develop in students an appreciation of our cultural heritage
  • a desire to equip students for the future workplace and to meet the emerging needs of the economic workforce
  • to foster positive attitudes to vocational training and life-long learning
  • the creation of an active and informed citizenry
  • provisions for the development of students’ fitness and health
  • a robust curriculum that includes basic literacy and numeracy; computing and technological skills, maths and science; Australian history and geography, the creative arts, languages other than English, and a values education that includes ethics, environmental concerns and social justice.

In addition to these common elements, the Hobart Declaration (signed in 1989) describes the establishment of efforts to develop a national curriculum and the commitment of the states to the establishment of a common handwriting style, common age of school entry and strategies to improve the quality of teaching (MCEECDYA, 2009).

Mel Dec wordle

We are due for an update

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‘The internet is all around us’ what children think of the internet

Recently, Tiana Murray (an early career primary school teacher) and I had an article published in the journal, Digital Culture and Education, which examines what 10-12 year old children think of the internet. We published it in an online open access journal which I think is a fantastic venue for this research as it allowed us to publish a sample of the children’s artwork about the internet. These beautifully demonstrate the children’s ambivalence; the internet is depicted as both being a joyous place and a place of danger. The article can be accessed here and the abstract and selected children’s artworks appear below.

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Educational policy and the Gonski brand

For the past four months I’ve been teaching a course on policy and politics to masters students. It’s a course I love teaching as it always links to contemporary events and it’s easy to point students to media stories and policy announcements. Things are always happening in the policy space (and we wonder why teachers get change fatigue). Over the time that I’ve run this latest iteration of the course, the policy that has been in the media the most, I believe, would be Gonski. Gonski in terms of the new 80-20 funding model and Gonski, the education review called ‘Growth through Achievement‘.

My analysis is that ‘Gonski’ has become a brand. And the Liberal party have been working hard to transfer ownership of the Gonski brand, to themselves. Continue reading