WIN! An online professional development course with Cool Australia - Education Matters Magazine

All Topics

WIN! An online professional development course with Cool Australia



Education Matters magazine readers have the exclusive opportunity to win one of four ‘double passes’ to Cool Australia’s online professional development courses. The double passes will allow you and a friend or colleague to enroll in a Cool Australia two hour or six hour course of your choice.

Each double pass is valued at $635!

Imagine what you could do with one double pass to participate in a Cool Australia online course. Upskill your curriculum knowledge? Enhance your teaching? Meet educators from across Australia? Rack up some more state accredited PD hours? Courses are hosted by Teacher Training Australia (TTA), learn at your own pace and in your own time.

So tell us in 25 words or less what Cool Australia course you’d love to do and why!

Step 1. Visit to find your favourite

Step 2. Enter at by 5pm on Friday 26th June 2015.

The 4 most persuasive answers win! Good luck!


One of the significant gaps in teacher training is the Australian Curriculum’s cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability. In 2014, the Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance (AESA) surveyed five thousand Australian teachers and asked them about their understanding and experience of sustainability education. AESA’s research found that:

  • 92% of teachers thought that sustainability was important and should be part of the curriculum; and,
  • 80% of teachers didn’t know how to incorporate sustainability in their teaching.

These results have been eye-opening. Over 22,000 early childhood, primary and secondary teachers currently use Cool Australia’s free-to-access resources in their classrooms to help them integrate sustainability into their curriculum. Our resources help teachers utilise contemporary ways of teaching about sustainability to enhance teaching and learning (hint: sustainability is more than trees and recycling bins). The AESA research, however, clearly indicates that more needs to be done to meet the learning needs of teachers.

Traditional approaches to professional development – such as peer-to-peer coaching, local network meetings, workshops and conferences – allow teachers to explore self-directed topics, but these can be time-consuming, costly or inconvenient. Teachers working in rural schools only have access to local networks or have to travel great distances to access the professional development needed. Schools also have limited budgets and are often forced to prioritise whole-staff learning needs, which can leave significant gaps in teacher training.

Cool Australia regularly receives requests to facilitate face-to-face workshops, but the reality is that we have limited capacity to be ‘everywhere’. As a not-for-profit education organisation we have been forced to rethink our traditional approach. Our experience with providing digital content has revealed that technology plays an important part in supporting teachers. And so, Cool Australia is creating a range of 2 hour and 6 hour online courses with the help of our partner TTA (Teacher Training Australia). These short courses are not designed to replace face-to-face interactions between teachers, but instead complement and enhance the wide range of professional development options available.

Online professional development has many similarities to traditional approaches but there are a few significant differences. Teachers gain access to a range of digital and multimedia curriculum resources in an independent and self-directed manner. Throughout their online learning journey they can pose questions to their peers, clarify their thinking and acquire new teaching strategies and tools. Furthermore, all of Cool Australia’s online courses include a practical component. Teachers apply their learning in their classroom or school, while still undertaking the course. This builds teacher confidence and provides an avenue for reflection, story sharing and getting additional support.

Cool Australia’s experience with online teacher professional development reveals that it:

  • Is cost-effective and allows schools to train a greater number of staff;
  • Provides teachers with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to learning;
  • Caters for different learning speeds;
  • Allows for richer, multi-dimensional learning experiences;
  • Enables teachers to go back and review content in order to deepen understanding; and,
  • Provides teachers with opportunities to experience different types of technology.

We have also been astonished by how online professional development connects teachers from across Australia. One of our courses recently introduced two distance education teachers – one was based in a remote community in the Northern Territory and the other was based in Northern NSW. These two teachers would never have met in a face-to-face workshop, but the online format allowed them to share ideas and resources specific to their circumstances and learning needs. The different experiences and points of view they shared provided them both with fresh perspectives and new insights.

Australia’s continually evolving education system means that teachers require a diverse range of professional development options. Traditional approaches will always play an important role in supporting teachers to develop their skills and knowledge. However, improved technologies are enabling Cool Australia to provide professional development which incorporates high-quality content and practical learning experiences to teachers around Australia. We look forward to helping to develop expanded teacher networks, improved access to professional development and better learning outcomes for young Australians.


  • Explore Cool Australia’s online professional development at
  • Learn more about TTA at
  • View the AESA’s report ‘Education for Sustainability and the Australian Curriculum Project Phases 1 to 3’ at

Find out more about Cool Australia at


Send this to a friend