On-line and length? Provision and use of learning technologies in government schools

Year: 2001

Author: Trimmer, Karen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In 1998 the Western Australian State Government allocated $80 million to Education Department of Westem Australia (EDWA) to fund the provision of a Learning Technologies Project for 266 000 students in 770 government schools in Western Australia over four years. In keeping with the Government emphasis on increasing computer numbers within schools, computer to student ratios were identified as the key measure of access. Schools were required to achieve a computer to student ratio of 1:5 for secondary students and 1: 10 for primary students by 2002.

Actual student access to learning technologies is also dependent upon other factors such as the capacity of schools to install and maintain computer networks and software, and the capacity of teachers to use the equipment for teaching purposes. EDWA defined six critical success factors as a basis for evaluating implementation of learning technologies in schools including the Learning Technologies Project. The Office of the Auditor General conducted a performance examination to assess the implementation of the project against these factors, which are: planning; hardware; electronic educational resources (software); connectivity; staff capabilities; and integration and use. Because the Learning Technologies Project builds on and sits in the context of many previous technology initiatives, the examination also reviewed the wider impact of technology in Western Australian government schools.