Digital learning research


School connections : using ICT to engage students in learning

Publication Date



Microsoft Partners in Learning (PiL) - New South Wales Connected Learning Schools Project : a collaboration between Microsoft, NSW DET, dk2 and ACER


In 2006, one school team from each of the ten NSW Department of Education regions were nominated to participate in the Microsoft Partners in Learning (PiL) Connected Learning Schools Project. With reference to their unique context, each school developed and implemented a project that involved teachers using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in their teaching and learning to engage middle-year students in their education, and to connect more authentically with students’ learning experiences outside of school. The NSW Partners in Learning project was a research and development project. The aim was to investigate how children in the middle years (Years 5 to 9) can shape their own learning. It sought to bridge the disconnect between ICT used at home and in school. Between 2006 and 2008 the ten teams of schools implemented their projects with a view to enhancing students’ engagement, pedagogy and teacher capacity. The project was evaluated by ACER using 2006 and 2008 surveys that identified the extent to which digital technologies helped students engage with school.