Transforming Schooling with Support from Portable Computing.
Australian Council for Computers in Education
Education and Arts
Education, Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies
For over two decades educators have hailed the possibility of harnessing the capabilities of portable computing to transform Australian schools into places where students experience powerful learning environments, relevant to the 21st Century. For some schools in Australia this journey is well into its second decade with the use of networkable portable computing devices to provide anywhere-anytime learning opportunities. While some of the potential has been realised invariably the finding has been that using the technology to create powerful learning environments in real school setting is not a trivial matter and needs to consider a range of factors. So when in 2003 the Department of Education and Training (DET) in Western Australia decided to improve a regional state school and include portable computing as part of an approach to transform the school careful planning and implementation ensued. This paper discusses a range of issues around 1:1 student to computing devices in schools and reports on some of the factors that contributed to the success of the DET initiative and the direction it provides for public schooling.