Delivering a 21st century education is a high priority for Sacred Heart College, a Catholic secondary school for girls in Geelong. After many years with a commercial Internet services provider (ISP), the school recently connected to AARNet, both to meet its current and future broadband needs in a sustainable cost-effective way and to take advantage of the learning opportunities offered by the wider AARNet community.
The College has always been at the cutting edge of technology, installing its first permanent Internet link in 1995 and over the following years making significant developments and investments in communications technologies, from a dial up modem in 1995 through to a fibre optic connection. This progression has been in line with developments in the curriculum and has enabled access to 21st-century collaboration tools, applications and cloud technologies, which have enhanced learning in many ways.
A 400 Megabit per second (Mbps) fibre service with a commercial ISP installed in 2013 enabled the College to further develop a cloud strategy and improve access for all staff and students. However, this engagement model soon proved to be unsustainable, with the flow on effect of ‘over usage’ resulting in constraints being applied to the connection. This negatively impacted the teaching and learning program, by inhibiting the use of technologies the school relied on.
After a comprehensive review of the College’s infrastructure requirements, the decision was made to move forward with a 1Gbps AARNet connection.
Mark Pleasance, the College’s IT Manager, says the decision to connect to AARNet was made for several reasons, including AARNet’s ‘On-net’ capability providing unlimited access to significant educational resources; high-capacity to accommodate a rich diversity of classroom dynamics; learning support through partnerships with universities and a wide range of content providers; and the ability to boost capacity to meet increasing demand easily and affordably.
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