The Network for Learning and Initial Teacher Education. Paper presented to TEFANZ SIG in November 2012 and the Tertiary e-Learning Reference Group, Ako Aotearoa/Ministry of Education, Wellington, December 2012
This paper aims to guide implementation and development of education in New Zealand with the Network for Learning (NfL) and Ultrafast Broadband in Schools (UFBiS) with particular reference to teacher preparation. Many educators will be unable to access the nation’s Network for Learning unless action is taken to ensure the coherence of policy so that relevant educators in the tertiary sector can engage in the schooling sector where relevant to their work. This is particularly critical for initial teacher education. This paper is seeking comment and/or support for three recommendations: The services of the UfB Crown Entity be adjusted to cover all those who work in the schooling sector. This could be done by Ministry of Education through the joint Memorandum of Understanding so that existing funding is linked to access to the services of the Network for Learning is enabled for student teachers and tertiary staff working with initial teacher education. (Note: This would not include any subsidy for bandwidth services because they are only relevant for school premises). A national hui be urgently convened to better understand and start to disseminate the contributions and needs of initial teacher education, including services such as nationwide ePortfolio services that are already deployed for schools and professional learning development (PLD) in the schooling sector. The government’s billion dollar investment in UFB be leveraged by gathering relevant illustrations of best practices plus related research and development to inform the national strategy and all relevant educational agencies and institutions. Best practice includes PLD provided by student teachers and curriculum innovations with digital technologies that reach schools and communities through ITE, including blended online learning across initial teacher education and some partner schools.