Throughout the roll out of this initiative, schools were desperately seeking advice about how best to implement programs and use the new technology to improve student outcomes.
We were engaged on a number of occasions to share and model best practice across the state, based on our work at Lowanna College, in Moe, Victoria, where we helped develop a co-contribution model that gave students laptops for 19 per cent of the cost incurred by the average secondary school student.
Sponsors also ensured that no student was excluded due to financial constraints.
This was much needed given that the Moe community is at lower end of the socio-economic range.
In December 2013, in recognition of our contributions in this space, we were invited to represent the Department of Education, as a delegation to the US to explore the potential for developing programs and industry links to support sustainable one-to-one learning technology programs in Australia, post NSCCF.
This invitation included attending DELL WORLD 2013, in Austin Texas, participating in the K-12 Education Advisory Council Forum, the Dell Executive Summit and attending the DELL Executive Briefing Centre in Round Rock, TX.
During DELL WORLD 2013, a briefing was made to DELL's US K-12 leaders outlining the thinking and strategy behind the one-to-one initiative and the success of Lowanna's one-to-one strategy and implementation more specifically.
After returning to Australia we saw a gap in collaboration and support provided to schools in Victoria.
We wanted to have access to the type of collaboration we experienced in the US, where schools had been engaged in one-to-one learning programs for a longer period of time.
This included sharing top ICT issues, sharing learning about infrastructure and security requirements, support for learning innovation and developing the ideal ecosystem for one-to-one student computing.
In response, we established the Educational Technology Consortium Victoria.
Initially the consortium included six government schools that had worked closely together sharing advice over a number of years.
Today it has grown to include over twenty member schools, from the government, catholic and independent sectors.
Many of the consortium's member school are regarded as perhaps the most innovative in the use of technology in the state.
Membership of the Consortium sits with the school, and member schools are encouraged to send both a technology specialist, typically an IT Manager and an education specialist, typically a curriculum leader to general meetings.
We believe it is this partnership between technology and education specialists that is the strength of the network.
Often technology specialists will want to implement a new system or software but will not truly understand the benefit for student learning.
Likewise many teachers will be excited by a new learning technology but fail to understand the infrastructure or system requirements.
We believe there are many excellent associations and forums for both technology and education specialists to share practice, but very few forums that actively allow these experts to work together in order to develop best practice in the delivery of IT services to improve learning and teaching in schools.
The consortium's partnership of technology and education focusses on offering members:
· Support on advising on strategic direction
· Opportunities to participate in leadership workshops to build the capacity of its members
· A forum to network and collaborate with like-minded peers
· Access to major vendors
· A forum to bridge the technical and teaching divide
· An opportunity to visit different members schools and IT ecosystems
· Opportunity to liaise with other relevant organisations and authorities at local, state/territory, national and international levels.
· Access to discounted events throughout Australia
It is the vision of the Educational Technology Consortium of Victoria to create a culture of confident and effective technology use that leads to continual school improvement.
The next big event for ETCV is at the National Future Schools Conference Masterclass in Melbourne on the March 22.
ETCV were ask to give a whole day masterclass workshop on leadership, technology and the use of technology in the curriculum.
The team are very excited to present and showcase ETCV member schools and also we hope to make new members too.
Our Masterclass : http://futureschools.com.au/Masterclass-B--BYOD.stm