October 13, 2016
by Jillian Brown

Digital Literacy School Grants (DLSG)

header_circle_secondarypageThe Digital Literacy School Grants are an initiative under the Inspiring all Australians in Digital Literacy and STEM measure of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Grants of between $10,000 and $50,000 are available for schools and other organisations to encourage and facilitate implementation of the new Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. Grants will be awarded for project proposals that demonstrate innovative methods for driving enhanced digital literacy in schools.
Single school projects are eligible, and multi-school projects spanning primary/secondary, and/or a combination of sectors are also encouraged.


Grant proposals must:

  •  Focus on school−based activities or programs that support school leaders and teachers to understand and implement the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies on a whole of school basis, and/or
  • Engage students with the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.

Examples of projects could include:

  • Partnership models whereby a school partners with one or more schools to exchange best practice, ideas and innovation
  •  Partnerships between a school (or schools) with industry to access professional expertise and/or equipment to implement the Digital Technologies curriculum
  •  Leveraging off existing facilities to establish cross−curricular ‘creation/fabrication’ spaces including 3D printers, laser cutters and the like
  • Supporting professional development for principals and school leaders to become ICT champions through facilitated learning and/or other training methods to transfer their learnings to other teachers.

Application process

Applications for the first round of project funding have now opened (Monday 19 September 2016) and will close at 5 pm (Canberra local time) on Friday 28 October 2016.

Timing for the second round of project funding will be published on the Department of Education and Training’s website in the first half of 2017.

All DLSG processes will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines – July 2014 (CGRGs). The CGRGs can be found at www.finance.gov.au/resource-management/grants/.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, please see the DLSG Grant Guidelines. To apply please download the Grant Application Form and email your submission to DLSG@education.gov.au

Frequently asked questions (FAQs ) are available for the Digital Literacy Schools Grants initiative.

October 12, 2016
by Jillian Brown


On Tuesday 6 September, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Families and Children together launched STEM in the Education State, Victoria’s STEM education policy.



VicSTEM is your one-stop shop for all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related. You can also download a copy of STEM in the Education State at this website. VicSTEM brings together the latest tips and advice, fun activities, career pathways and professional learning initiatives for educators, students and families. VicSTEM will be updated as new initiatives and programs are rolled out. www.education.vic.gov.au/vicstem



The Victorian Maths Challenge mathschallenge

The Victorian Maths Challenge is a fun and engaging way for families to engage in real life mathematics and explore problems together.
This year, the Challenge for Years 5-8 students runs until 29 November 2016. To jump straight in, head to: www.vmc.global2.vic.edu.au.
For early childhood educators and families, resources have been provided to support the engagement of children with everyday mathematics.
To find out more, please visit www.education.vic.gov.au/vmc or email: maths.challenge@edumail.vic.gov.au.


Science and Mathematics Specialist Centres sciencemaths

The network of six Victorian Science and Mathematics Specialist Centres engages students and teachers across the state in contemporary, experiential STEM programs. These programs are available to all Victorian students and their teachers, through on-site visits to the Centres, participating in virtual programs, or Centre staff visit schools through the outreach programs. The Centres are for all Victorian students from Prep–12 with priority given to rural/regional and disadvantaged schools. www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/learningdev/vicstem/Pages/centres.aspx


Education in Games Summit – 7 November 2016 gamefulworld

Themed Inspire+Design+Play, and part of Melbourne International Games Week, the Education in Games Summit 2016 invites educators to join us for a day packed with insights and practical takeaways about games, gameful thinking and techniques to bring the Digital Technologies Curriculum to life. To find out more, and to register, visit: http://gamesweek.melbourne/education-in-games-summit-2016/


Victorian Schools Games and Apps Challenge challenge2

Design, plan, create a prototype for a game or app that solves a real world issue and go in the running to win an Xbox One console, plus the chance to develop your idea with Microsoft.

The Challenge is an exciting way for teachers to implement the Digital Technologies and Critical and Creative Thinking curriculum areas with links to the STEM agenda. Students in Years 6, 8 and 10 from all Victorian schools have the opportunity to develop crucial future skills, solve authentic problems, and develop and code a prototype app or video game.

