Vic schools to join in teaching revamp program

IBM and the Victorian Department of Education, Employment and Training (DEET) have signed a partnership deal aimed at enhancing skills and disseminating the state's best teaching practices to improve student achievement.

The IBM International Foundation will invest $1.2 million in the Reinventing Education Program over the next three years and DEET will provide equal-level resources.

The Reinventing Education initiative, currently in eight countries, is founded on the belief that improving teaching is at the heart of education reform and the most effective approach is school- based professional development through teacher collaboration.

Philip Bullock, managing director and CEO of IBM Australia and New Zealand, said the goal is to improve the way students learn.

"With the help of educators who have spent their lives in the classroom, we're using our award-winning researchers, technical expertise and business acumen to create technology solutions that are transforming school systems throughout the world," Bullock said.

The backbone of Reinventing Education is a core of technology tools housed in a framework called Learning Village. The program was developed collaboratively by IBM researchers and educators from around the world.

According to IBM officials, the program equips educators with the know-how and tools to assist students with skills and knowledge critical to success in the world of information technology. More than 30,000 teachers and their students are using the solutions created through Reinventing Education around the world. Projects are under way in 21 sites in the US plus seven other countries.

One of the first schools in Australia to use the program is Buckley Park Secondary College in Essendon, which has been part of a pilot program.

DEET and IBM will design and implement a program at the school, using IBM's Student Portfolio Tool and Instructional Planner.

IBM and DEET anticipate the network of teachers and schools involved in the program will expand progressively to up to 80 to 100 teachers, and between 24 and 36 schools across the state over the next three years.

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