Education Matters - News impacting schools, teachers and students
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Your Aid, We Deliver

Charity seeking Australian educators to help Cambodian students

An Australian-based not-for-profit, Your Aid, We Deliver aims to privide clean water, education, dental and medical services to communities in rural Cambodia.

Constantly seeking donations in the form of teaching resources and even the time of qualified teachers, Your Aid, We Deliver is currently promoting its new drive. Teachers, teaching students and student teachers are asked to consider applying for one of many positions teaching over 2,500 students English and computer skills.

Your Aid, We Deliver is fully funded through The Buddhist Library, meaning all donations and funds go directly to its projects, rather than needing to spend money on administration.

“We also have a mobile library and a Tuk Tuk library to provide education books to children in very remote areas,” said Paget Sayers, Founder of The Buddhist Library and Your Aid, We Deliver.

“The experience ​​our ​volunteers ​ha​ve​ ​in these communities and schools is incredibly enriching​​,​ invaluable​ and ​is great practical experience to develop their skills and gain global experience​,” he said. “The volunteers have a ​profound and ​long term positive impact on these communities by improving ​the opportunities for these children and giving them a chance to learn, grow and be literate.”

Your Aid, We Deliver doesn’t charge volunteers to assist them, and a contribution may be as small as the donation of an old textbook.

Visit the volunteer page on the group’s website for more details.

 

Software to protect students Fi Bendall

Software to protect students

Following recent revelations regarding the sharing of explicit images of girls from more than 70 Australian schools, a technological solution has been suggested.

Speaking at the Australian Institute of Professinal Intelligence Offices’ (AIPIO) conference yesterday, Founder and Director of Prevent and Protect Pty Ltd, Ms Fi Bendall announced new software designed to protect students against these kind of online threats.

The solution is described as protecting vulnerable users by actively analysing peer-to-peer cyber bullying, radicalisation and extremist grooming, instances of grooming and sexual threats, potential self-harm, deliberate access to inappropriate websites, pornography and more.

Ms Bendall said the launch of the new online software was particularly timely due to the recent news regarding the pornography scandal.

“This is especially timely and causing much interest at AIPIO due to the recent pornography scandal hitting more than 70 schools nationally. Prevent and Protect have agreed to work for free with police, intelligence, federal and state authorities to assist in their intelligence gathering”.

Prevent and Protect was formed in 2016 using software already implemented in 3,500 schools across the UK. It is designed to alert institutions to real-world issues that young people may be experiencing, including domestic violence, neglect, depression and anxiety.

“This is not an internet filtering system, it is an online system that alerts and captures information when a high-grade risk is in play,” Ms Bendall explained.

“We want to work with schools and police to provide an online system that will identify risks and alert the right people at the right time to put in place much needed support to young people being exposed to online threats. The data we capture is from inappropriate material from online and offline activity on social networking sites, chat rooms, peer-to-peer software, interactive games, websites, email, instant messaging systems, word and notepad.”

Isabel Lucas

Isabel Lucas lends hand to support La Trobe’s Aspire Program

Earlier this month, three celebrities joined crowds at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus open day to help promote its early admissions program, Aspire.

The Aspire initiative is designed to reward secondary students who have actively engaged with their community through volunteering and service, by providing early offers into La Trobe even before they’ve completed their final year exams, let alone received an ATAR score.

To promote Aspire, actress Isabel Lucas, model Laura Henshaw and North Melbourne AFL player Luke McDonald assisted in providing sustenance for the masses with a ‘Pay-It-Forward-Pizza’ initiative, whereby people who received a pizza from the three stars were encouraged to pass their empty pizza box to a stranger, which could then be redeemed for a fresh one.

You can view a video promoting the event, here. A similar event took place at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus.

“It’s great to see my University encouraging and supporting community-minded Australians,” said Ms Henshaw. “Aspire is really popular with student at La Trobe, so I really encourage Year 12 student to investigate their options and apply.”

All told, La Trobe gave away 700 pizzas in Melbourne and 600 in Bendigo to create awareness for Aspire.

“We saw record numbers attending this year and with good reason; our theme for the day was employability, which sits perfectly alongside everything that we are doing with Aspire,” said a La Trobe spokesperson.

“Since its inception in 2014, the Aspire Program has seen considerable growth. In 2015, we made over 1,600 early offers to community minded students. We expect to see greater numbers in 2016 with awarenes of the program growing year-on-year.”

Students applying to the Aspire Program are assessed based on their community engagement experience, which they demonstrate in a 400-word statement. La Trobe also seeks an endorsement from each applicant’s school.

Sydonny, a second year Outdoor Education student at La Trobe Bendigo, received an early offer through the Aspire Program, having volunteered at a charity camp called ‘The Portsea Camp’ for two years prior to finishing high school.

“I found the Aspire Program incredibly worthwhile,” she said. “Not only did I receive my conditional offer before I went into exams, I also attended free revision lectures for each of my subjects.

“Giving back to the community should be an integral part in everyone’s life regardless of the reward. However, I have always benefited from volunteering – not only do you receive the gratitute of those you are assisting, but it can also mean learning new skills, developing wok ethic, possible career options, friendships and networking opportunities.”

Sydonny continues to volunteer regularly with The Portsea Camp.

To learn more about La Trobe’s Aspire Program, visit the university’s website.

Isabel Lucas

Isabel Lucas lends hand to support La Trobe's Aspire Program

You can view a video promoting the event, here. A similar event took place at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus. “It’s great to see my University encouraging and supporting community-minded Australians,” said Ms Henshaw. “Aspire is really popular with student at La Trobe, so I really encourage Year 12 student to investigate their options and apply.” All told, La Trobe gave away 700 pizzas in Melbourne and 600 in Bendigo to create awareness for Aspire. “We saw record numbers attending this year and with good reason; our theme for the day was employability, which sits perfectly alongside everything that we are doing with Aspire,” said a La Trobe spokesperson. “Since its inception in 2014, the Aspire Program has seen considerable growth. In 2015, we made over 1,600 early offers to community minded students. We expect to see greater numbers in 2016 with awarenes of the program growing year-on-year.” Students applying to the Aspire Program are assessed based on their community engagement experience, which they demonstrate in a 400-word statement. La Trobe also seeks an endorsement from each applicant’s school. Sydonny, a second year Outdoor Education student at La Trobe Bendigo, received an early offer through the Aspire Program, having volunteered at a charity camp called ‘The Portsea Camp’ for two years prior to finishing high school. “I found the Aspire Program incredibly worthwhile,” she said. “Not only did I receive my conditional offer before I went into exams, I also attended free revision lectures for each of my subjects. “Giving back to the community should be an integral part in everyone’s life regardless of the reward. However, I have always benefited from volunteering – not only do you receive the gratitute of those you are assisting, but it can also mean learning new skills, developing wok ethic, possible career options, friendships and networking opportunities.” Sydonny continues to volunteer regularly with The Portsea Camp. To learn more about La Trobe’s Aspire Program, visit the university’s website.]]>

Science students

Argument against STEM focus

As politicians continue to spruik the benefits of refocusing Australia’s education focus on STEM learning, the Grattan Institute has suggested this shouldn’t result in pushing students towards science degrees.

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