ICT in Schools, an element of CSIRO’s Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools, is a national skilled volunteer program which creates long term partnerships between school teachers and ICT professionals with the aim of linking current ICT practice with classroom learning. The program also aims to promote a deeper understanding of the role of ICT and importantly, to engage and excite students about studying ICT.
How it works: Individual ICT professionals are partnered with teachers in long-term, professional partnerships.
Key volunteer tasks: Each partnership is unique and completely voluntary. Once in contact, the ICT professional and teacher decide how they will proceed based on their respective workloads, the professional’s expertise, the curriculum and the school’s needs. There are as many variations in partnerships as there are partnerships themselves. The flexibility allows partners to develop their own style and may include (but is definitely not limited to!) hands-on activities, presentations, demonstrations, mentoring, emailing and video conferencing.
Time commitment: There are no fixed hours – it’s up to the ICT professional and the teacher to decide how to collaborate. Some volunteers visit the school once or twice a year, some a few times a term and some once a week. Others successfully utilise ICT (email and video conferencing) almost exclusively and have little face to face interaction (e.g. in long distance partnerships). It very much depends on the participants. However, it is a requirement that you are prepared to make a genuine commitment to work with your partner.
Skill/experience required: Anyone who has a tertiary qualification at a Bachelor level in ICT or has equivalent work experience and industry based qualifications will be considered to be an ICT professional for inclusion in the program. Postgraduate students are welcome to get involved. It is also mandatory for professional volunteers to undergo a working with children check.
For more information, or to register, please click here.
It is well worth looking at the showcases, photos and testimonials to get an idea of the diversity of partnerships and the invariably enthusiastic response from those involved in the program.