Students across Australia will soon have access to innovative online education and training programs via the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The Gillard Government has awarded $27 million to 12 projects under the NBN-Enabled Education and Skills Services Program which uses new technologies to offer better access to education and training opportunities students.
Minister for School Education Peter Garrett announced the successful pilot programs during an interactive online drama workshop with the Bell Shakespeare Company at the Sydney Opera House and students at Willunga High School in South Australia.
“These projects will give Australian students the learning tools they need for success in today’s digital world,” Mr Garrett said.
“Thanks to this program, primary schools, high schools, TAFEs and universities across Australia will be able to participate in 12 online education and training projects linked by the NBN.
“The Opera House’s From Bennelong Point to the Nation project uses the NBN to deliver virtual classes in drama, dance and music to students living in remote and regional areas across Australia.
“This is a great example of how students will benefit from the NBN-Enabled Education and Skills Services program, providing more students with access to digital learning through the high-speed connectivity of the NBN.”
More than 150 applications were received from registered training organisations, TAFEs, schools, universities and not-for-profit organisations for the program.
“Nine of the 12 projects that have been successful in receiving funding involve schools, which will greatly increase the learning potential of students and broaden the skill-set of teachers using the new technologies,” Mr Garrett said
“The Australian Youth Orchestra’s $1.5 million Digital Connection Trial also received funding and demonstrates how the world-leading performance of the NBN can support video communications between city, regional and remote areas for interviews, live auditions and master classes for students – right from their own homes, classrooms, rehearsal spaces and concert halls.”
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy, said the 12 projects will deliver high quality, accessible and sustainable online services to Australian schools, TAFEs, universities, workplaces and homes via the NBN.
"The chosen projects take advantage of the NBN’s fast and reliable broadband to deliver education opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to most students in regional and remote Australia,” Senator Conroy said.
“The NBN is an essential educational tool for Australia’s future. It puts students and teachers within easy reach of new online learning material and experiences, wherever they may live or go to school.”
Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Chris Evans said skills projects have been designed to encourage professional learning and skills development in the workplace.
"We are committed to ensuring that all Australians have access to education and training services that will equip them with the skills they need to succeed in future study or work,” Senator Evans said.
“One example is the University of NSW’s BEST Network, a $3 million biomedical education, skills and training project. It will connect more than 35,000 people, including science students and teachers in senior secondary schools and tertiary institutions, as well as peak bodies for nursing, pathology and surgery.
“This network will provide virtual classrooms, simulation and an online sharing platform that supports virtual laboratories, digital pathology and connections to medical specialists, in order to address workforce and indigenous healthcare issues in remote and regional Australia.”
For a full list of the 12 successful grants, and for more information, visit: www.deewr.gov.au