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- FEATURE ARTICLE
- Your school library collection: A catalyst for creating writers
- The highs and lows of establishing an online community
- Scootle: A one-stop shop for digital curriculum resources
- Digital participation, digital literacy and schools
- School libraries: Making a difference
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Scootle: A one-stop shop for digital curriculum resources
Educators are now well aware that we live in a world that is 'both technologically rich and information-rich' (MCEETYA, 2005). The education community is still exploring how to apply this wealth of new knowledge most usefully within schools, and individual teachers are also finding their way within a range of programs, policies and research findings.
Scootle, developed by Education Services Australia, allows jurisdictions to give their teachers a quick, approachable way to find and use digital curriculum resources in their classrooms, and their school leaders a means to oversee this usage and draw on it for future school-level planning.
Scootle helps educators to provide individualised learning to cater to students’ diverse needs, facilitate collaborative student learning and create additional means for teacher collaboration within a school.
Scootle home page
What is Scootle?
Scootle is a 'onestop shop' that contains more than 10,000 items of digital content from the National Digital Learning Resource Network (NDLRN) formerly The Le@rning Federation (TLF). It provides easy ways to find, organise and use this material. The content includes:
- learning objects: interactive, multimedia resources designed for Australian and New Zealand curriculums
- digital resources: items sourced from Australia and New Zealand’s premier cultural institutions such as a section of moving image footage; an image of a document, line drawing, painting or map; a photograph; an audio file of a song or broadcast
- teaching and assessment resources: assessment objects, teaching notes and assessment ideas to support the digital curriculum content
- collections, units of work and teacher ideas.
This material is indexed using the subject headings of the Schools Online Thesaurus, an agreed Australian and New Zealand vocabulary of curriculum topics and terms for educators. Search results can be viewed on timelines and Google Maps, providing new ways for teachers to discover relevant resources, and also to construct challenging learning experiences for students.
Scootle learning paths
Teachers can use Scootle to create personalised learning paths containing digital curriculum resources organised into a learning sequence targeted to individual students, student groups or particular learning purposes. These materials can be easily selected and collected, and can be annotated with the teachers' own comments and descriptions.
Individualised student learning
Learning paths allow educators to create a broad spectrum of learning activities and tasks, using both online and printed materials. This flexibility helps teachers meet the individual learning needs of each student. Students can access the resources anywhere and at any time.
Students can easily access learning paths using a unique PIN, a feature that enables students to view and use the materials online without the need for logins. A learning path can also be printed for use by students as a worksheet, a checklist of activities completed, or as an assessment task.
Collaborative learning among students
Collaborative learning paths allow teachers to create tasks and questions using a collection of digital curriculum content as a basis. Students can access these learning paths within secure collaborative work spaces.
In the collaborative work space, students can:
- use secure Scootle chat facilities: messages are recorded so that the teacher can review student input at any time
- upload their own digital materials
- gather further digital curriculum content from Scootle and add this to the space
- create a wiki-like response to teacher questions by adding their own text, reordering and editing the existing material in the space and posing their own questions and comments
- receive individual and group feedback from the teacher at any time during the collaboration.
Collaborative professional learning among educators
As teachers create shared learning paths they are also adding to a searchable bank of new resources for other educators, who may be a part of their school or jurisdiction or a member of the wider Scootle community, and who can access, select, repurpose and adapt the learning paths for their own context. Teachers can browse through or search this existing bank of shared learning paths by keyword, title or year level.
Using Scootle as a school leader
Scootle has sophisticated user management, administration and reporting tools that allow for system management and usage reporting at national, jurisdictional and school levels.
A designated Scootle school manager can use functions allowing them to invite staff to register, view all currently registered users in their school, and view or edit details for an individual user.
Scootle also allows school managers to report on how it is being used in their school. Two forms of reports can be generated at school level. Reports on content usage provide a list of items used, and how often they have been accessed by users in the school. School user reports display a list of all registered users in the school and their email addresses. School managers can explore this functionality by logging on to Scootle at www.scootle.edu.au.
Who can access Scootle?
Scootle is available to, and used by, teachers in jurisdictions that choose to provide registration. Some jurisdictions provide teachers with direct access to Scootle, while others use local portals. Other organisations can also arrange licensed access through Education Services Australia.
Scootle is currently being used by:
- Australian independent schools
- Australian Catholic schools
- Northern Territory government schools
- South Australian government schools
- Australian Capital Territory government schools.
More than 46,000 educators are currently registered, and have created more than 100,000 learning paths among them. To find out more about access, visit www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/accessing_scootle for a list of the jurisdictions currently using Scootle and their relevant contact information.
Education Services Australia
|First published in Curriculum Leadership Journal, Volume 7, Issue 18, 12 June 2009.|
Reprinted with permission.
MCEETYA, Contemporary Learning: Learning in an Online World, Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (Australia and New Zealand).