JEARN20周年記念:ご挨拶   記念ロゴ >   シンポジウム "Real Voices 2023" 世界をつなぐ!教員ネットワーク
Article Series
"Real Voices 2023" No.4 Australia
Connecting the World! Teachers' Network News
Real Voices of iEARN Teachers Around the World
The year 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of JEARN established as an official NPO in Japan.
To celebrate this memorial year, J
EARN launched a monthly interview series "Real Voices" to deliver the real voices of iEARN teachers from around the world. Each article introduces school systems of each country and region, daily efforts of teachers and staff, and the development of students for global competence and citizenship.

Rob King

iEARN Teacher

Sunshine Beach High School


Mr. Rob King from Australia
What school or organization are you working at?
If you are a teacher, how many years of experience do you have as a teacher?
I am at Sunshine Beach High School. I have been a teacher for over 30 years.

Our school is a Government Public School. The school is located on a beautiful part of the Coastline and provides a comprehensive education that covers a diverse array of subjects to cater for student needs. All curriculum programs are of exceptional quality and regularly updated to ensure they are responsive to system guidelines and student needs and the school has recognised Formal Excellence programs in Music and Surfing.

The school also provides Vocational training Certificate courses within the school and many senior students undertake external training courses as part of the school academic curriculum. The school has a thriving International student program and attracts many students from across the world each year choosing to study abroad. The school also has sister school relationships with schools in Japan and Italy.

If you are a teacher, what subject do you teach?
How many students are in your class?

The subjects I teach are Art, Digital Technologies and Psychology.
Classes generally have 28 students in them.

School Environment

Water is Life Project:catchment tree planting

What is the compulsory education system in your country?
Compulsory Education is from 5 years to 16 years. Most students remain in school until 18 years.

What's the breakdown of compulsory education from 5 years to 16 years?
What are the academic or career pathways of your students after graduation?

Students complete seven years of Primary School, starting from 5 years old. This begins with a foundation (Prep) year and follows with Years 1-6. Students then start Secondary School (High School) for four years – Years 7-10. Students then complete two years of Senior Schooling – Years 11 & 12.
It is mandatory for students to complete Year 10 and participate full time in education, training or employment, until they are at least 17 years old.
There are a number of academic or career pathways for students. These include University, TAFE courses (Tertiary and Further Education), Vocational courses, Traineeships and Apprenticeships, and Short Courses.

When does the school year start ?

School year starts late January / early February.

How many years of experience do you have in iEARN
What iEARN projects have you done with your students? 
I have been involved in iEARN for over 20 Years. I have worked in many projects including Water is Life, First People's Project, Solar Explorers Project, Teddy Bear Project, Great Apes Project and others.

Which project is the most memorable one for you? Which ones did your students enjoy the most?

Water is Life Project
The most memorable iEARN project has been the Water is Life project. This project has brought together students from all parts of the world. It has enabled students to think deeply about the UN SDGs and develop actions to make a difference to their own lives and the lives of others in their communities and the world.

It’s difficult to define which projects students have enjoyed the most because they are so diverse. I know that all students love their involvement in any project they join.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your school or your students? Were there any major changes?
Schools across the country were affected by school closures and the resulting online learning that replaced face to face teaching and learning. Different parts of the country had differing time spans of online learning, ranging from several weeks to several months.

The major challenges for online learning were:

teacher knowledge and capacity for designing and presenting classes in an online format
ubiquitous access to internet for students at home
ensuring engagement of students in the learning and ensuring students still felt connected to a community despite isolation.

For our Art classes we devised short skill based lessons that enabled students to creatively respond to topics in a variety of ways. We also asked students to explore their worlds and take photos or make sketches responding to a number of starting points. The students shared their work during the online video class sessions. For some topics we also set up online galleries where students could share their work.

Regarding the use of ICT, is One-to-One PC being done in your school? Do your students take those devices home? Do you use them for online classes?
We have a BYOD (Bring your own device) program at our school. Most schools are the same. Students' personal laptops are registered with the education department to allow internet access and software access whilst they are at school.

How long has the BYOD program been in place? How has it changed the way teachers teach and students learn in class?

The Education Department requires all schools to have a BYOD policy to ensure all students have access to a device for learning. The program has been in place at our school for over 6 years. It has changed the nature of teaching and learning in a number of ways:
All classes have access to online classes for curriculum content, delivery and communication. These include Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Teams and the Queensland Education Department

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program
has a new online learning portal using Canvas Learning Management System which allows all teachers to create courses that are accessible to all students online.
Teachers access and use a wide array of digital resources to enhance their curriculum content. These include YouTube and other online video resources, online quizzes, digitally published course texts with rich interactive content.
The “digital literacy” of teachers and students has increased dramatically as a result of the BYOD program.
Equity of access is an issue in BYOD programs. Some families may not be able to provide a laptop so schools generally have a number of laptops in the school that are loaned to students in need each day.
BYOD programs require a robust, centrally managed network environment for each school. Also, schools need to have a high capacity internet service due to the number of people accessing the connection at any given point in the day.

Could you give any messages to teachers in Japan?

All schools in Australia follow the guideline of the Australian Curriculum as a guide to Curriculum Development and Teaching and Learning outcomes. Students are assessed on the expected levels of achievement indicated within the Australian Curriculum.

We are always keen to develop relationships with schools internationally and, through iEARN, we have developed rewarding partnerships with fellow educators within Japan over many years. We look forward to these relationships and opportunities flourishing in the years ahead.

The iEARN Teacher interviews are part of a series of articles by JEARN entitled "Connecting The World! Teachers Network News" starting with the January 2023 issue in a Japanese monthly magazine for educators, Cresco (Otsuki Shoten Publishers here).

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