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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Scootle: a one stop shop for online curriculum content

Michelle Hamill
TLF Information Systems Development

Educators are now well aware that we live in a world that is ‘both technologically rich and information-rich’ (MCEETYA, 2005). The education community is still exploring how to apply this wealth of new knowledge most usefully within schools, and individual teachers are also finding their way within a range of programs, policies and research findings.

The Le@rning Federation (TLF) has developed Scootle, a website to allow jurisdictions to give their teachers a quick, approachable way to find and use digital curriculum content in their classrooms, and their school leaders a means to oversee this usage and draw on it for future school-level planning.

Scootle helps educators to provide individualised learning to cater to students’ diverse needs, facilitate collaborative student learning and create additional means for teacher collaboration within a school.

What is Scootle?

Scootle (www.scootle.edu.au) is a ‘one stop shop’ that contains more than 7800 items of digital curriculum content from The Le@rning Federation. It provides easy ways to find, organise and use this material. TLF’s digital curriculum content includes:

  • learning objects: interactive, multimedia resources designed for Australian and New Zealand curricula
  • digital resources: items sourced from Australia and New Zealand's premier cultural institutions that may be a section of moving image footage; an image of a document, line drawing, painting, or map; a photograph; an audio file of a song or broadcast
  • teaching and assessment resources: assessment objects, teaching notes and assessment ideas to support the digital curriculum content.

This material is indexed using the subject headings of the Schools Online Thesaurus, an agreed Australian and New Zealand vocabulary of curriculum topics and terms for educators. Search results can be viewed on timelines and Google maps, providing new ways for teachers to discover relevant resources, and also to construct challenging learning experiences for students.

Scootle learning paths

Teachers can use Scootle to create personalised learning paths containing digital curriculum materials organised into a learning sequence targeted to individual students, student groups or particular learning purposes. These materials can be easily selected and collected, and can be annotated with teachers’ own comments and descriptions.

Individualised student learning
Learning paths allow educators to create a broad spectrum of learning activities and tasks, using both online and printed materials. This flexibility helps teachers meet the individual learning needs of each student. Students can access the resources anywhere and at any time.

Students can easily access learning paths using a unique PIN, a feature that enables students to view and use the materials online without the need for logins. A learning path can also be printed for use by students as a worksheet, checklist of activities completed or as an assessment task.

Collaborative learning among students
Sophisticated collaborative learning paths are currently being tested and developed. Collaborative learning paths allow teachers to create tasks and questions using a collection of digital curriculum content as a basis. Students can access these learning paths within secure collaborative workspaces.

In the collaborative workspace, students can:

  • use secure Scootle chat facilities: messages are recorded so that the teacher can review student input at any time
  • upload their own digital materials
  • gather further digital curriculum content from Scootle and add this to the space
  • create a wiki-like response to teacher questions by adding their own text, re-ordering and editing the existing material in the space and posing their own questions and comments
  • receive individual and group feedback from the teacher at any time during the collaboration.

Collaborative professional learning amongst educators
As teachers create shared learning paths they are also adding to a searchable bank of new resources for other educators, who may be a part of their school or jurisdiction or a member of the wider Scootle community, and who can access, select, repurpose and adapt the learning paths for their own context. Teachers can browse through or search this existing bank of shared learning paths by keyword, title or year level.

Using Scootle as a school leader

Scootle has sophisticated user management, administration and reporting tools that allow for system management and usage reporting at national, jurisdictional and school levels.

A designated Scootle school manager can use functions allowing them to invite staff and students to register, view all currently registered users in their school, and view or edit details for an individual user.

Scootle also allows school managers to report on how it is being used in their school. Two forms of reports can be generated at school level. Reports on content usage provide a list of items used, and how often they have been accessed by users in the school. School user reports display a list of all registered users in the school and their email addresses. School managers can explore this functionality by logging in to Scootle at www.scootle.edu.au.

Who can access Scootle?

Scootle was designed and developed for pre-service and existing teachers to access and use the national digital resources. It is now available to, and used by, teachers and student teachers in jurisdictions that choose to provide registration. Some jurisdictions provide teachers with direct access to Scootle, while others use local portals. Other organisations can also arrange licensed access through The Le@rning Federation office.

Scootle is currently being used by more than 1000 schools, including:

  • Australian independent schools
  • Australian Catholic schools
  • Northern Territory Government schools
  • South Australian Government schools
  • ACT Government schools.

More than 20,000 teachers are currently registered, and have created more than 21,000 learning paths between them. There have been more than 16 million page views since June 2008.

To find out more about access, visit ‘Who can access Scootle?’ for a list of the jurisdictions currently using Scootle and their relevant contact information.



Contemporary Learning: Learning in an Online World,  Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (Australia and New Zealand)


Subject Headings

Individualised instruction
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Classroom activities