Project lead: University of South Australia
Project funding: $8,547 Round 2 2013
University of South Australia School of Education worked with the Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) to connect to four rural and five Adelaide preservice teachers employed in DECD through the use of iPads. The iPads were the foundation for building a professional learning community, and to enhance the capacity of the preservice teachers in their use in order to support their study and integrate their use in all aspects of learning and teaching.
The iPads provided the preservice teachers with many opportunities to engage with university staff and develop their skills in reflection and critical thinking in a supportive online learning environment. It also strengthened the relationship between the students who shared their journey of online network-based learning.
The preservice teachers used the iPads to help them develop their understanding of course content and pedagogy, to stay organised and stay connected to other students on a personal, social and professional level. The project also helped to make them job ready for a teaching and learning environment where technology is widely used and relied upon.
Student feedback indicates that they learned a lot about accessing applications to make many aspects of their studies easier and be connected with other learners. They participated in forums and set up a private Facebook page.
MATSITI evaluation conclusions
This low cost project has provided preservice teachers with vital skills which will help them in their studies and their teaching careers. There would be value in ensuring that all preservice teachers had access to iPads.
This project is a good example of positive outcomes resulting from innovation and commitment.
Project contact: Associate Professor Victoria Whitington, Associate Head of the School of Education, University of SA