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Government welcomes report on 21st century learning

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Started by Gerard Macmanus 19 Dec 2012 12:21pm () Replies (13)

Government welcomes report on 21st century learning


19 December 2012

Media Statement

Government welcomes report on 21st century learning environments and digital literacy

Education Minister Hekia Parata has welcomed the Education and Science Select Committee’s report on the inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy.

“I recognise the changes happening in the education sector as a result of access to new technologies and greater access to online learning. The way our children learn today, let alone the classrooms children learn in, are very different to the classrooms many parents learnt in and they will continue to evolve and change. We want all our kids to be leaving school with the skills they need to reach their potential in a modern economy. 

“Our Government is aware of that and that’s why one of the first things we did when we came into Government was to invest in ultra-fast broadband infrastructure which will allow our schools to be connected to the best online resources in the world.

We are investing nearly $200 million over five years in connecting schools to ultra-fast broadband. By 2016, 97.7 per cent of schools will receive ultra-fast broadband connections enabling speeds of 100 Mbps. The remaining schools, which are in the most remote locations, will receive a high speed wireless or satellite connection.

“We have also set aside up to $400 million over the next eight years to support the Network for Learning, a dedicated managed network for schools, which will run over the ultra-fast broadband infrastructure. The intention of Network for Learning is to provide schools with affordable, safe, ultra-fast internet access as well as a range of online content and centrally-procured services.

“We recognise that parents want to be able to participate in their children’s learning using these technologies, that’s why in Christchurch we are in the process of setting up digital online communities so communities can be more involved in the education renewal programme there.

“I am keen that more work is done to ensure that our education system better reflects 21st century learning and that children and teachers take full advantage of the digital learning opportunities and resources available to them. 

“I appreciate the time spent by the Select Committee in preparing this report, and the work and energy that has gone into it over the last eight months. I will now consider the report and the contribution it can make to our digital literacy work and respond in due course.’’



  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 20 Dec 2012 11:06am ()

    Appreciate you sharing this, Gerard Cool. I'm planning to digest over the next few days and look at the key ideas that are coming through. Any thoughts from others at this stage on the recommendations or likely impact of this report? Although it might be a bit close to Xmas for that question, though?;-)

  • Gerard Macmanus (View all users posts) 20 Dec 2012 11:35am ()

    there is a large amount of comments on kiwiblog


    Minister of Educations Response 


    Some of the more significant or interesting ones that kiwiblog has pointed out are:

    • That it consider requiring all New Zealand teachers to demonstrate a defined
      standard of digital literacy and to undertake professional learning and development to maintain their digital literacy skills, knowledge, and understanding.
    • That it consider measuring and evaluating teacher training institutions on the quality of their digital literacy training.
    • That it consider ensuring that all appropriate New Zealand video content produced for public consumption is licensed and funded under a single national contract, and made available to all schools.
    • That it review the intellectual property framework for our education system to resolve copyright issues that have been raised, including considering Creative Commons policy.
    • That it consider research and the potential for a greater role of educational games as part of digital learning environments for 21st century learning and skill development.
    • That it review licensing arrangements for software, so that students have equity of access in schools and in homes, including the use of open-source software.
    • That it consider introducing a policy that every student have access to a digital device for learning, including the appropriate age for such a policy to apply.
    • That it consider reviewing the best institutional arrangements for providing the leadership to deliver both digital capability and 21st century learning environments. This review should include options such as, but not limited to, strengthening the Ministry of Education, extending the responsibility of Network for Learning Ltd, or establishing a new Crown entity.
    • That it consider that the Education Review Office report on the digital capability of schools in its regular school reviews.
    The Government is now required to consider the report, and respond to it in the first half of 2013.
  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 20 Dec 2012 3:55pm ()

    That's an interesting summary, and the comments on the blog are just as compelling to read;-)

    Just joining up the VLN dots, here's a related post from Derek Wenmoth in the SuperLoop Forum group: 21st Century Learning Environments

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 20 Dec 2012 4:02pm ()

    Thanks for that summary, Gerard. Possibly some pretty big implications for schools/teachers to be mindful of. It will be interesting to see where this heads in (hopefully) the not too distant future. I'm certainly liking what I am seeing so far.

