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what is the digital education revolution
What is the Digital Education Revolution?
  • Through the Digital Education Revolution the Australian Government aims to bring substantial and meaningful change to teaching and learning in Australian schools. It will prepare students for further education and training, jobs of the future and to live and work in a digital world.
  • The Australian Government is committing new funding of $1.2 billion over five years to provide:
    • through the National Secondary School Computer Fund, grants of up to $1 million for schools to assist them to provide for new or upgraded information and communications technology (ICT) for secondary students in Years 9 to 12; and
    • through the Fibre Connections to Schools initiative, a contribution of up to $100 million to support the development of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband connections to Australian schools.
the other elements in the policy
The other elements in the Policy:
  • $32.6 million over two years to supply students and teachers across Australia with online curriculum tools and resources to support the national curriculum and conferencing facilities for specialist subjects such as languages.
  • Working with States and Territories and the Deans of Education to ensure that new and continuing teachers have access to training in the use of ICT that enables them to enrich student learning.
  • The development of online learning and access which will enable parents to participate in their child’s education.
  • $10 million over three years to develop support mechanisms to provide vital assistance for schools in the deployment of ICT provided through the National Secondary School Computer Fund.
the election promise november 07
The Election Promise – November 07
  • A Labor government would ensure that every student in Years 9-12 had access to their own computer at school, with the $1 billion spent over four years, Mr Rudd said.The government would pay for the systems to be replaced and schools with enough computers already could use the funding to upgrade, he said. The plan would apply to government and independent schools."I want to turn every secondary school in Australia into a digital school," Mr Rudd said."I want to provide every secondary school student with the foundations to move into the digital economy of the future."Australia's more than 9,000 primary and secondary schools would be connected to a broadband network with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, he said.
national secondary school computer fund round 1
National Secondary School Computer Fund – Round 1
  • February 2008 - audit of current numbers available for yrs 9-12.
  • 3 March 2008 – Selected Schools invited to apply for funding
    • Nearly 300 NSW DET schools, 35 in Sydney Region.
  • Schools selected based on audit.
  • The results identified that the national average computer to student ratio is currently 1:5.
  • Targeted at schools with computer to student ratio of 1:8 or worse.
  • Aim (for Round 1) – 1:2 for Yrs 9-12
nsscf round 1
NSSCF – Round 1
  • Applications closed 4 April.
  • Funding is for specified number of computers.
  • Allocated $1000 per Computer unit.
  • Any remaining funds could be available to purchase other ICT equipment.
  • June2008 – Funding for Stage 1 paid to NSWDET
  • Round 1 Funds need to be spent by June 2010, with 40% in first 6 months. Reports required every 6 months
nsscf guidelines
NSSCF Guidelines
  • Effective implementation of the Digital Education Revolution will be achieved through cooperation with all states and territories. In particular, the Australian Government will work with state and territory governments, Catholic and independent school systems to make a sustainable and meaningful change in the way teaching and learning are delivered in Australian schools.
  • To realise economies of scale and administrative efficiencies, it is preferred that purchasing of ICT through the Fund take place at a state or sectoral level.
nsscf guidelines9
NSSCF Guidelines
  • The Australian Government will be discussing with states, territory and non-government education authorities how they will support the Australian Government’s $1 billion investment, including such measures as:
    • ensuring the maintenance of existing and planned expenditure on ICT for their sector;
    • maintaining and supporting their existing and planned infrastructure in the school (including security);
    • providing accurate and timely information regarding a school’s need and readiness to apply for funding including evidence of ongoing support for the additional equipment provided under the Fund;
    • ensuring the roll-out of school computers and faster broadband is sustainable at the school level through technical training and infrastructure support;
    • ensuring all teachers have access to professional development to ensure a increased capabilities to use ICT effectively;
    • undertaking centralised purchasing processes for their schools as appropriate to ensure value for money; and
    • agreeing on assessment and reporting criteria for the success of the investment to be measured.
