Technology is changing the world on an unprecedented scale and at a record pace. It’s changing the way we work, live and learn. And it’s opening up opportunities for people to connect in ways never before known.
The education sector, of course, is not immune from the impact of technology and online learning is an example of that. Earlier this month, we released an AITSL Spotlight report that unearths evidence about the rapid increase in students accessing online initial teacher education (ITE) courses. Our report highlights that one-in-four student teachers are now choosing online ITE courses. That’s 22,100 online (or off-campus) ITE students in 2016, more than double the online uptake in 2007.
Such technology is making a teaching career far more accessible to aspiring teachers right around the country. Our report found that more people living in regional and remote locations – and those who have to juggle becoming a teacher with work or family commitments – are taking the opportunity to study online. Like all ITE courses, “online only” courses also have a mandatory practical teaching component that physically places student teachers in classrooms to teach school students.
As many of you would agree, no matter where a student completes an ITE course in Australia, the number one focus needs to remain on supporting a student’s practice, skills and knowledge so that the highest quality graduates are entering the profession, ready to teach from day one. By keeping teaching quality at the core of all ITE courses, the profession of teaching is enhanced and the students of tomorrow can continue to realise the benefits.
Along with the adoption of new technologies, major reforms have also been impacting the profession. Many of these have been driven by the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) since its establishment in 2014 to advise the Australian Government. Take a look at our story ‘What's changed in pre-service teacher education?’, which explains TEMAG’s ongoing reforms and how they affect you.
It’s an exciting time to be in education and the future is filled with possibilities to grasp, with or without technology. The latest edition of eNews explores some of that future and provides insights into some of the reforms underway in initial teacher education, supporting graduates to be classroom ready.
Finally, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who participated in the recent National Review of Teacher Registration. When we closed submissions on 7 May, over 6,000 people had shared their views with us through the online survey; almost two per cent of all Australian teachers. In AITSL’s role as Secretariat, we’ll now ensure we get your views to the independent Expert Panel for consideration. Its recommendations are expected to be published at the end of this year, so we’ll keep you posted and remain excited to see where this goes.