A strategic vision for digital education allowed Haileybury to seamlessly transition to an online environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lessons learned are also helping to shape the School’s K-12 classrooms for the future.
Haileybury is Australia’s largest independent school, boasting over 4,700 students and 850 staff, with six campuses across Melbourne, Darwin and China. The campuses work like the separate limbs of a single body and connectivity is the lifeblood of the Haileybury model. A couple of years ago, when the School was looking for a connectivity solution to support its ambitious digital strategy, the ICT team turned to AARNet for advice. A scalable high-speed 10G AARNet internet connection and AARNet Zoom services were subsequently deployed. The high performance and reliability of this solution has empowered teachers to use new technologies and helped to revolutionise teaching and learning.
Embracing digital platforms
Haileybury’s investment in infrastructure, technologies, and developing digital teaching and learning capabilities helped to deliver the school’s long-term vision for digitally-driven education.
When COVID-19 spread in early 2020 and lockdown sent teachers and students home, it was the mastery of Zoom and the Canvas learning management system, along with other digital technologies and skills, that enabled Haileybury to quickly transition to an online learning environment. The School was able to keep students on track with little change to their learning habits.
Ready to scale
Haileybury uses AARNet Zoom services to hold virtual classrooms. Zoom conferences allow for up to three hundred participants in video and text chat. Multiple live streams run flawlessly over AARNet’s high-speed connection and can be recorded for student revision.
Prior to the pandemic, Haileybury was already taking advantage of Zoom for delivering classes across campuses, used in tandem with Canvas for coursework, assignment tracking and reporting to parents. Having virtual classroom practices and processes already in place meant that Haileybury was able to quickly adapt and implement them for online learning across the entire school when the lockdown was enforced.
Security and monitoring
With all Haileybury classes delivered via AARNet’s Zoom platform, and with reports around the world of security issues mounting as Zoom usage exponentially increased due to lockdowns, AARNet’s Zoom support team worked with Haileybury to ensure that necessary security settings were enacted to maintain student and teacher security.
Lessons for the future
While times were tough through the COVID-19-imposed lockdowns, the lessons Haileybury learned under difficult circumstances have been invaluable. When on-campus teaching and learning returned, a lot of the techniques refined during that time were retained, creating an innovative digitally-driven environment, enabled by the School’s high-speed AARNet connection.
“When we implemented Zoom and the Canvas learning management system, teachers quickly adapted to these technologies and we saw a huge uplift in skills across the entire school in a very short time,” said Haileybury’s Deputy Principal, Anna Sever.
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Apr 28, 2021
Jul 11, 2019