  • Education authorities and schools, as appropriate, will also need to take into account costs associated with connecting ICT equipment to the internet (eg, ISP costs) including costs of internet filtering.
nsscf and nsw det
  • Letter from DG – 5 March
    • “Students and teachers must have more access to computers and other Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) equipment if our public schools are to continue to lead the way in education.Of course, providing more computers or other ICT equipment has significant ramifications for other areas – such as compatibility within the system, software licensing, size, power supply, siting and storage. I have asked Stephen Wilson, the Chief Information Officer, to investigate a systemic approach that could be used by all schools to deliver the best result for public schools in NSW.For those reasons, please delay your submission until the week commencing 31 March 2008, so that we can develop guidance to ensure that public education and your school gets the maximum benefits from this program.”
nsscf and nsw det11
  • Memo from DG – 28 March
    • Stephen (Wilson) has met with delegates from the Secondary Principals’ Council, Primary Principals’ Association, Federation of Parents and Citizens' Associations of NSW, Office of Schools, Curriculum Directorate, Centre for Learning Innovation, Regional IT managers and computer industry representatives.
    • I got very positive feedback when I met last week with the Secondary Principals’ Council and Primary Principals’ Association delegates.
    • This approach – choosing laptops not other equipment – has the full support of the Secondary Principals’ Association, the Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations and the Primary Principals Association
nsscf and nsw det12
  • Memo from DG – 28 March (Cont)
    • Our overall plan is to move over time to a 1:1 ratio of computers to students in years 9 to 12, and use our combined buying power to buy a specialised high-end educational laptop. But this will only work if we all act together, so I ask schools that have been invited to apply for round one funding to submit an application before the due date based on the attached pro forma. Please apply for laptop computers, and only for laptop computers. The Commonwealth will give the department the funds associated with all approved applications so we can arrange procurement and delivery. We will only endorse applications for laptop computers in round one, and cannot offer technical and other support to anything other than an application for laptops.
why has nsw det directed schools
Why has NSW DET directed schools?
  • In the past schools have applied for funding with no coordination.
  • If this continued we would have 800 different revolutions, with no coordinated approach.
  • NSW Public Schools need ONE coordinated and managed Statewide Digital Education Revolution
why laptops
Why Laptops?
  • Desktops have been discounted because they require major infrastructure upgrades for which there are no funds:
    • Network outlets
    • Power upgrades
    • Furniture / Available space
    • Extra security
  • Laptops can be totally “untethered”
    • Battery operated
    • Wireless Network Connections
    • Dedicated desk space is not required.
    • More flexible usage
      • Anywhere, anytime.
3 rd generation laptop
3rd Generation Laptop
  • What are the features likely to be included in a third generation educational specific laptop? 
    • Work a full school day on battery / Start-up quickly
    • Loaded with educational productivity software (presentation, word processing, spreadsheet, database and multimedia creation software)
    • Have a high quality display (WXGA 16:9, less than 10” wide) and a near full size keyboard
    • Be low weight - less than 1.5 Kg
    • Capable of wireless access from within the school to the internet, student e-backpack  and the DET portal
    • Be able to be connected to a home network or home internet  connection via wireless or an Ethernet lead but be automatically routed back to the Department’s Internet Filtering, portal and e-back pack
    • Have Bluetooth built in to enable the transfer of pictures and files between students’ laptops and their mobile phones
    • Have an inbuilt camera, microphone and speakers
    • Come with commonly used connectors like monitor out and USB
nsscf and nsw det16
  • Memo from DG – 3 April
    • “The NSW and Commonwealth governments are negotiating funding of the costs of implementing Commonwealth policy. When this agreement is in place, we will go to market and seek expressions of interest for the supply of a specialist education laptop.
    • In anticipation of an agreement, suppliers have started releasing new model laptops. While many interesting new machines are now available, none fully satisfy our requirements for a high-quality education laptop.
