During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s government is working to minimise the disruption to teaching and learning caused by the spread of the corona virus.
On 22 March, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that “[s]chools will be encouraged to provide access to distance and online learning…” Schools are transitioning from face-to-face teaching and learning to remote teaching and learning in accordance with this advice.
With the latter, instructors mainly deliver content via online applications and educational platforms. Students complete and submit tasks remotely, and teachers monitor progress and provide feedback via e-mail, telephone, and videoconferencing. Individual schools and teachers are expected to ensure equity of access. This includes providing hardcopy materials if students can’t access digital content and adjusting content or delivery methods to suit different abilities and needs.
This article gives an overview of home learning resources which state and territory education departments offer.
In Most States
The following resources are available to Government Schools in Queensland, New South Wales, Queensland as well as some other states and territories.
0365 Microsoft: A learning management system which allows teachers to:
- create virtual classrooms
- share and create lessons and tasks
- collaborate with students and teachers in real-time
- monitor and evaluate student learning
- give students customised feedback.
0365 Microsoft includes OneNote, Excel, Powerpoint, Word and Forms programs.
G Suite Google:
Cloud-based programs and tools that enable students and teachers to collaborate in real time. G-Suite applications include:
- Google Classroom
The Learning at Home website supports Western Australian students and their families with home learning. Activities are available for students in kindergarten through to year 12 from a variety of sources.
The Connect website provides teachers with educational resources and support for curriculum delivery.
Tasmania’s Learning At Home website caters primarily to students and their families. Its content covers all learning levels from preschool through Year 12. Exercises and tasks are organised by age group, except for senior high school content organised under the tab Years 11 and 12. Most activities can be completed without computer or Internet access.
Resources for teachers are available on other department webpages with restricted access.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT’s Home Learning: Resources for Students and Families website provides mostly online activities. The target audience is clearly identified in the name.
One section of this site is a digital resource library which contains multimedia content, including educational TV programs, YouTube clips, and interactive apps. All these learning materials are categorised as suitable for preschool, lower primary, upper primary or high school, or all ages. They are also grouped into subject areas.
The e-book library allows students to borrow e-books and audiobooks.
The Learning Together: Families and Schools Resources website supports NT school communities to learn at home. The website was developed in partnership with the NSW and Queensland education departments.
Activity packs are available under the Keeping Kids Learning tab. These are organised into the following categories: Birth to age 3, Preschool, Year 3, Years 4-6, and Years 7-9. The exercises can be printed for use offline. Students can also access Queensland’s Learning@home website for additional learning materials.
Victoria’s Department of Education and Training (DET) provides the following collaboration and learning delivery platforms to public schools.
Webex: A videoconferencing application which enables teachers, school staff and school leaders to:
- Attend virtual meetings
- Share documents and links
- Deliver online classes for students to access from a computer or mobile device at home by clicking a link.
Victoria’s DET home learning web pages provide links to online learning resources aligned with the Victorian curriculum. They include:
A digital content repository with over 25,000 learning materials, including audio-visual, interactive, images, and websites. FUSE provides resources from subjects ranging from music to languages and science. It caters to preschool, primary, and secondary pupils.
All content is reviewed by educators, and is either licensed for the use of Victorian public schools or is available to the public.
Clickview is a website that hosts Australian educational content including documentaries and films for all Victorian public schools. Teachers can create playlists to share with students.
Stile Education offers interactive science lessons and STEM resources for levels 7-10 in the Victorian Science curriculum. Materials are developed in partnership with Cosmos Magazine and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Minecraft: Education Edition supports creative learning using gamification principles which align with Levels 5 to 8 of the Victorian curriculum. Remote Learning toolkits provide lessons and project-based learning activities for teachers. It is also mapped to the Australian curriculum.
These online educational apps are also used in public schools outside Victoria.
Learning@home provides a range of curriculum resources, organised by subject and year level from preschool through to Year 12. Activities can be downloaded as PDFs and printed, which is ideal for students who don’t have Internet or computer access. Learning resources for students with disabilities are available under the Inclusive Education tab.
Students and staff can download the Department’s preferred online learning applications, such as G Suite, Microsoft 0356, Virtual Classrooms and Web Conferencing iConnect software from the Learning Place. Professional development resources and student activities can also be found there.
New South Wales
The learning from Home Hub is a one-stop shop for NSW school leaders, teachers, parents, and students. Educational activities are available for students for students at every stage of learning, from preschool through to Year 12. These are developed by experienced teachers and curriculum experts.
Sample activity schedules, units of work for specific topics and subjects, and links to external educational resources are available for primary students. At the secondary level, the Hub has resources for Key Learning Areas which can be incorporated into existing teaching plans.
The department’s preferred technology platforms include G Suite, 0365 Microsoft, and Adobe Connect, a web conferencing tool. Like Webex in Victorian schools, Adobe Connect allows teachers to create virtual classes and live broadcasts. It facilitates staff and student collaboration.
Our Learning SA supports home learning from preschool through to Year 10. Many learning materials and information pages can be printed for offline use by students and their families. The website also provides resources aligned with the Australian Curriculum for teachers.
Content is labelled as “for teachers,” “for students and families” or “for everyone.” This design feature ensures that educators, students, and families can find relevant, targeted resources quickly and easily.
Educators, students, and parents need to consult the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) website for teaching resources and information relating to Stages 1 and 2 content (Year 11 and 12).
According to a Department for Education FAQs page, teachers organise online lessons via videoconferencing technology and create live content. This technology is provided by the Department to all schools and teaching staff. Software such as Microsoft 0365 and video-conferencing tools will facilitate voice, video, and content sharing.
The Australian Special Education Principals Association provides online learning material for pupils with disabilities. Curriculum support and teaching resources are available to teachers on the Learning Links platform.
All state and Territory home learning websites for parents, students, and teachers include:
- Guidance on how to provide effective learner support by creating good learning environments and maintaining routines.
- Advice and resources to support student wellbeing.
- External links to educational platforms such as ABC Education and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
At present, learning from home by distance is the only option for the majority of Australian students so home learning methods, information, and resources are continually being updated as public schools navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
“Advice to parents.” Queensland Government. Department of Education.
“Coronavirus (COVID-19).”Australian Government. Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
“Coronavirus (COVID-19).” Government of Western Australia. Department of Education.
“Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions for Parents.” Tasmanian Government. Department of Education. 29 March 2020.
“COVID-19 further information.” NSW Government. Department of Education.
“Curriculum resources: Learning Links.” Northern Territory Government. Department of Education.
“Delivery of learning.” NSW Government. Department of Education.
“Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 for schools and preschools.” Government of South Australia. Department for Education.
“Frequently asked questions for parents.” Queensland Government. Department of Education.
“Information on novel coronavirus (COVID-19).” ACT Government. Department of Education. 15 March 2020.
“Learning@home.” Queensland Government. Department of Education. .
“Learning from home in a school setting.” Victoria State Government. Department of Education and Training.
“Learning resources by year level.” Government of Western Australia. Department of Education.
“Learning Resource Library.” ACT Government. Department of Education. .
“Learning together: Families and School Resources.” Northern Territory Government. Department of Education.
“Teaching and learning resources.” NSW Government. Education.