Teacher rewarded for simulated internet banking program
KALIANNA Special School teacher Kate Bentley's simulated banking program has won her a $10,000 Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teaching Award.
The program was one of 15 selected from more than 250 applications from across Australia.
The school was awarded $10,000 to create the program, and Ms Bentley was awarded $2000 for personal use.
The program teaches students to log on, pay bills and transfer money in a safe environment.
Ms Bentley said she was thrilled to win.
"I was amazed," she said. "You don't win things like that - it doesn't happen."
Ms Bentley said understanding how to complete internet banking transactions were important life skills.
She said students with intellectual disabilities needed to practice transactions many times in order to feel confident in real life.
"There are so many learning opportunities that will come from this," she said.
"My (program) has only a few active buttons for each screen and each step of the process, so the kids can only go where I need them to go.
"I have a big flash button with an arrow.
"It'll collect all the data and time how long they can do certain tasks, so I can assess how they're improving.
"I want to develop it further."
Ms Bentley said her class would start using the program next week, before it would be rolled out across the school.
Ms Bentley said teachers from other schools had contacted her about the program, and it could potentially be used by educational organisations across Australia.
There are so many learning opportunities that will come from this.
"How often do you visit banks now?" she said.
"We all do internet banking these days.
"If your child is 16 and getting a bank account for the first time, it would be lovely to have a practice for the first time," she said.
Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev said he was proud the scholarship encouraged teachers to further students' financial literacy.
"We believe it is very important to support teachers who are working hard to improve their students' financial literacy," he said.
"This year marks the third year of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teaching Awards.
"Every year we continue to discover engaging and innovative programs from inspirational teachers."
Ms Bentley and the other winners were presented their awards at a ceremony in Sydney on July 25.