Southern Metropolitan Region

SMR has been promoting the use of ICT in delivery since 1998 with the introduction of the CommNet Project. We have had great success with a small number of providers while others were very slow in taking up the challenge. I suspect that it comes down to having a Manager/Coordinator with an interest and understanding of ICT or a teacher/trainer with a real interest. Without one or both it is a real uphill battle to gain any momentum.
Last year (and the year before for that matter) we ran a couple of projects in the region for teachers centered on developing Digital Story Telling Skills. Great interest and good success but some of those teachers have already moved on. We are making some headway but a progress is slow.
Since 1998, providers in SMR have taken part in a range of opportunities to understand and integrate the then New Learning Technologies into delivery.
Some of the milestones were.
  1. The establishment of the CommNet project in 1998,1999 - to implement the region's NLT plan. This included the funding of 5 community computer centres in the region during that same period. The region was also aware that IT support for the growing numbers of computers available in ACE organisations was becoming a concern. In 1999 It initiated a trail of having one organisation reponsible for providing some initial assistance in basic IT support for all ACE organisations within the region. This provided organisations an opportunity to have some free assistance in at least trouble shooting bsic problems. In 1999/2000, the region also had an NLT Support Group operating which consisted of 6 ACE organisations who met regularly to discuss and explore ICT issues. They produced quarterly newsletters, conducted surveys on hardware and software and produced an information kit to assist organisations make informed decisions about purchasing, as well as highlighting any professional development implications of the new technology.
  2. Narre Community Learning Centre was one of the first ACE provider to obtain LearnScope funding from the national project bucket in 1999.
  3. Regional support for Josie Rose in her national Flexible Learning Leader scholarship. Josie was one of two inaugural ACE participants in this national project in 2000.
  4. In 2000, Josie Rose developed the first three year Technology Plan (2000- 2002) for Regional Council. The key objectives, strategies and actions outlined gave a strong focus to conintue to develop a planned and supported approach to ICT development in the region. Two key elements of this plan included working directly with ACE organisations to assist them to develop their own ICT plans and secondly, to provide a comprehensive professional development plan to upgrade ICT skills acorss all levels of organisations (including staff, volunteers, teachers and Commmittee of Management). This approach was prioritised and supported across a two year period.
  5. In 1999 a group of language and literacy providers formed a consortium with Chisholm TAFE and successfully won funding for a flexible learning network called SWP Learnet. This network was funded for 3 years subsequently, and its aim was to populate the newly established TAFE Virtual Campus. When that funding ceased the ACE organisations decided to continue their involvement, and this network is still active with Dingley Village N H, as the lead agent now called SWP Learning Communities.
  6. The SWP Learning Communities project has been the main vehicle for ICT and e-learning development in the region. It provides professional development, mentoring and provider administration functions for the users of the TAFE Virtual Campus. It has also been successful in gaining funding from TAFE frontiers, LearnScope and other funding sources.
  7. LearnScope 2003 One byte at a time focussed on Victorian accredited unit ICT Skills for Teachers. Two further instances of this course were delivered in 2004 funded by SWPLC.
  8. Participation in Tafe frontiers Knowledge Management Project: Mary & Josie in conjunction with the SMRACFE Region. Back in the region we did a knowledge gathering exercise for a knowledge gathering exercise ICT @ the receiving end about ICT literacy and community expectations.This was our first introduction to Survey Monkey - we've made a quite a lot of use of this tool since.
  9. Flexible ACE: Making it real. Tafe frontiers funded research project: June - August 2004
  10. Mary Schooneveldt, Andrea Coghlan and Josie Rose joined TAFE frontiers @ ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) for their initial digital storytelling in VET explorations. This led to a whole raft of DST workshops in SWPLC starting with a small band of teachers who met at night at Keysborough Learning Centre and workshops with hyperactive SWP U3A groups who met at Doveton Neighbourhood Centre. It culminated in the Storytellers Film Fest - November 2004 at Dingley Village Neighbourhood Centre (SWPLC's Lead Agent). DST workshops continue eg with SWPLC teachers at SandyBeach Centre, Mornington Peninsula Shire staff. This led to DST workshops with MP disability groups.
  11. ACE Resource Bank. SWPLC was and active partner in the design and promotion of the TAFE frontiers funded resource bank.(
  12. SWPLC e-learning mentoring role. In 2005 Andrea Coghlan took on the role of e-learning mentor for SWPLC providers. This is ongoing.
  13. Community Learning Partnership Digital Message Stick. This project was an opportunity for Mornington Peninsula Indigenous communities to utilise an Information and Communication Technologies tool – digital storytelling - for community development and capacity building. It enabled the local indigenous community to utilise modern technologies across a range of dimensions: for cultural awareness, for retention of community lore & knowledge for advocacy, ando for information sharing.
    This did in effect enable Mornington Peninsula Indigenous communities to utilise Information and Communication Technologies including digital storytelling, as a tool for community development and capacity building, whilst retaining their cultural tradition of oral & visual communication. The success of this project was the result of the participants high level of commitment. Andrea Coghlan and Marj were the facilitators with assistance from Mary Schooneveldt. May - Oct 2005.
  14. Mornington Peninsula Mornington Peninsula MC2 group. Ably led by Lybn Treloar of Peninsula Adult Education and Literacy, Rosebud this community based program started in mid 2005 and still soldiers on.
  15. SMRACFE - Carole McPherson and Mary Schooneveldt in conjunction with Alison Lanigan ACFE Division - devised an information resource and delivered statewide workshops for Youth Pathways Program in ACE Mar - Dec 2005.
  16. In 2006 Longbeach Place succeeded in gaining Framework funding for an online TAA teachers network. This built on a 2005 Reframing the futures project to unpack TAA training package and sort out RPL/RCC issues.
  17. LearnScope 2006 Southern Convergence professional development workshops. This Australian Flexible Learning Framework funded project became an opportunity for ACE teachers to explore how elearning tools and technologies can create engaging tasks and activities directly related to their area of teaching. It utilised interactive Word, Hot Potatoes and webquests. An important aspect of this project was the sharing of knowledge and experience between the participants and the time to reflect on the use of technology in the classroom. The facilitators were Marj Sjostrom and Phillipa Caris with input from andrea coghlan and Mary Schooneveldt. May-Oct 2006.
  18. Community engagement project The Edge. This community partnership worked with marginalised young people (between the ages of 15 - 24) encouraging them to become active participants in media culture, their learning and in their community. It aimed to create opportunities, connections and a sense of place for young people in the region, utilising e-learning tools and technologies.

Below two timeline documents that trace the e-leanring story of SWP LC and the SMR region. Thanks to Mary Schooneveldt for putting them together.