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Posts tagged ‘mobile learning’

Focus on ICT literacy needed

TPACK #3http://www.acara.edu.au/news_media/acara_news/acara_news_2015_11.html#20151117

The 2014 National Assessment Program (NAP) – information and communication technology (ICT) literacy report has been released by the Education Council. The NAP – ICT literacy test assesses students ICT knowledge, understanding and skills and their ability to use ICT creatively, critically and responsibly.

Read the full 2014 National Assessment Program (NAP) – information and communication technology (ICT) literacy report on the NAP website

The report shows a significant decline in the mean performance of Year 6 students in 2014, compared to the last assessment in 2011. Similarly, the mean performance of Year 10 students is significantly lower than the mean performance in all previous NAP – ICT literacy assessments (2005, 2008 and 2011). The report also shows that in each year level, there has been a reduction in the percentage of students meeting the NAP – ICT literacy proficient standards.

According to ACARA’s CEO, Robert Randall,” the proficiency standards set in this assessment are challenging but they are reasonable and attainable for Year 6 and Year 10 students.

For example, Year 6 students were asked to:

  • search a website to find appropriate material,
  • format a document,
  • crop an image and
  • create a short slide show.


Students in Year 10 were asked to:

  • design an online survey,
  • use software to add two new levels to an online game
  • create a short animated video.

The NAP – ICT Literacy report found large differences in performance at both year levels across categories of parental occupation and parental education:

  • Indigenous students performed at lower levels than non-Indigenous students
  • Female students performed higher than male students,
  • Metropolitan students having the highest achievement scores.
  • No significant differences between students who spoke English at home and those who spoke at least one other language.

The results showed a small decline in the frequency of computer use at home between 2011 and 2014, but an increase in the frequency of computer use at school over the same period.

“Generally, students reported the use of study utilities with similar frequency at home and at school, but students in Year 10 reported more frequent use of these types of application than those in Year 6.

Communication applications were reported to be more frequently used at home than at school and were reported as more frequently used by Year 10 students than by Year 6 students.

The use of entertainment applications was more frequent at home than at school. Most students at both year levels indicated that they had learned about important ICT-related topics at school.”

The report concludes that “one of the possible interpretations of the decline in ICT literacy is that the increased use of mobile technology devices has resulted in less emphasis on skills associated with information management and processing but more emphasis on communication applications.

It is also possible that there has been less emphasis placed in schools on the teaching of skills associated with ICT literacy, with the development of young people’s ICT literacy competencies increasingly being taken for granted. Such a shift in emphasis may have contributed to changes in ICT literacy achievement between 2011 and 2014..

“The decline in performance is of concern, and there is a need for a renewed focus on the teaching of digital technologies in schools,” says Mr Randall.

“Schools now have access to the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, which covers the core aspects of ICT literacy that are vital for students to engage in a world dependent on these technologies for future employment and social interaction.

“We cannot expect students to reach the proficiency standard represented by the NAP – ICT literacy assessment on their own, through a personal use of technology. There is a need for explicit attention on the teaching and learning of knowledge, understanding and skills, which were the subject of this test and which are in the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.”

Our Training Academy can provide support teachers to include ICT literacy skills in their classroom practice. Contact us at : trainingsupport@electroboard.com.au




SMART amp Global Launch



On May 7 in New York, SMART Technologies launched the new SMART amp collaborative learning software.


 The launch demonstrated how students across Northern America from RPRY School of Edison, New Jersey to San Elijo Middle School in San Diego, California could collaborate on projects and content. They collaborated remotely in real time on SMART Board interactive whiteboards, mobile devices and laptops using the just-released SMART amp™ collaborative learning software.

At the launch, a panel of educators, technologists and digital media thinkers explored the growing importance of collaboration in education and the role of technology as an enabler. Clay Shirky, Associate Professor at New York University panel member stated that,  “The ability to distribute collaboration over large areas is one of the characteristics of this new era.”

In Australia ELECTROBOARD’s education team has been learning about the benefits of this new software and sharing it with technology and educational leaders at the recent AIS ICT Conference in Canberra.

These leaders were very interested in the potential of this software, to build a bridge with BYOD. Many of these schools have SMART Boards in every classroom and their students all have Apple iPads. With a greater emphasis on project based learning and personalised learning  in their schools these educational leaders are now wanting a way for their teachers to be mobile around the classroom and to connect to the SMART Board  from anywhere in the learning space for modelling and collaborating.  They wanted to understand how SMART amp will facilitate this kind of learning and in terms of the SAMR model move their teaching staff towards redefinition.

 Teachers were also interested in the idea that the learning gains or knowledge creation which occurred at school could then be enhanced at home through the seamless transfer of the virtual learning space.

 “Currently I cobble together a patchwork of products and web.2 tools to achieve this but each requires a log in , or changing file formats and takes up my time.  If I can do everything in SMART that would be amazing!”

To help Australian schools understand  the benefits of this new software we will provide a range of  Live webinars for schools. Learn more at:


As part of our next Digital Users Groups teachers can find out more about SMART amp:


and by attending our Festivals of Learning :





Parents see benefits in BYOD


This recent report describes “What Parents Think About Mobile Devices for Early Childhood and K-12 Learning”.  The study based on a survey of over 2390 parents distilled to a core sample of 925. Generally parents were very positive about the benefits of mobile devices and the opportunities for learning they afford. Whilst this is an American study the uptake of SMART Phones and Apple iPads in this country would indicate that Australian parents also see the value of such devices. The parents saw the benefits of the devices  for “making learning fun, teaching basic technology skills, promoting curiosity, helping their children know local and global events, bringing to  their children things they would never have known or experienced  otherwise, creating new ways to interact with others, teaching responsibility and fostering creativity”.


The report makes the following recommendations to educators


  • Model the safe, productive use of mobile devices as learning tools in practice.
  • Partner with parents to make the case for mobile learning, develop mobile device policies and showcase best practices—particularly for parents who are not yet persuaded.
  • Enlist the support of parents who tend to be the most positive about mobile learning, including parents of younger children, parents of “super users” and tech-savvy parents.
  • Leverage the devices that students already have access to or are bringing to school (the BYOD approach). Rather than trying to be the sole provider of devices for all students, schools should consider taking a need-based approach and provide devices only for students who do not have them—and ensure that students’ access is as equal as possible.
  • Offer authoritative information and advice to parents and students on how to make better use of mobile devices and apps for learning, rather than for entertainment only, and how to use them safely—and differentiate this guidance for different grade levels.
  • Do a better job communicating mobile device policies with parents—the “back to school” packet of information might not be enough.
  • Share and learn from schools that already are offering mobile learning opportunities for their students. Connect with other educators via online communities of practice and other forums to exchange insights on best practices.
  • Partner with industry to contribute to the development of mobile devices, apps and content that deliver robust educational benefits.


For more information about mobile devices and learning contact b.arber@electroboard.com.au



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