K-12 Schools

AARNet connects students to virtual newsroom

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ABC Splash launch at ACMI

Melbourne, Australia – 26 March 2013 AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network), in collaboration with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) will today host ‘Splash Live: Making the News, the launch event for ABC Splash, a ground-breaking education website offering students access to exciting interactive digital resources aligned with the Australian curriculum.

“This is a great example of how high capacity broadband services, interactive technologies and clever program design continue to open up new learning experiences for young Australians” said AARNet’s CEO Chris Hancock.

‘Today’s event is the culmination of a six week ABC Splash pilot education project called Making the News. Primary school students in four states have been involved in the process of researching, writing and filming their own local news stories based on the theme of sustainability. The students have participated in several real time interactive events, connecting with each other and ABC experts via AARNet’s National Video Conferencing Service and the National Broadband Network (NBN).

“This communication technology has enabled the ABC to seamlessly connect with 100 primary school students across Australia in a four-way video conference to create and share local news stories in real time with each other and with ABC presenters in a way never done before,” said ABC Innovation’s Digital Education Producer Sara Cousins.

Today the students will broadcast their news stories via high definition video conferencing to a live studio audience at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square in Melbourne.  They will also interact with ABC presenters and producers from ABC Open, ABC News, triple j’s Hack, and ABC1’s Behind the News who have been mentoring them throughout the project.

Cousins said the project is part of a whole range of initiatives at the ABC aimed at using the latest technology to reach audiences in new ways.

“AARNet remains committed to supporting projects like this. As Australia’s research and education network our role is to provide services that support experimentation with interactive technologies and advance the way education is delivered and accessed,” said Hancock.

AARNet is the provider of the high speed broadband connection for ACMI and also the preferred service provider of NBN infrastructure at PLC Armidale (New South Wales). The other participating schools connecting via AARNet’s National Video Conferencing Service and the NBN are Willunga Primary School (South Australia); Circular Head Christian School (Tasmania). North Fitzroy Primary School (Victoria) will be in the live studio audience. .

Hancock said that PLC Armidale is one of a number of schools now benefitting from access to AARNet’s network and services over an NBN connection.

AARNet is a service provider for the NBN which means AARNet is able to extend its Research & Education services portfolio to schools and other qualifying organisations utilising the NBN’s fibre optic infrastructure.

–       ENDS  –

About AARNet

AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is the not for profit company that operates Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet). The shareholders are 38 Australian universities and the CSIRO. AARNet provides high-capacity leading edge Internet services for the education and research sector, including universities, research organisations, vocational training providers, schools and cultural institutions. AARNet serves more than one million end users who access the network for teaching, learning and research. For further information, please visit: www.aarnet.edu.au

About ABC Splash

ABC Splash is managed by ABC Innovation, the division responsible for the ABC website abc.net.au and core mobile offerings including the ABC iPhone, iPad and Android apps. ABC Innovation also creates digital media content and services for online, mobile and emerging platforms.

ABC Splash is one of the largest digital projects undertaken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and will deliver world-class interactive educational resources for primary and secondary school students, their teachers and parents.  All ABC Splash material aligns with the Australian Curriculum and was developed by the ABC in conjunction with Education Services Australia, supported by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

Media Contact:

Jane Gifford
Manager, Digital Communications & Media Relations
AARNet Pty Ltd
02 9779 6960


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