Key dates: Competition is open now – Applications Close 5pm on Friday, 14th October.

Finalists showcase prototypes and winner announced as part of Education in Games Summit at ACMI on 7th November, 2016, as part of the Melbourne International Games Week. www.gac.global2.vic.edu.au  


Maker resources for schools  makeymakey

Maker Resources are available to borrow from the Department. To find out what is available, check here: makers.global2.vic.edu.au/maker-resources/. Please check the Maker calendar and contact Wendy: macpherson.wendy.w@edumail.vic.gov.au if you wish to borrow equipment.


Taking SmallBYTES smallbytes

The Taking Small BYTES card deck showcases learning opportunities built around digital technologies and other play based learning experiences. The cards support the implementation of the outcomes of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework. To download a copy, please visit: fuse.education.vic.gov.au/?ZY2GMP

October 10, 2016
by Jillian Brown

Victorian Maths Challenge


The Victorian Maths Challenge is now open and we are encouraging families with children in Years 5 to 8 to join in the fun.mathschallenge2

The Challenge, which runs until 29 November this year, provides a range of hands-on, open-ended and interactive activities that promote problem solving. Whether it’s erecting a paper tower in the Eureka Challenge, making estimations in the Paper Planes Challenge or building and keeping a boat afloat in the Titanic Challenge, there is a challenge to interest everyone in the family.

With eight exciting challenges to choose from, each with videos and instructions to help families succeed, it’s easy to get started. Each challenge has been designed to provide a relevant industry and careers context and links to the Victorian Curriculum.

The Challenge aims to increase confidence and engagement in mathematics by encouraging families to explore and discuss maths concepts every day. Family participation in learning is one of the most accurate predictors of a child’s success in school and beyond.mathschallenge

Families can take on as many of the challenges as they like and share their experiences online, through photos, video or personal stories.

By encouraging families to participate in The Victorian Maths Challenge, school leaders and teachers can help show parents/carers that maths today is more than learning by rote, and is about trying and applying a range of strategies when approaching maths tasks.

Schools could support participation by:

  • launching the Challenge in a Family Maths Night
  • advertising the Challenge in a school newsletter
  • hosting after-school parent maths sessions
  • using Challenge resources
  • suggesting Challenge activities for students’ homework.

Schools could also encourage families to share some of their educational, active and fun experiences at a celebration event during/after the Challenge’s final week.

The Victorian Maths Challenge schools section has been created in partnership with the Mathematical Association of Victoria, who will moderate the site.

For more information about the Challenge or to get started, see: www.education.vic.gov.au/vmc



October 7, 2016
by Jillian Brown

Intelligent Transport Systems Congress – 13th Oct

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-7_44_29-pm-1df3pyvWhen:  13th Thursday October

Times:   10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30pm

Register NOW at https://goo.gl/forms/bIK3DHvfLhccrqJq2

This term, schools will be showcasing their STEM work at the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems Congress) in Melbourne.  Schools across Victoria have been involved with the Smart City Project where they have programmed MBots, Spheros and drones to maneuver a city automatically using sensors. Other schools have been involved in the mini solar challenge.

If you would see what they have been busily creating and how they have solved problems tune in on Thursday October 13th.  There will be 4 morning sessions on offer as well as four afternoon time slots, showcasing the driverless/mini solar cars at Albert Park.

Fill in this form to register for your place on this day. Select one or more times and then you will be sent an email with the details of the session room number in Polycom or Lync.


Thursday Oct 13th

Smart City/Mini Solar Challenge – 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00

Driverless cars/Mini Solar Challenge – 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30

Teachers can join the broadcast on a Polycom unit or via Lync where students will be showcasing their smart city coding and the mini solar racing vehicles.  This will be a great opportunity for students and teachers to see STEM in action for future learning and inspiration for projects.

For more information, visit the ‘STEM and ITS Congress’ blog at http://lv2vl.global2.vic.edu.au/2016/10/02/stem-and-its-congress/


October 6, 2016
by rcrellin

Wolfram software available now

mathematica-11-spikeyAll Victorian secondary schools are now able to access the Wolfram software suite, thanks to a three-year agreement made with the Department.

