The Marshall Liberal Government’s rollout of fast, reliable internet to all public schools in the state reached a major milestone this week, passing the 100,000 student mark with the connection of Norwood Primary School.
Norwood Primary School will be using the increased speed and reliability to support the delivery of innovative lessons, with students and teachers looking forward to accessing a wider range of learning resources and support online.
Government schools located at all points of the compass, including metropolitan Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Murray Bridge and Port Augusta, have been hooked up to fibre optic internet providing speeds up to 1000 times quicker than their previous connection.
By mid-2020, 507 school sites are set to be connected via a fibre optic network, while the four remaining sites with use other solutions to deliver a high speed connection.
Premier Steven Marshall said that fast and reliable internet was vital to delivering the modern, world-class education that our students deserve.
“High speed internet is increasingly central to modern learning and I am delighted that in such a very short time, we have linked 100,000 students to fast, reliable fibre optic connections,” said Premier Marshall.
“By the middle of 2020, students at more than 500 schools will be connected, giving students and educators across South Australia the opportunity to connect, collaborate and create in ways like never before.
“This landmark investment will also put faster, more reliable internet infrastructure within reach of more non-government schools, government agencies and small businesses across the state.”
Education Minister John Gardner said the internet rollout project was on track to give schools across South Australia access to a new world of learning resources and opportunities.
“We are on track to deliver a system-wide upgrade that will give every student, regardless of where they live, access to a reliable internet connection at the speed they need, when they need it,” said Minister Gardner.
“Fast, reliable internet improve teachers’ access to the tools they need to deliver high quality education, and it also means that our students will be able to tap into a wealth of learning resources that would otherwise be beyond their reach, with opportunities to connect with the world.
“Some schools who have already been connected have reported even more significant improvements to their internet connections than those promised.
“It is estimated that some schools could experience internet speeds up to 1000 times faster than before.”
Norwood Primary School Principal Melissa Evans said high speed internet will bring many benefits to the school.
“A fast, reliable internet connection helps us to access more learning resources and deliver lessons in interesting and engaging ways,” said Ms Evans.
“Our school has a really strong focus on STEM, with online coding, robotics and 3D printing all integrated into what we do, so a connection that supports our use of digital technologies is great.”
Adam Oliver, Telstra State Manager SA and NT, said that having access to technology and connectivity is essential in today’s society, particularly in education.
“We believe Telstra’s partnership with the Department for Education will benefit schools, teachers and students in both regional and metropolitan areas and will lead to great outcomes for South Australia in the future,” said Mr Oliver.