eLearning Programs is a Department of Education Curriculum Services initiative which offers schools a variety of online K-12 courses, programs and resources which can complement, augment or extend local provision and provide students with access to educational experiences and opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable.
One of our focus areas in the eLearning Programs is to support gifted learners. Some courses provide students with extension within Australian Curriculum learning areas, such as Mathematics, digital technologies and visual arts. Others are cross-curricular and focus on developing capabilities such as critical and creative thinking through philosophical online discussions, or applying their ethical understanding by taking action on contemporary issues, such as global citizenship and sustainability.
Last year, the Australian Education Union recognised the Gifted Online program as joint winners in the Primary School category, for innovative education programs.
During 2016, a Year 1 student at Dunalley Primary School participated in an engineering challenge as part of his work in the Ad Astra Junior Gifted Online course. He worked on the challenge both at school and at home with his dad, and he chose a task that reflected his interest in space and the stars.
This student designed a ‘gizmo’ from junk materials to tell the time by the Southern Cross and to measure the length of the lunar day. After working together to improve the design, his father reported: “It has been an amazing learning opportunity; even I have learnt things from doing it…”