A little over two years ago I began a new job, tasked with establishing a Technology Learning Centre to support teachers to effectively use technologies in teaching and learning practices. It was to be a three year project with significant initial funding to kickstart the initiative. I was given 6 weeks to turn a (very well equipped) room into a space that was inviting and to develop a set of professional learning programs that would cater for the diverse needs of teachers and overcome barriers of distance and isolation.
6 weeks later we opened the doors for our first series of professional learning events. They were well received by teachers who gave up time in their holidays to attend full day events. There were certainly a few issues in those early days including power outages, water outages and the pleasant background sounds of jackhammers tearing through concrete in the adjoining schools. Yet positive stories spread quickly throughout the department and many more teachers have taken the opportunity to learn and develop through our programs.
Two years on and we have hosted over 200 face-to-face and online professional learning events.
Sadly a decision has recently been made to close the centre as there has been a shift in focus and funding priorities. This came as a quite a shock to me and the broader education community. In a matter of days, the project has ended and I have moved to a new role.
Rather than focus on the disappointment, I have decided to reflect on some great successes and experiences from the last two years…
- So many teachers are doing great things in their classrooms as a result of learning during our many events.
- iPads are being used effectively in many schools and classrooms.
- Technology is well and truly part the education agenda in our schools.
- I have travelled to some amazing, isolated places in the Northern Territory.
- My knowledge, skills and abilities as a professional learning facilitator have developed considerably.