Education

School improvement driven by teachers

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The Australian Council for Educational Research’s (ACER) ‘Excellence in Professional Practice Conference’ in May provided a rare opportunity for teachers across disciplines to discuss research and share innovative ideas about teaching and learning.

The theme of the conference for teachers, led by teachers, was ‘Teachers driving school improvement’. Over 60 papers, workshops and poster presentations from teachers, principals and researchers were presented. Some of the topics included collaborative professional communities and the use of new technology for real-time data collection.


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cap that! promotes literacy through captions

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The annual cap that! education campaign, a Media Access Australia initiative, launches today for another round promoting captions on video as a literacy and learning tool to teachers nationally.

Until the end of National Literacy and Numeracy Week (25 – 31 August) Australian teachers can sign up to become a Captions Champion, receiving a free kit containing resources to help them introduce captions to their classroom. Kit items include posters and flyers to display around the school, practical information on caption use and some novelty items to bring a smile to their face.


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Audio description in the classroom

Audio description is an audio track of narration which describes the visual elements of a video or performance. It is an essential access tool for people who are blind or vision impaired and is growing in availability around the world.

Below is an audio described scene from The Hunger Games.


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Technology for learning at home

Although most blind and vision impaired students receive some support at school, it can be a challenge for parents to replicate this support at home. There are a number of technologies which help students keep on track with homework for little or no expense.


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Technology for blind and vision impaired students

People who are blind or vision impaired rely on a broad range of software tools and devices to read, learn and work.

Most people own assistive technology without even knowing it. Most computers, smartphones and tablets for sale in Australia already have screen readers, screen magnifiers and other tools for blind and vision impaired users installed. You simply have to go into the menu on your device and turn them on.


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Overcoming access barriers

Blind or vision impaired students need the media used in class to be made available to them in a format they can access. Below is a list of the media types that are most common in schools and tips for providing equal access to blind and vision impaired students.


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University entrance now possible for blind students in China

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Thanks to a change in regulation, blind and vision impaired students in China will be given access to mainstream higher education.

The Chinese government has released regulations stating that the national university entrance exam must be made available in Braille and electronic formats. Prior to this, these students were unable to attend mainstream universities, which drastically reduced their chances of employment and equal participation in society.


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