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For those of you who haven’t heard of BYOD yet within the Australian education or corporate spheres, it stands for ‘Bring Your Own Device’, and it is the next big step in establishing the technological revolution of education within our schools. The integration of devices into schools is not an entirely new concept, with the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program which has been around since 2007 being a multinational organisation now (including involvement by Australia). This program in general has been met with widespread criticism in the U.S after the abandonment of the program by one executive, and the obvious environmental issues such as maintenance and safety of a laptop within a school environment. For those of you who are familiar with the slow and often frustrating changes in the methods of delivering education, this all comes as no surprise.
The importance of “non-curriculum” learning attributes such as self-directed learning and independence, has become a major focal point for the redevelopment of many learning areas within the Australian Curriculum. Skills of motivation and personal drive are more often being linked these days to successful job acquisition and job satisfaction than skills learned through other more traditional learning areas. This makes us wonder about what else may be up for a change when it comes to the way we look at learning from a young age.
Victoria's 'The Age' reports a serious mismatch of employee reward and budget allocation in an article today which outlines the millions which education executives are being paid, whilst redundancies and program cuts are rampant elsewhere. Most prominantly, cuts made to literacy and numeracy coaching within school programs does not seem to be put to good use, with millions of dollars more (as reported in government released data) to be used on overseas travel, meals and accommodation.
In this last month, the time has come again for students to receive their highly anticipated final school results, illustrating the incredible national need for tutoring. This result, which takes the form of an OP, TER, ENTER or UAI is the first of many confusions and complications when it comes to aggregating the results of Australian students each year. The sluggish rollout of the national curriculum has resulted in a further layer of confusion, when many schools must now teach across two curriculums rather than just the one, depending on the availability of curricula in the school. When it gets to final exam time it is no surprise therefore that students are finding it tough, particularly when applying (more and more) to interstate Universities, to interpret this final exam mark (and in the case of University administration, allocate positions - raw data can be found here). Perhaps a great deal of this confusion suffered however, can be attributed to an increasing number of preparation exams and state assigned tests (as is the case most prominently in Queensland with the QCS) external to school finals, designed to average the overall performance of the cohort. This strict testing regime is now starting younger and younger, with end of term finals as part of the year 8 curriculum becoming commonplace in schools. The question is rapidly becoming: is there no place for rigorous testing in younger years, or is it never too early to become prepared?
A number of technologies, particularly which aim to be compatible with a high volume of users, are marketing their services and products as “minimal learning curve” products. The same is true of online user experiences, where websites promise a two minute tour of the website, or a 30 second tutorial video. Our team at AVT are all about emerging user compatible technologies, using a number of software programs and online databases which self-generate reports and recognise typical user errors within half an hour of using the product. New mind-mapping technology that has been available on the global market for some time promises users almost an immediate understanding of the software and associated processes. It is true that being described as a near ‘zero learning curve’ product is a powerful and impressive claim, however it begs the question: is this developing the trend of user convenience, or is it removing our ability to design and create our own user experience?
In lieu of our most recent team mate's success at the Gold Coast marathon we have decided to share his complete making and eventual introduction to the world. So read on to see for yourself the foolproof method to building a "marathon-wearable" mascot head (success dependant on comfort requirements and pain threshold).
On the 20th April, Absolute Value Tuition stopped past the Careers Exhibition in Perth to have a chat to presenting tertiary institutions and check what was next in education for Western Australia.