Information and Communication Technologies in schools for teaching and learning

Several factors are reducing effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the classroom, according to a report released today by the NSW Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford.

These are primarily:

  • ageing ICT equipment and inadequate wireless networks

  • variable student access to devices at school

  • variable teacher access to centrally provided devices for use outside of the classroom.

The audit looked at how ICT is being used to enhance teaching and learning in NSW public schools.

The report found that the Department's main program for providing technology in schools has not kept pace with an increased school population and emphasis on ICT in learning. There is a risk that the Department's strategic goals for 21st century classrooms will not be met based on current settings.

Many secondary schools still rely on laptops and wireless networks from the Commonwealth's Digital Education Revolution program, which are now beyond end of useful life. These devices are less reliable and limit the types of activities that can be conducted to support teaching and learning.

Unlike most States and Territories, the NSW Department of Education does not centrally provide devices for teachers for use outside of the classroom. Improving access to devices for all teachers would support them to use ICT for enhanced teaching, learning and assessment.

The report found that the Department could improve teacher professional learning in ICT and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of this professional learning.

Additionally, the Department does not systematically or regularly monitor the digital literacy of students, or support teachers to develop these skills in students. Digital literacy has been identified as a key skill needed in the future jobs market.

Further information

Rod Longford on 9275 7207 or 0434 073 259 and email