Improving digital literacy in New England Electorate schools

Digital literacy: Google’s Kyla Hansell and St Joseph’s principal Maria Mowle with St Joseph's students improving their digital literacy.

Digital literacy: Google’s Kyla Hansell and St Joseph’s principal Maria Mowle with St Joseph's students improving their digital literacy.

Schools across the New England electorate can now apply for federal grants  to help deliver digital literacy programs to students in engaging and innovative ways.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the 2016 Digital Literacy School Grants program was looking for projects that demonstrated new and innovative methods for teaching students how to use and understand digital technology.

“It is important all children in the New England Electorate community have the skills to use digital technology to ensure they are prepared for the jobs of the future,” Mr Joyce said.

“By encouraging digital literacy from an early age I hope that we can increase the interest amongst our students in subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and encourage a lifelong engagement in those subjects.

“Up to $4 million had been allocated to the program as part of the Australian Government’s $50.6 million commitment through the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) to assist Australian teachers and students to embrace the digital age.”

Mr Joyce said the grants are also designed to support teachers to implement the digital technologies parts of the national curriculum by providing guidance and support on digital literacy learning and skills in both primary and secondary schools

Glen Innes’ St Jospeh’s school has led the way locally in exposing students to digital literacy programs.

Recently an International teacher contracted by Google spent time with students at the school to grow their knowledge of technology.

School Principal Maria Mowle said the school was committed to instructing teachers and then students about current technology and how to get the best from it.

“The school is becoming a Google for education school so as part of that we have been investing in chrome books for students and we currently have a ratio of one for every two students and the teachers have been actively learning how to use them and Google apps,” she said.

“Our students get very hands on when they are using the chrome books and Google apps and the benefits will allow the student to become good digital citizens, which is absolutely an essential part of life now.

“This will allow them to be cyber safe, they will understand how the technology works and it will allow students to comfortably switch platforms because we are preparing students for jobs that don’t even exist yet.”

For further information on the grants visit the website at: http://education.gov.au/digital-literacy-school-grants-dlsg.

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