Since 2010, when Nossal High School, Victoria’s first fully academically selective co-educational Government high school, opened its doors, new and emerging technologies for teaching and learning have been integral to the student experience.
The school, located on the grounds of Monash University’s Berwick campus, recently connected to the high-speed AARNet national network via a VERNet link. Connectivity to AARNet supports a cutting-edge digital teaching and learning agenda for students in years 9-12. The purpose built complex, named after eminent scientist Sir Gustav Nossal, provides a hi-tech open-plan adult learning environment to challenge some of the best and brightest young minds in the state and indeed the nation.
Principal Roger Page said the need for ubiquitous ICT access was factored into the design of the school from the very beginning, however, budgetary and regulatory constraints resulted in a number of compromises that negatively impacted on access, including limited bandwidth and inadequate wireless coverage.
“We found that the mandated equipment supplied and specified for schools was incapable of addressing the demands in an environment where all students use a wireless laptop or tablet device as part of nearly all their classes,” said Page.
He said the School then spent a significant amount of scarce funds purchasing additional bandwidth and upgrading hardware to achieve average performance levels. It was an untenable situation and what was needed was a sustainable and scalable solution to meet the School’s rapidly growing broadband needs into the future.
“The AARNet connection has resolved the access issue and we are now able to take full advantage of the network’s high bandwidth to exploit the potential of the digital environment and build on more innovative learning opportunities for our students…at a greatly reduced cost,” he said.
AARNet’s high performance capabilities enable the seamless delivery of digital content and online tools and resources, as well as provide the connectivity for collaborations and virtual classes with experts at Monash University and other universities and research organisations across Australia and around the world.
Stuart Frankhauser, Nossal’s Director of eLearning said staff and students are looking forward to taking advantage of their new AARNet Internet connection in a number of ways.
“We have been trialing a variety of different digital delivery approaches and have now run several Digital Delivery Days where the students remain at home and staff teach remotely. For our synchronous digital lessons, we will now be able to effectively use web and video conferencing tools with far greater reliability than ever before. This will also significantly change our approach to the use of digital teaching and learning tools in the classroom,” said Frankhauser.
Nossal High School is also in the process of moving the School’s learning management system to a remotely hosted solution.
“We are very excited by the opportunities our AARNet connection presents and the opportunities for more effective digital learning and teaching experiences in the years ahead. We are now the envy of many High Schools around the state, ” he said.
K-12 Schools can connect to the AARNet network in a number of different ways.
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