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Online curriculum content from The Le@rning Federation

Olivia Clarke
TLF Program Implementation Advisor

The latest online content from The Le@rning Federation (TLF), released at the end of June 2005, contains a great diversity of new interactive multimedia curriculum resources to assist the work of teachers and support student learning in the P–10 years. More than 150 new learning objects, grouped into series and covering all targeted curriculum areas, as well as approximately 340 additional digital resources are now available through education jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand.

About The Le@rning Federation

TLF is an initiative designed to create online curriculum content and infrastructure to enhance teaching and learning in Australian and New Zealand schools. TLF's role is to create online curriculum materials and the necessary infrastructure to ensure that teachers and students in Australia and New Zealand can use these materials to widen and enhance their learning experiences in the classroom. TLF is an initiative of the governments of Australia, the Australian States and Territories, and New Zealand.

Learning objects are interactive multimedia teaching and learning resources. They consist of various media (for example, graphics, text, audio, animation, calculator), and they provide constructive feedback as the learner/user progresses through the activity.

Over the next few years of the TLF initiative, a substantial quantity of learning objects and digital resources will be made available for Years P–10 in six curriculum priority areas:

New TLF resources by curriculum area

Assisting students to visualise and represent mathematical concepts is the focus of the new Mathematics and numeracy content. Younger students can creatively explore number patterns and algebraic thinking (Monster choir, Musical number patterns, Hopper). Other objects allow young students opportunities to visualise and manipulate 2D and 3D shapes in a range of challenging tasks (Shape overlays, Shape maker, Face painter, Direct a Robot, Contours, Building site). Older students can investigate, and graphically compare, cost structures and other features associated with different mobile phone plans (Mobile phone plans); most efficient transport alternatives (Journey planner) and the differing performances of triathletes (Triathlon).

The new Science learning objects include content for the main strands of the science curriculum. Young students can investigate food chains in different environments (Food chains) and animal classification (Animal search). They can interactively explore the relationship between the Earth and Moon (Earth rotation, Lunar cycles) and investigate why the colour of water varies in different locations (The colour of water). Through simulation activities, they can gain an understanding of the effects of ultraviolet radiation (UV index). Other new Science objects allow students to investigate energy and change concepts (Let’s make it go, Energy efficient house, Matter and evaporation, Pulleys, Accelerate, Making music and Seeing with sound, Optics and images, Optics and prisms, Optics and refraction).

New content for the targeted LOTE offer engaging, interactive scenarios in which students use relevant language in culturally appropriate contexts: Chinese (Wei, Kite kit) and Indonesian (Sepak takraw, Photo album, Lost bag, Kite kit). In addition, new Chinese and Japanese objects in game format assist students to interact with and understand the structure of written characters (Quiz show, Trailblazer, Dragon temple, Gourmet order, Amazing characters, Code breaker, Stampede).

The new content for Studies of Australia allows students to explore the Murray Darling river system on an 1890s paddle steamer (The Enterprise), and gain an insight into Federation through an examination of the commemorative arch and associated celebrations (Citizens’ arch).

Other new learning objects focus on helping students develop positive, productive and optimistic views of the future (Playground rules, Neighbourhood charter, What’s your job?, Job match, Community enterprise, Balancing the options, Your rubbish pile, Wind farm).

Two new learning objects for Literacy for students at risk enable students to use multimodal forms of text. In the role of television producer they construct a persuasive TV program segment (Crimewatchers) and as assistant to a private detective, they examine different forms of evidence and write a report on the solution to the case (Celebrity garbage).

Young students can learn about the many facets of running their own business in the first of a new simulation series (Biz whiz) from the Innovation, enterprise and creativity project.

Additional Digital resources have also been released in the June quarter. This release includes moving image footage, still images including photos and posters, and sound files of songs and broadcasts made available by the National Archives of Australia, The National Film and Sound Archive, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and from a private collection.

TLF activities in education systems

The TLF website contains regularly updated information about its activities in Australian States and Territories and in New Zealand. There is a Contact Liaison Officer representing every education department in Australia and New Zealand and the Catholic and Independent education jurisdictions.

There are also a number of groups and networks which work with TLF. They provide advice and feedback on a wide range of issues, including curriculum, pedagogy, learning technologies, distance education, technical standards, systems and intellectual property.

For more information about TLF visit the website or email info@thelearningfederation.edu.au.

Key Learning Areas

Studies of Society and Environment

Subject Headings

Mathematics teaching
Curriculum planning
Computer-based training
Electronic publishing
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)