  • Diane Mills (View all users posts) 20 Dec 2012 4:10pm ()

    These are the parts that resonated for me after a quick scan:

    • In order for teachers to facilitate digital literacy, they must themselves be digitally literate. Teachers who do not embrace e-learning are at risk of not being able to maximise learning opportunities for their students. Inconsistent policies in the device policy area have the potential to establish a digital divide within schools.
    • We believe that the future of learning will be blended; students will combine learning from on-line and video technology with group work and individual study. The skills of a teacher will need to reflect this new blended learning environment.
    • We recommend that the Government consider introducing policies and initiatives to ensure that every child at school in New Zealand has access to digital learning at school.
    • We recommend that the Government recognise that 21st century learning will require significant change across the education sector, involving a wide range of stakeholders; and that the Government recognise achieving such a change needs government- and sector-wide leadership to develop and promote a vision, and to lead an integrated series of work programmes to implement that vision.

    It all sounded very promising and certainly heralds some real change if all points are taken into consideration.  I am looking forward to hearing what the response will be in early 2013. 

  • Gerard Macmanus (View all users posts) 20 Dec 2012 11:28pm ()

    One of the next things that I am already waiting to hear is who is the retail service provider that will connect schools to the N4L? This is to be announced before christmas 2012.

  • Anjela Webster (View all users posts) 31 Dec 2012 9:41am ()

    I think the key point overriding all recommendations outlined in the report is the need for a governmental paradigm shift from a competitive model of schooling to a collaborative model. (Read the Green Party and Labour Party summary included in the report) . When this is fully understood and addressed, many of the recommendations listed would have a stronger foundation on which they could be pursued because equity and opportunity for all stakeholders would be established first. (Students, PD for staff, parents, communities, facilities, infrastructure, ERO, etc etc).

  • Jane Armstrong Bos (View all users posts) 16 Jan 2013 4:41pm ()

    Laurence Millar was engaged by the Select Committee as an expert advisor to the Inquiry. He makes some interesting comments in his blog posts reflecting on the report.

    Check them out at

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 17 Jan 2013 9:52am ()

    There’s so much in this report, it’s definitely worth a re-read.

    What speaks to me the most?

    Implications for learning beyond the classroom and the obvious issues of the ‘digital divide’. If we acknowledge learning is not confined to a ‘traditional’ sense of time, place and space, then there are real equity challenges for schools and their communities to address (access to digital devices, Internet, diverse learner needs). 


    If flexible/blended learning is recognised as an “opportunity for learners to engage in a much wider range of learning activities and situations than possible in a conventional classroom", then what goals can schools set for themselves for 2013? The report outlines recommendations for the government, but there are still things schools can do to encourage partnership and participation with family//whānau to start to close this gap. (Connect with our communities with - and about - ICTs)

    Our community influences

    It is also rewarding to see acknowledgement of innovative practices, from schools leading the way - including the Manaiakalani project. Also encouraging to see school communities being mentioned as key submitters, that have also been star guests/mentors in the Enabling e-Learning Media Gallery and as part of the Enabling e-Learning webinar series in 2012.

    Where to from here?

    I personally want to find out more about the Network for Learning. Anything stir your thoughts here?

    Image source: Flickr Free Press Pics

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 07 Feb 2013 9:55am ()

    Follow up on the report on RadioNZ recently. Listen while you run/have coffee/walk the dog...


    "Wellington Girls' College principal Julia Davidson, whose school spends $750,000 on IT a year, of which $40,000 is funded by the Government. The education and science select committee's inquiry into 21st century learning released last month made 48 recommendations - including one that every child should have access to a digital device in school. Mark Brown is the director of the National Centre for Teaching and Learning at Massey University. (27′16″)"

    Or listen here:

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