Where's the wireless? Regional schools get connected - NSW Nationals

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Where's the wireless? Regional schools get connected

A 21st Century education is fast paced and tech-savvy. Gone are the days of chalk and blackboards. The modern curriculum involves using iPads and smart boards to power a cascade of online learning tools.    

To keep our students and teachers in the game, Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Nationals Candidate for Orange Scott Barrett have announced $46 million to boost digital technology in over 900 remote and regional NSW schools as part of the Connecting Country Schools program. 

Digital technology is part of the current syllabus and is becoming increasingly vital to student learning, so it makes sense that our children out in the regions have the infrastructure to keep up with what metropolitan students have more readily available.

Under the NSW Government’s Connecting Country Schools initiative, improvements to Wi-Fi access and upgrades to internet capabilities will be rolled out to nearly 13,000 learning spaces.

To announce the reforms, Adrian Piccoli toured schools set to benefit from the changes. First up was a trip to the Orange electorate where he was joined by Nationals Candidate Scott Barrett. Adrian then continued his journey, spreading the good news to schools in the Northern Tablelands and Barwon.  

“These upgrades will allow for wireless speeds four times faster than currently available, helping students achieve their best,” Adrian said.

“To ensure schools make best use of their upgraded wireless and internet capability, they will be required to make an application and consult with their school community to identify how they intend to use the technology to improve teaching and learning.”

Scott noted the improvements would not only increase technological capacity for students but promote more innovative practices among teachers.

“Students and teachers need fast access to online resources anywhere in their schools. Improved internet capability opens up a whole new scope for the way teachers teach and students learn.” 

On the back of last week’s needs-based RAM funding commitment, which allocated $219 million to public schools across the state, the additional digital boost means country education will be given the best chance for continual improvement in the coming years.

Connecting Country Schools builds on the achievements made since 2013 under the NSW Government’s $80 million Rural and Remote Education Blueprint. The Blueprint used the benefits of technology to establish Aurora College, Australia’s first virtual selective high school, giving country students access to specialist subjects and opportunities not available at their local school.

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