    • Stephen Wilson and I continue to receive positive feedback on the broad concepts we have been able to outline to date. Recapping briefly, these include:
      • wirelessly enabling all schools with students in years 9 to 12
      • moving, over time, to a 1:1 student to educational laptop ratio for years 9 to 12
      • providing improved technical support on site at every secondary school
      • implementing a professional development program around the use of the laptops in classrooms, and
      • developing customised online materials across curriculum areas.
    • We've also had some concerns raised by schools, especially about managing laptops within schools. Representatives of the Secondary Principals’ Council and the Primary Principals’ Association continue to work through the issues as they flesh out the plans. If you have some comments or feedback please do not hesitate to send Stephen a quick email at so that it can be included into the plan.
nsscf round 1 results
NSSCF Round 1 Results
  • State:
  • Sydney Region:
nsscf round 2
NSSCF Round 2
  • On 12 June, the Minister for Education, the Hon Julia Gillard MP announced that Round Two of the National Secondary School Computer Fund (the Fund) will open on 14 July 2008.
  • Round Two will focus on moving all secondary schools with Year 9 – 12 students, to a target computer to student ratio of 1:2.  This is based on a national strategic understanding of the information and communication technology (ICT) investment needs of schools around Australia.  By the end of 2008, funds will be available for all secondary schools to be able to move to a national benchmark computer to student ratio of 1:2.
  • Stakeholder consultations held in May 2008 across every capital city showed general support for a move to a national computer to student ratio of 1:2, particularly for those schools who were not eligible to apply in Round One i.e those schools who had a computer to student ratio between 1:3 and 1:7.
nsscf round 219
NSSCF Round 2
  • All schools are eligible to apply for Round 2 funding.
  • Each secondary school, if eligible, may apply for up to $1 million over the life of the Fund, including funding to update existing technology every three years. This will be based on the school’s enrolment, need and capacity to use the new ICT equipment effectively. 
  • Will all schools that apply receive funding?
    • This is a competitive process and applicants are advised that funding is not guaranteed.  Applications will be assessed on a number of criteria, as outlined in the NationalSecondary School Computer Fund Guidelines to which your application relates.
nsscf round 220
NSSCF Round 2
  • What help is available to schools to purchase the equipment?
    • State, Territory, Catholic and Independent education authorities will be responsible for expending funding on their school’s behalf.  Schools are encouraged to work closely with their education authority to maximise the value for money and access support services and advice.
nsscf in the news
NSSCF in the news
  • No NSW public school students to see computers until 2009
    • NSWTF, 12 June
  • Cost shock puts school PCs at risk
    • SMH, 22 June
  • School Computer plan ‘at risk’ –
    •, 29 June
  • State may scuttle school computer deal
    • Daily Telegraph, 29 June
  • 'No error' in computer program
    •, 30 June
  • How Costa put squeeze on Rudd
    • SMH, 30 June
  • State resists Rudd's revolution
    • Australian, 30 June
  • NSW Folds in computer Row
    • SMH, 1 july
fibre connections to schools
Fibre Connections to Schools
  • Access to reliable, affordable, high speed broadband connections will strengthen the capacity of students, parents, teachers and the wider community to communicate, collaborate and access resources across system, State/Territory and national boundaries. 
  • In recognition of this potential, the Government has committed $100 million to the Fibre Connections to Schools (FCS) initiative.  The FCS will contribute to the provision of fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) broadband connections to Australian schools to deliver speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. 
fibre connections to schools24
Fibre Connections to Schools
  • Phase 1 (May/June 2008) focussed on:
    • baseline of school connectivity across jurisdictions and schools sectors; and
    • vision of national connectivity for Australian schools
      • concepts including collaboration, affordability, sustainability, scalability to be canvassed on one-on-one meetings and in a discussion paper for stakeholder comment to be developed by DEEWR.
  • Phase 2 (August/September 2008), focussed on:
    • High level strategies for realising the vision that are informed by the particular circumstances of each jurisdiction/sector;
    • Investment principles to guide FCS investments that reflect the agreed vision probably including criteria that would promote collaboration across networks; and
    • Priority areas of activity for FCS investment in 2008-09.