$40m fund set up to teach teachers ICT

But little detailed offered on what skills they need under the broad ICT category

The Federal Government will spend up to $40 million to give teachers training in ICT.

As part of the so-called Digital Education Revolution the government will conduct a consultation process with the education sector and develop an ICT self-assessment tool that will be trailled from February 2011.

The Digital Strategy for Teachers and School Leaders is aimed at helping "teachers and school leaders achieve ICT proficiency and embed these skills across the curriculum and teaching practices".

In a statement, Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, also announced the establishment of a ICT Innovation Fund to the tune of $20 million to provide grants for ICT projects to 2012 that boost pre-service and in-service teacher skills.

"Through the strategy, teachers and school leaders will be empowered to integrate ICT into education that will improve school effectiveness and provide students with the skills required for the 21st Century," the statement reads.

However, no details were provided as to what skills within the broad ICT category would be targeted by either of the new funds.

This week, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) also said it will spend up to $70 million over the next three years implementing the Vocational Education Broadband Network (VEN).

The VEN was first announced by the prime minister in April 2009 as part of the Australian Government’s Response to the 2020 Summit.

In DEEWR documents, the Department said it was seeking a provider to establish and operate the VEN backbone network.

The department also announced it would form an "Applied ICT in Education Panel" to support the development, implementation and evaluation of initiatives that support the use of ICT in education.

Earlier in February, Prime minister Kevin Rudd had to defend his Government’s National Secondary School Computer Fund initiative, arguing it is on track to achieving its goal of one PC to every secondary student in years nine to 12 by 2011.

Speaking on ABC Television’s Q&A program, Rudd defended the initiative, among others, from accusations that the Government was failing to deliver on election promises which were of significance to 18-25 year old voters.

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Tags Julia GillardDepartment of Educationdigital education revolutionEmployment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)

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