After what seems a very long period in gestation, Minister Nikki Kaye today released the report of the reference group that I have been a part of, titled Future Focused Learning In Connected Communities.
The report outlines ten priorities for equipping learners with 21st century skills and digital competencies. But it is not simply another set of recommendations about how to 'add' ICTs to what we do in education – it goes far deeper than that. The report builds on the recommendations of the cross-party select committee inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy, which drew submissions from a wide range of indviiduals and organisations, and emphasised the critical role of digitial technologies in the lives of New Zealanders as we look to the future.
One of the most important recommendations we have made in this report to achieve this is the implementation of a coordinated, system-wide effort to align curriculum, digital technologies, property, infrastructure, funding and legislation Integrate the core elements of digital learning with a relentless focus on promoting learning in safe, future-focused environments. Integrate curriculum, effective teaching and leadership practices, technologies, property and system infrastructure.
The recommendations are certainly ambitious, but reflect the emerging milieu and the need to prepare every young New Zealander for living and working in a world that will undoubtedly rely on an increasing level of digital infrastructure and digital literacy.