K-12 Schools

Future-proofing a regional school

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Calrossy students

NEW CASE STUDY: A diverse connection to the AARNet network “future-proofs” a regional NSW school and expands opportunities for teaching and learning. 

Calrossy Anglican School in Tamworth, New South Wales, is an independent day and boarding school with two campuses five kilometres apart.

Teaching and learning at Calrossy was previously impaired by the quality of their internet connection, which was “patchy,” according to Acting Director of ICT, Amber Chase.

“On the campus located out of town, the service was variable depending on if many students were uploading or downloading data; even the weather would affect how good internet speed was,” Amber said.

In early 2016, Calrossy’s two campuses were connected to AARNet’s research and education network at a capacity of 1 Gbps.

In September 2017, a second connection to the AARNet network was implemented on a geographically separate path. This serves as a back-up in case of any issues on the primary connection.

Today, reliable and high-bandwidth internet connectivity plays an important role in activities at Calrossy. In particular, it underpins bandwidth-intensive video connectivity to the rest of Australia and the world.

“As a regional school, we use technology more and more to access experts within metropolitan hubs and from countries around the world as well as participate in webinars and virtual tours,” Amber said.

“Video conferencing has been the biggest thing to take off for us. With reliable connectivity, our students are regularly using Zoom or Skype to video conference with a variety of people.

“The Science Faculty, for instance, has had video conferences with specialist chemists and biologists and primary students have been involved in programs involving the Sydney Opera House.”

On a day-to-day basis, Amber explains that a diverse connection to AARNet has also helped with lesson planning: teachers no longer have to “have a plan B” for if and when the main AARNet connection is down.

Over the next decade Calrossy sees its teachers using ICT in ever-more meaningful ways, and its AARNet connection means the school stands ready to adopt the new technologies this will require.

“Good internet connectivity has future-proofed our school,” Amber said.

Good internet connectivity has future-proofed our school

“Whatever new technologies are developed and whatever is available to allow us to connect with others from around Australia or internationally, we have the infrastructure to make that technology available to our teachers and students.”

Read the full case study.

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