2012 Biennial National Education Forum

  • Chair – Tony Mackay (Deputy Chair ACARA, Director AITSL)
  • Hosted by Telstra. Telstra have released a White Paper on education with another due soon.

Michael Stevenson (VP Global Education, Cisco Systems). The Big Picture

Raised issue of skills shortage and the likely consequences given social mobility

South Korea – heavy investment in education inc elearning and Cyber Home learning through Kkulmat.

Brazil – 7% of GDP in education ($30 billion over 10 years) with an online PD model.

Global Education Leaders Program (sponsored by Cisco) seen as a flagship.

Case study – Broadmeadows 17 schools were lowest performing in Vic in 2004, IdeasLab helped turn that around ( ecological, safer, smarter) largely through technology deployment.

Valerie Hannon (Director, Innovation Unit – videoconference from Chicago) The emerging learning ecosystem

Had technical issues initially (Telstra staff must have found that embarrassing but it does highlight the practical limitations of the vision in their White Paper, as experienced by students and teachers across the world every day).

Equity and Excellence are not mutually exclusive – education can be about making excellence available to all. Importance of lifelong learning (25% of current kids will live to be 100)and the capacity to re-learn.

Deployment of technology has already happened via consumer activity  and education has largely missed it (perhaps by trying to deploy it themselves?)

Need fundamental changes in :

PARTNERSHIP         eg Big Picture , 2 days of 5 in internships
PLACE                         School as Base Camp or Mothership

Daniel Pink – motivation based on desire to make/create/improve, achieve sense of mastery purpose and autonomy.

S curve NESTA 2007/Valerie Hannon

S curve NESTA 2007/Valerie Hannon

It’s not about EITHER improving old approaches OR innovating with new approaches, it’s BOTH

Presentations/ques from jurisdictions:

NSW – how to innovate without putting students at risk – Disciplined Innovation Zones (preferably spread across schools)

Vic – How do we take local innovation and translate into system level decisions?

(learning networks between schools, R&D centres, not every school should innovate, dispersed geographically and linked virtually).

Julie Grantham (Qld) Curriculum and Assessment

Equity and excellence depend on each other.

Curriculum To Classroom (C2C) model in Qld has consistent planning approach, and common standards support consistent assessment and reporting.

Ben Levin – school changes seem to be from broader social change.

Michael Fullan – no educational system has ever sucesssfully led by accountability.

John Hattie – minimal differences between schools compared to differences within.


  • ESSA Online – science education with reasonably clever uses of performance data.
  • Self-paced senior maths- AdrianFrancisCC on youtube
  • Patrick Griffin – C21st Skills

Keith Bartley Teacher Quality and Leadership

TeachFirst (UK) suggests academic performance is not the best selector of teachers.

Singapore – removed Philosophy and History of Education from teacher training – concentrate on practical aspects of teaching.

Chart of teacher hours per week and class size showed, for example,

Shanghai     12 hours/week,  Class size   40

Korea           15 hours/week,  Class size   35

HK                17                                               56

Teacher Learning Academy (UK) – largest PL undertaking in UK, 20,000 teachers. Key features – teachers had to expose work to peers and evaluate contribution to teaching and learning.


NT – use of paraprofessionals to support teaching staff – differentiated workforce) – has advantages but some concern that it results in teachers avoiding the same students.

Michele Bruniges (NSW Director-General) Learner and Learning Environment

ICT has been shown to  increase learner engagement and can support provision of a quality environment to all (eg linking schools by videoconference to expand curriculum)

Excel – world’s first online school for Gifted and Talented students…

Personalisation can be increased.

PL – ICT expands the possibilities.

What we might do

  • Challenge the idea of individual teachers in their rooms
  • Problem solving (at school level) based on effective use of data, collaboratively across schools.
  • Teachers as professional teams rather than independent operators.

Tas – Launching into Learning, measurable improvement in early years

Comment from Greg Whitby – personalise learning and de-privatise teacher practice.

Birdwood High (SA) – student-designed learning spaces

More info:

Slides are available from http://innovation.esa.edu.au/content/pdf/BNEF12_Presentations.pdf

Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23BNEforum12

(#BNEforum12 )


While much of the “best practice” has been evident for many years, it is encouraging to see that senior system officials and academics have been willing to share what’s been working. The examples involving indigenous students (which I didn’t take notes on) were particularly impressive.  Even if the heads of agency were reading a prepared script, they spoke convincingly and with a sense of leadership.


Edison’s Cradle – from neatorama