The Wolfram suite of products includes powerful learning tools across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and is internationally recognised as the global industry standard for engineers, economists, scientists and mathematicians. The suite has four unique applications in the areas of computation, problem modelling, coding and more:

  • Mathematica: Computation software with a broad range of functionality including graphical, geometric, numerical, symbolic, financial and statistical computations.
  • SystemModeler: A complete physical modelling and simulation tool to explore system behaviour across multiple domains.
  • Alpha Pro: A powerful tool for finding answers through dynamic computations on built-in data, algorithms and methods.
  • Programming Lab: An environment to learn programming language and modern computational thinking.

The licence arrangement covers all school and personal devices for all secondary school teachers and students. Each product can be downloaded individually on student and teacher devices using a vic.edu.au or education.vic.gov.au email.   Find out more and get your licence here or go to the eduSTAR software catalogue and search for Wolfram.

Limited professional learning places are available for Secondary Science and Mathematics teachers on Friday 14 October in Carlton.


October 5, 2016
by Jillian Brown

Victorian Games and Apps Challenge – webinars

Students across Victoria are putting the finishing touches on apps and video games for the Victorian Schools Games and Apps ChallengeEntries close on 14 October. The competition  aims to drive innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship through computational thinking, coding and or app development. gac-postcard

This week and next we have the final series of webinars for teachers to support them with the different programs and the submission process.

All teachers are invited to attend the following sessions (you don’t even have to be part of the challenge).

Minecraft Edu and Touch Develop
Wednesday 5th Oct at 4pm  Register here 

Visual Studio
Thursday, October 6, 2016 4pm Register here 

Tuesday 11th October 2016 at 4pm 
Register here

Are you across what you need to do for the Submission checklists:

The challenge, held in partnership with Microsoft and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) encourages students to develop and code a prototype app or video game that solves a problem.

October 5, 2016
by Jillian Brown

Most Likely to Succeed @ Bastow Institute

In partnership with Bastow, DET’s Learning and Teaching Branch is hosting another free screening of the feature length edu-documentary ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ at Bastow on Wednesday 12th October.

This is a great opportunity for you and your staff to view this  inspirational film which explores the possibilities of education when we provide opportunities for students to have strong agency over their learning.

Most Likely to Succeed looks at how one school has adopted a fresh approach to educating their students with great results. It also delves into the possibilities of how learning environments, building on passion and expertise, giving students a voice, and leveraging partnerships with parents and school community, can have a positive impact on student learning.

This award winning film reaffirms some of the great things we are doing in schools, and raises questions about what else can be done to provide our students with the best education.

Following the film there will be a panel discussion featuring school principals, education system leaders, students and industry leaders.

Don’t miss out. Register now!





October 3, 2016
by Jillian Brown

‘What’s Great in the Education State?’


Parents Victoria Conference

 October 12 & 13 

Pullman  – Melbourne on the Park Hotel (192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne)

Register now!   Download the Conference brochure and booking form

Conference Program includes

Capable parents, capable teachers, capable children: rethinking the relationship between teachers and parents and the role of schools today

Bill Lucas, Keynote Speaker

Professor Bill Lucas is an international adviser to the Mitchell Institute.  Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning (CRL) at the University of Winchester, Bill is internationally regarded for his expertise and research in rethinking the purposes of schooling, parental engagement and pedagogy.

Most recently Bill’s research into the assessment of creativity in schools has led to the development of an acclaimed five-dimensional model and field trials of it in schools in England which was published by OECD as an influential Working Paper.  This work is now being used as the basis of an international scaling up prototype in eight countries including China, USA, England and Finland.

Bill has authored and co-authored over 40 books, and is known internationally as a speaker.  In addition to his work with CRL, Bill is the co-creator of one of the biggest teacher researcher groups in the world: the Expansive Education Network.

While CEO of the UK’s Campaign for Learning, he created a number of initiatives to develop family learning and has subsequently brought together the research into parental engagement in “Engaging parents: why and how”.  His recent book, written with Guy Claxton, “Educating Ruby: what our children really need to learn”, asks challenging questions about the kinds of capabilities schools should be cultivating, suggesting new ways of working for teachers and parents.

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