Home People Education Next Learning, Anittel answer WA ‘best practice’ e-learning demand
Next Learning, Anittel answer WA ‘best practice’ e-learning demand Featured

Australian IT software and services provider, Anittel and WA-based Next Learning are claiming a first of its kind approach to professional development for teachers with a newly established partnership.

Introducing a new way in teaching in an e-learning environment, the two companies say their approach is designed to deliver the curriculum using best practice digital teaching tools, such as online apps and video conferencing.

Next Learning co-founder, Shane McGurk, says research shows around 45% of teachers are in “survival mode” when it comes to using technology.

“The Next Learning model reduces this general lack of confidence among teachers to apply e-learning methods.”

According to Anittel WA state manager, Sam Meegahage, up-skilling teachers to use today’s technology in the classroom, means minimising their dependency on the schools’ IT support team.

“The benefits of the Next Learning program extends further than just the teaching body and students. It allows IT Managers to focus their resources on strategic IT initiatives for the schools such as consolidating existing technology and updating IT infrastructure. The upside for schools is it reduces IT support costs.”

McGurk says the Australian national curriculum puts pressure on teachers to get through a lot of content quickly.

“We come in and show teachers how they can enhance the enjoyment of learning through online apps and digital tools such as Skype, to call in an author or a heart surgeon for example, to get the content across to students creatively while inspiring their desire to learn.

“Our ultimate goal is to empower the teacher to skill up for the 21st century, drive this change with their schools and share the knowledge with their colleagues.”

McGurk said schools are embarking on a complete “about face change” in education and “it’s key that everyone is on board.”

According to McGurk, robust infrastructure must be in place to ensure a school’s ability to deliver this style of next generation learning.

“If the systems aren’t simple, fast and reliable, learning is interrupted and teachers lose confidence.

“For this reason we have partnered with Anittel – to ensure all hardware, software, networking, wireless and internet bandwidth is in optimum functioning order in the schools. This way the technical experience is not disruptive.”

Meegahage says that integrating technology into a classroom is more than just providing students with access to a computer.

“Digital learning starts with teachers, whose performance is enhanced by technology.  Still, many educators who are less familiar and less comfortable with technology struggle to integrate these tools into the curriculum.

“We have chosen to partner with Next Learning because they have developed a revolutionary professional learning program, which helps bridge the gap between educators and technology. The feedback we have received to date has been remarkable.”

Next Learning was launched in 2013 and the company says over 40 West Australian public and private schools, institutions and project clients have applied to be appraised with a number of regional schools joining forces in clusters to cross-share their professional development programs.

McGurk says


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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