“The report – Future-focused learning in connected communities – was developed by the 21st Century Learning Reference Group. It sets out ten strategic priorities including the creation of modern learning environments that are vibrant and safe, investment in high-quality content and systems, and development of collaborative networks for teachers and leaders to share ideas,” says Ms Kaye.
“The Government has invested over $700 million in digital infrastructure to schools. This investment includes $211 million towards the N4L managed network to provide schools with predictable, fast uncapped internet with content filtering and network security services. The rollout of the managed network has exceeded expectations, and we expect over 700 schools to be connected by the end of the year.
“The Government has invested over $165 million to upgrade school networks through the School Network Upgrade Project, so that schools can take full advantage of the rollout of ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband around the country. Over 1,500 schools have received network upgrades to date.
“The report is comprehensive and covers potential device policies and further professional development for teachers. We want to ensure young people are even better equipped with 21st century skills and I have no doubt that this report will help us achieve that.
“Making the most of technology and digital content is essential to raising achievement for children and young people. Budget 2014 allocates $2.5 million to provide more computers in homes and digital literacy training for low-income families through the Computers in Homes programme. This new funding means up to 1,500 more families building their computer skills and gaining access to the Internet.
“I would like to thank the Chair and members of the group for their work in developing this report. Our schools are transforming the way they teach with new technologies. We want to give all students and teachers the opportunity to achieve and innovate at school and beyond,” says Ms Kaye.
“The report provides a powerful vision for the future and will help inform government planning around 21st century skills and digital competencies. I intend to provide a formal response to the report in due course.”
The full report is available at: www.minedu.govt.nz/FutureFocusedLearning