Under the ICT PD initiative, clusters of schools throughout New Zealand were contracted for up to three years to provide ICT professional development programmes for teachers.
The ICT PD Cluster project was an initiative of the New Zealand Ministry of Education, outlined in the “Digital Horizons—Learning through ICT strategy document 2002-2004” and continued in “Enabling the 21st Century Learner, An e-learning Action Plan for Schools 2006–2010.”
The Ministry of Education provided funding to clusters to implement their ICT PD programme. The intended outcomes of the programme were:
- Implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum / Te Marautanga o Aotearoa through school-based curriculum development;
- Increased e-learning leadership and ICT strategic planning capability of principals and teachers;
- Increased capability of teachers and principals to improve students’ learning and achievement through e-learning;
- Increased understanding of the educational contribution of e-learning by teachers, principals, students and school communities;
- Strengthened professional learning communities and increased collaboration within and across schools.
Ten intakes of school clusters participated in this programme:
- 1999 – 23 clusters
- 2000 – 0 clusters
- 2001 – 28 clusters
- 2002 – 22 clusters
- 2003 – 21 clusters
- 2004 – 40 clusters
- 2005 – 20 clusters
- 2006 – 40 clusters
- 2007 – 31 clusters
- 2008 – 23 clusters
- 2009 – 19 clusters.
This gives a total number of 267 clusters having participated in ICT PD from 1999 to 2009, covering approximately 70 percent of New Zealand schools. There was to be a new intake of clusters from 2010–2012.
CORE Education was contracted by the Ministry of Education to oversee this professional development programme for teachers, which focuses on student learning outcomes. CORE had a team of national facilitators who worked alongside cluster leaders to assist them in the implementation of their cluster programme. All members of the national ICT PD team were qualified teachers, who had expertise in using ICT in an educational context.
CORE Education's support for this programme included the provision of an annual conference (Learning@School), online modules and seminars, regional cluster network meetings for cluster personnel, face-to-face cluster visits, and an online learning community.
ICT PD was a groundbreaking programme that helped put New Zealand on the world map for innovative use of ICTs for teaching and learning.