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1332.0.55.001 - CensusAtSchool Newsletter, Oct 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/10/2007   
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October 2007 CensusAtSchool Newsletter - Edition No. 21


Contents
CensusAtSchool 2008 - 3 weeks to go!
Information Pack coming to your school
The 2008 Questionnaire
Using the CensusAtSchool activities from the website
Second release Census data is coming soon



CensusAtSchool 2008 - 3 weeks to go!!

The launch of CensusAtSchool 2008 is only three weeks away! From 29 October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will officially open the 2008 project. All schools are invited to participate and be part of this dynamic educational project. Phase 1 - the Questionnaire phase will open on January 2008. Your school must be registered for your students to be complete the online questionnaire. Information on how to register can be found by clicking this link http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/cashome.nsf/home/how%20to%20get%20involved.

If your school has registered to participate in 2006, you do not need to register again. Simply use your School Participation Number (SPN) that was issued to you and start setting up your teacher accounts. If you have forgotten or misplaced your SPN, simply call the CensusAtSchool team on 1800 623 273 and we will be able to retrieve it for you.
Project timeline

CensusAtSchool 2008 will run in the same way as the 2006 project. School registration phase will open on 29 October, giving schools the opportunity to register and setup teacher accounts before the project goes live in 2008.

Phase 1 - Questionnaire Phase:
From 29 January 2008 until 4 July 2008, your students will be able to access and complete the online CensusAtSchool questionnaire. All responses submitted will be part of the 2008 database. The questionnaire phase closes on 4 July and the data collected will be available for you and your students to access in Phase 2 - Data Usage phase.

Phase 2 - Data Usage Phase:
From 7 July, you will be able to access the responses to the online questionnaire through the random sampler or by using the prepared samples, activities and information tables available.
key dates
29 Oct 2007
Launch of CensusAtSchool 2008 project - School
Registrations open
29 January 2008
Questionnaire open to students
4 July 2008
Questionnaire phase closes
7 July 2008
Data Usage phase opens!
What's new in 2008?

There are a few new and exciting innovations to the 2008 project.

1. For the first time, a set of 11 international questions will be included in all participating countries questionnaires. These international common questions will allow your students to compare their results with students from UK, Canada and NZ.

2. New questions will be added as a response to the feedback we have received from teachers, subject matter associations, education intermediaries and education departments. These new questions will be reflective of what is important to young Australians today.

3. You will be able to use the random sampler to generate samples from both the 2006 and the 2008 database, allowing you to make comparisons over time (time series).

Information pack coming to your school
Be on the lookout for an Information pack being sent to your principal in the next three weeks. It will contain important information on the CensusAtSchool project and useful hints and tips to get you started using CensusAtSchool in your classroom today.

If your school is already registered with CensusAtSchool, you are invited to participate again in 2008. If your school has not registered, you will receive information on how to register and participate in CensusAtSchool 2008.

CensusAtSchool is a great resource for developing ICT and cross curricula pedagogy. Furthermore, CensusAtSchool will increase your students ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical data, hence making them more statistically literate and more confident in critically analysing and interpreting the wealth of information that they are presented with every day. Results from an independant evaluation of CensusAtSchool 2006 indicated that teachers who had used CensusAtSchool with their students have reported that in "a significant number of classes, there was an improvement in students' understanding of data collection, using data in an investigation and increased engagement in tasks using statistics".

Get your school involved - be part of CensusAtSchool 2008.
The 2008 Questionnaire

In 2006, 112,173 students completed the online CensusAtSchool questionnaire, providing a rich source of real data about real students like those in your classroom. Remember, if you complete and submit your responses to the questionnaire - you are part of the data. So encourage your students to submit their responses and be part of CensusAtSchool 2008.

Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare for the 2008 questionnaire.

1. Now is a good time to think about how you will incorporate the questionnaire phase and the Random Sampler phase into your 2008 curriculum. Will there be more than one class or one year level participating? Maybe you might think about a 'Questionnaire Day' at your school.

2. Are you familiar with the process of accessing the new questionnaire for your students? Have you forgotten your SPN code? To find out, email us at www.abs.gov.au/censusatschool or free call 1800 623 273.

3. As the questionnaire is answered online, there might be issues of access to computer rooms. You could consider allowing students the option of answering the questionnaire from their home computer. This would give parents the opportunity to be involved.

4. Try out the 2006 questionnaire to see what types of questions were asked. Get your students to have a go at the reaction time and concentration games. Remember this is a sample copy so responses cannot be submitted. Just follow this link to give it a go -
http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/CaSHome.nsf/
Progress on the 2008 Questionnaire

The final stages in the development of the questions of the 2008 questionnaire is well underway. Many thanks to all those teachers and other interested parties who submitted suggestions. The CensusAtSchool team is in the process of drafting the 2008 questionnaire, taking into account all the suggestions and feedback received. Next week, the teacher focus groups will begin. Starting in Victoria and continuing in SA, NSW and QLD, teachers will have an opportunity to provide further comments on the structure and content of the 2008 questionnaire. The questionnaire will then be tested with a group of teachers before being sent to our coders, who will then prepare the final version ready for release on 29 January 2008.

Using the CensusAtSchool activities from the website

Are you looking for activities to interest your students and to prepare your classes for the 2008 questionnaire? There are many such activities on the CensusAtSchool web pages. There you will find activities suitable for Primary and Secondary students. There are Mathematics and SOSE/HSIE activities. You will find the activities listed under your state together with the relevant curriculum are as mentioned.

You can visit these pages on
http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/CaSHome.nsf/Home/teachers%20area

Please give us your comments on the activities. Have you found any activity particularly useful? How have you used them in your classroom? How did your students respond to the activity? The first five teachers to send us their feedback will receive the
CensusAtSchool Professional Development Package containing two professional development disks, measuring tape, pen and the ultrahandy CensusAtSchool calculator ruler.
Second release Census Data is coming soon

Australia's Census of Population and Housing, conducted on the 6 August 2006, provides a snapshot of the nation, which helps define who we are. It underpins Australia's democracy and is crucial to communities, private institutions and all levels of government in the planning of services and facilities. The Census includes all people, except foreign diplomats and their families, who are in Australia and its internal and external Territories on Census Night.

If you are seeking information on the population and housing characteristics of people living in Australia - Census data is a valuable resource. Second release Census data contains more detailed breakdowns of all census products and is available FREE online from 25 October. To find out more go to
http://www.abs.gov.au/census.
If you have any questions or general CensusAtSchool project enquiries, please contact ABS Education Services, CensusAtSchool Team by email censusatschool@abs.gov.au or on free call 1800 623 273 between 9:00am and 5:00pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. Image: Online Newsletter
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