In Education

Victoria Minister for Education Martin Dixon

No Wait For World-Class Internet In Victorian Schools

Victor P Taffa

Thousands more students across Victoria will be “attending” class in nearby schools, towns, cities or even countries without leaving their own school, using a faster and improved broadband network.

Education Minister Martin Dixon said Telstra had almost finished its program of increasing bandwidth capacity in 260 schools and improving video-conferencing capacity in 600 schools across the state.

In a video-conference with students at Kyabram P-12 College from the Telstra Experience Lab in Exhibition Street, Mr. Dixon said this enhanced broadband network expanded students’ educational opportunities and subject choices.

“What’s happening at Kyabram P-12 College is a great example of what schools can do with better broadband.” Mr. Dixon said.

“When the school’s broadband capacity is more than doubled it will be running Indonesian classes via video-conferencing next year in four local primary schools that do not have an Indonesian teacher.”

“No longer are our students confined to their physical classrooms the benefits for all schools, and particularly for regional schools, are huge.”

Mr. Dixon, who had recently visited Kyabram P-12 College to meet with students before they headed to Abu Dhabi to compete in the World F1 in Schools Competition, spoke again with the students to hear a review of the trip.

“The students at Kyabram P-12 College finished fifth in the world a remarkable achievement by some remarkable students.” Mr. Dixon said.

Kyabram P-12 College Principal Stuart Bott said better broadband would widen the link between what students are able to do now, to opportunities for students to have access to a broader array of learning programs.

“With this amazing access to world learning, the opportunities will only be restricted by our imaginations.” Mr. Bott said.

“This technology has given us the ability to be creative thinkers who see the possibilities as endless.”

Telstra Executive Director for Government, Chris Pearce, who joined Mr. Dixon for the video-conference, said Telstra was proud to be a key partner in the upgrade of the Victorian school broadband network.

“Technology has an important role to play in education and this is a fantastic example of how certain products can quite literally bring people together.” Mr. Pearce said.

“It’s great to see the power of connection come to life.”

The network upgrade is well underway and is expected to be completed in early 2013.

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