Clever use of ICT - vision and implementation

Clever use of ICT @ FRWP

Upon completion of their project, the team was asked to share their vision of a clever use of ICT at their centre.

  • A clever use of ICTs for FRWP will mean that teaching programming is not far away and that we will be able to offer more computer classes and employ another teacher.
  • A clever use of ICTs for/in our organisation could mean that every student could have a computer to support their learning, once they get to a certain level and that FRWP can support community members to become developers, designers and programmers.

Clever use - what could it look like?books.jpg

For FRWP clever use is good online support and opportunities for social interaction. Their clever use of ICT has facilitated development in students who were relatively passive, to students who are fully engaged.
There is also an effective mentoring project where more advanced students mentor new beginners.

The Virtual Private Network that is being developed will also strengthen opportunities for social interaction and will encourage continued participation in an online community by ex students.
FRWP feel that they have been using ICT in a very clever way – the team has developed the program from a few classes into a vibrant department - students have a real pathway to accredited courses and RMIT entry level study as well as employment opportunities.

What are the key elements?

The team at FRWP were asked what the key elements were in enabling this clever use of ICT to flourish in their organisation.They felt thatthe following were key to their success:
  1. An actual commitment to community rather than aiming to gain financially.
  2. A passionate, informedand committed leader .
  3. Role models for students to aspire to. One of the current teachers has come through the system, so students know that it is possible for them too. Since her employment the program has blossomed - there is demand for another teacher and more teaching hours.
  4. Resourcing - teacher time to plan and research analysing different tools and helps in evaluating and implementing clever solutions. Eg Moodle tool analysis through AccessACE. This enables clever solutions to be implemented.
  5. Organisational support is crucial. Program has grown so much - classes are full to overflowing. Teach 8 classes and 2 are ACFE funded. Although the students pay, it is very minimal.
  6. There is a need for more computers in the rclassrooms.

What are the challenges ?

  • Funding for a second teacher and expansion of the program.
  • Resourcing: people / software.
  • Facilities : neighbourhood house and library. This program is run out of the local library, so the program and the neighbourhood house are not co-located.
  • Promotion: need to do more to promote the excellent proejct outcomes in the community and to prospective funding bodies.
  • No paid administrative support: the program has great employment outcomes but it is difficult to document and follow up these outcomes.