22 August 2013
About 60 students from Cherbourg State School will visit the University of the Sunshine Coast and Mooloolaba Beach on Friday 23 August as part of an innovative technology-based education project.
Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Dr Anne Drabble said the visit would be a thrill for the children, many of whom have never been to the Sunshine Coast before, and for six USC Education students who have been regularly visiting Cherbourg this term to support the children’s digital literacy learning.
Dr Drabble said USC’s Digital Literacies project – funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program – was playing an important role in promoting educational attainment, especially literacy development, among the Aboriginal children.
“This term we have been focusing on using iPads, for poetry writing using three story books that all relate to the beach, islands and Australia,” she said. “The children have been extremely engaged in taking photos, recording sounds and developing vocabulary on the iPads.
“To add to the Cherbourg students’ learning, they will be visiting USC on Friday for some cultural activities and then go to Mooloolaba Beach for fish and chips and some time playing in the sand and surf.
“The lifeguards on duty are also going to give the students a talk. This will all extend their cultural literacy that will help them with their poetry writing when they return to school.”
Dr Drabble said the USC students involved were developing important skills as educators.
“They are looking at how they can advance their pedagogical skills in terms of accommodating learning for Aboriginal children, particularly how they can use technology to engage students,” she said.
“They have also learned the flexibility that’s required when teaching Aboriginal children, and the respect and the protocols that are important when you come into a community like this.”
— Terry Walsh