Exploring and realising the potential of emerging information and communication technologies to transform learning and teaching within a dynamic research community.
Located in NSW, Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre (MacICT) is a collaboration between the NSW Department of Education and Macquarie University. The Centre provides statewide professional learning services to both government and non-government schools and communities whilst pursuing an innovative research agenda.
MacICT’s services support the meaningful and innovative integration of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning to support syllabus implementation and pedagogy. The team develops comprehensive professional learning courses delivered in a blended approach. MacICT is also able to connect and collaborate with educational institutions and industry partners to inform the education community and provide significant research insights into the capacity of new technologies to enhance teaching and learning and the way school context shapes the use of technology.
At MacICT we believe that learning how to use technology is not enough; the heart of 21st century learning is about becoming a proficient and independent lifelong learner. Our activities promote this through an inquiry-based approach to learning where students are encouraged to collaborate and be creative in solving design challenges.
View Our Latest Annual Report (2014-15)
To Promote Innovation
MacICT demonstrates how 21st Century teaching and learning tools may be used to engage 21st Century learners.
To Enhance Learning and Teaching
Students and teachers who visit MacICT will participate in courses and projects that provide them with the skills, experiences and insights needed to engage with technology in ways that enhance teaching and learning.
To Pursue an Innovative Research Agenda
We will research, identify and develop innovative information and communication technologies and participate in leading edge educational research projects.
Papers and Publications
View all MacICT's research papers and other publications.
Download our Annual Reports below.
Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre grew out of a commitment to form a strategic partnership between Macquarie University and the Department of Education and Training to enhance public education. The partnership aimed to promote innovation in the enhancement of teaching and learning through the use of ICT, positioning both organisations as dynamic leaders in improving student learning outcomes and professional development of staff. A white paper was commissioned, advisory committee established, dedicated building and key resources identified and two Directors appointed.
2002 - 2005
The first Memorandum of Understanding lasting four years was signed on 22nd November, 2002 by Honourable John Watkins, MP Minister for Education and Emeritus Professor Di Yerbury Vice Chancellor Macquarie University. The Centre was managed by two Directors (SE02), and included a staff consisting of a administration assistant (Clerk 1/2) and the equivalent of 3.5 deployed teachers. The Centre’s mission was to ‘develop, implement and evaluate innovative ways of enhancing learning through the application of dynamic and emerging information and communication technologies.’
Between 2003 to 2005, over 21,000 students attended the Centre, and 1160 teachers accessed the Centre programs with their classes. During 2005, 869 teachers accessed the Centre’s professional learning programs such as Teachers e-academy, whole school professional learning days and one day workshops.
2006 - 2011
On the 12th September 2006, Andrew Cappie-Wood Director-General of Education and Training Managing Director of TAFE NSW formalised a continuation of the collaborative initiative with Professor John Loxton Deputy Vice Chancellor
(Academic) Macquarie University until September 2009. During this time, MacICT focussed on achieving best practice through leadership in ‘teaching and learning using ICT’, ‘professional preparation of professional learning’, ‘supporting teachers in curriculum development’ and ‘delivery and research to enhance teaching, student learning and innovation with ICT’.
In 2006, MacICT’s Reference group was formed and throughout this time period, a number of relationships were developed with industry and government agencies such as the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. One day workshops covering a variety of areas such as video texts, robotics, stop animation, social networking, wikis in the classroom and more were conducted.
From 2008, MacICT’s professional learning services took a new direction, focusing on a more project-based approach where teachers and their students participated in long term projects. These included: Interactive classrooms, eMints, games-based learning, virtual worlds, connected classrooms, robotics, students as game designers, visual literacy and numeracy, students as learning designers, technology leaders and more.
MacICT organised and held the first week long video conference festival, ‘Thinking Globally, Delivering Locally’ featuring a wide variety of presenters. Several showcases were held including a student led, ‘Students as Designers’ showcase featuring student designed digital games and learning sequences. Bajo and Hex from ABC’s Good Game presented, played student’s video games and chatted to students. Sam Doust, the Creative Director Strategic Development at ABC Innovation also presented on alternative reality dramas and games. Case studies and academic research were conducted in areas including: the use of mobile devices to support students as they frame their own scientific inquiries into their local environment, virtual worlds in education, students as game designers and robotics in education. Several papers were published from this research (www.macict.edu.au/research/centre-papers).
During 2010, one Director (PEO2) of MacICT was appointed. Throughout 2010-2011 MacICT ran some groundbreaking projects gaining global attention. Two of the project leaders received awards for their work. Projects included Virtual Worlds: When2050, Game2Design, Robotics, LAMs in Teaching and Learning, Local Ecostudy Project , Operation Innovate and Professional Learning. During 2011, MacICT held a number of special events featuring renowned academics. These included, ‘Playing with Learning Spaces’: Professor Stephen Heppell, ‘MacICT Robotics Day’: Dr Eric Wang, ‘Nanotechnology and Diamond’: Prof James Rabeau, Physics Video Conference with Sir Anthony James Leggett (Nobel Prize in Physics), 3DEDRATS: a month long celebration of innovation and creativity in Australian contemporary education (www.3dedrats.wordpress.com). It was during this time that the state handed responsibility and funding of MacICT to the DEC Northern Sydney Region.
A restructuring in the Department of Education and Communities led to changes within MacICT. This resulted in a significant reduction in staff and operating budget, and a move to a partially self-funded model. A new Manager (SEO2) and an Office Administrator was appointed. New branding and a new website was developed and launched during 2012. MacICT was recognised by NSWDEC as a state-wide resource with teachers across NSW from both government and non-government schools accessing it services. MacICT forged new collaborations with organisations including LEGO® Education, FIRST Australia, Alternator and buildAR. The opportunity to work with experts honed the development of workshops and provided opportunities for teachers to work with globally recognised experts. During 2012 alone, 2538 students, 229 unique teachers and 141 unique schools accessed MacICT’s services. MacICT conducted two innovative case studies, iPads in the Year 1 Classroom: Working Mathematically and Augmenting Reality: Students as e-Design Artists.
During 2013, MacICT’s team doubled from five in 2012 to a team of 10 in 2013. In addition to the Centre Manager and Office Manager, the team was made up of casual teachers, retired teachers, doctoral and undergraduate students. MacICT maintained its strong collaboration with LEGO® Education and forged a new collaboration with BRIDGES to Higher Education. We were also involved in Macquarie University’s PACE program. In a joint effort, MacICT and Macquarie University were awarded our first CS4HS Google grant which led to the development of a two day course titled Bringing Computing to Life: raising the bar in teaching computing. During 2013, 509 unique teachers from 301 schools attended professional learning courses. MacICT conducted 93 boot camps attended by 3190 students from 54 schools. MacICT’s reach increased dramatically with teachers and educators from across NSW attending events and courses. MacICT received a $200,000 grant from NSWDEC to run an academic research project titled, Researching Connected Communities 21 involving over 100 teachers from 17 schools. In addition to this research project, MacICT began work on a second research project Transmedia Storytelling: Weaving a Storyworld Web.