Digital Technology: Widening Access and Increasing Pathways for Early Childhood Educators

Linda THIES
Deakin University, Australia
linda.thies@deakin.edu.au

Abstract

One of the aims for higher education policy in Australia is to increase opportunity, access and participation of students from a low socio economic status (LSES) background. A new Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECE) course at [Author's institution] aimed to do this through the use of advanced information and communications technology (ICT), and a new model of course delivery. Curriculum design for this new course included the embedding of academic literacies and professional skills. The course curriculum was presented through unit/subject online sites, flexible delivery for intensive teaching and a course level online site with a student discussion forum and interactive learning activities. An evaluation of the embedded academic literacies curriculum included staff interview, student focus groups and a student questionnaire. This confirmed that the delivery, which included 'cloud' and located learning experiences contributed to fulfilling the aim of increasing student access. It could also be suggested that the embedding of academic literacies and professional skills in the curriculum is best achieved through a variety of approaches, including the mapping of literacies and skills development across the course to inform curriculum development, and students' self reflection on their literacies development. This poster will present a 'snapshot' of the evaluation data, and illustrate the mapping of literacies and skills, the curriculum on the course level online site and the students' self reflection.

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