Centre for Educational Multimedia
     
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DEEWR

Local and Global

Student engagement

We have a lot of kids from non-English speaking backgrounds, even the kids that come from English speaking backgrounds, because it's a socio-economically poor area, they don't have a rich language background, so we're this year, looking at the teaching of language, of talking and listening... A lot of the teacher talking just goes over the top, and it takes our kids - that's one of the beauties of technological software, it can be used at where the kids are at and a lot of it is based on mastering language. You get that right, then you move onto the next step, and it's at the kids' level, and in a class of 20, 25 kids, it's very hard for a teacher to talk at a level where all the kids are going to follow, without really dumbing it down, and we've got to provide to the kids that are gifted as well, and that's another area where technology can be really useful (Principal, Brookvale Public School)

Building upon the imperative to seek points of contact with students, the following examples illustrate technology uses that expand student horizons into local and global relevance. In all cases the teachers have located technology with a problem solving context. Theoretical models of problem based learning (evident also in WebQuests) and situated learning are helpful references to this approach.

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The great thing about the internet is that it's there for the world to see and the shame about using pencil and paper to write and to publish is that no-one gets to see it. It gets written, it gets marked and given back to the kids but when you put it on the internet, there's a huge audience and it just amazes me sometimes the feedback that you get from people. (Teacher, Brookvale Public School)

Tongan Dictionary

One of the ongoing projects that seeks to enhance the connections between home and school at Brookvale Public School is the web-based Tongan Dictionary. This is a simple website, authored by the students and maintained by them with some assistance. It features common words and their translations to and from English.

The project recognises one of the largest community groups represented in that school and serves as a reference point for other language activities. In the same way the dictionary project demonstrates to the children a way for them to communicate and be heard.

The Tongan Dictionary at the Brookvale website is well known and highly regarded.

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There's no other dictionary like it in the world... We entered ourselves in the child internet awards and we got second place for the school and two teachers and two kids were flown to Paris for a week. (Teacher, Brookvale Public School)

 

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