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ICT in NSW Education

by Staff Writers •
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At the AIIA Government Symposium entitled ICT business outlook in NSW Public Education last month, attendees heard presentations delivered by TAFE NSW and Department of Education and Training (DET).

One announcement that would have been of interest was that DET intends to shortly release an EOI for a specialist education laptops to be purchased with funds available under the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution.

Speaking first, Stephen Wilson, CIO NSW DET, provided some statistics on the DET environment:

  • 196,000 computers (possibly a further 197,000 under the Digital Education Revolution
  • 2,400 locations (97% connected at 2Mbps or better)
  • 35 Terabytes downloaded from the Internet per month
  • 55m emails processed each month (40m are spam!)
  • 1.4m active accounts
  • 900 staff, 500 in regional locations
  • Data centres at St Leonards and Ultimo
  • SAP implementation of FMIS
  • 200k logins per day

Wilson provided an overview of IT spending in Education, including the NSW Government's commitment of $185m in the 2008-09 budget to:

  • Interactive classrooms ($66m) – over 350 sites installed, 600 by end 2008
  • Network enhancements ($63m) – core network upgrade, bandwidth upgrades, in-house filtering
  • Learning tools ($29m) – email replacement, Exchange 2007 for all staff

He also summarised funding available and the NSW approach to the Digital Education Revolution funding:

  • NSW should receive $197m over 4 years
  • NSW received $56m in Round 1
  • Wireless enabling to all schools with students in years 9 to 12
  • Specialized high-end educational laptops
  • Aim for one education laptop for each year 9-12 student
  • Improved technical support on site at every secondary school
  • Professional development program around laptops in classrooms
  • Developing customized online material across curriculum areas

Pam Christie, Director of TAFE NSW, provide an overview of new directions for TAFE, inlcuding the following new ICT priorities:

  • Replace legacy platforms
  • Optimise the integration of TAFE business solutions with DET
  • Ensure TAFE ICT business solutions meet DET enterprise architecture and standards
  • Develop next generation Virtual Learning Environment solutions

Christie also discussed a number of TAFE objectives and challenges:

  • Increasing bandwidth – 97% of schools 10Mb in the next 1-2 years (not waiting for NBN)
  • Connected Classrooms – western region selective high school $156m
  • Ageing workforce – problem with implementing new technology. Need to invest in training.
  • Interactive whiteboards are a hot item
  • Gmail to be implemented by November 2008
  • Investment in creating a digital library of education resources

Copies of the presentations are available at:

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  • NSW
  • Education
  • AIIA Government Symposium
  • Connected Classrooms
  • DER
  • DET environment
  • IT Spending
  • Laptops
  • NSW Public Education
  • Pam Christie
  • Stephen Wilson