LAPTOPS, tablets and connected classrooms were the main points of discussion at the inaugural Orana to the Digital Economy Conference and Texpo in Dubbo.
Leading professionals in education, health, agriculture, business and IT, showcased relevant research and findings on how the digital revolution, particularly the National Broadband Network (NBN), would transform the way business is conducted in Dubbo.
Beginning at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) yesterday, the texpo had a plan to educate the community with what to expect when the city is finally hit with the NBN in two years' time.
Western NSW school education director for the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) Ann-marie Furney explained how the Brick to Clicks program will pave the way for technological education.
“Initiatives like xsel, the Digital Education Revolution (DER), iTeach and the Connected Classrooms Program (CCP)has helped make Dubbo become the leader in digital education,” Mrs Furney said.
“Dubbo was the first place in NSW to use the CCP in schools and it has worked the best.”
The xsel program, she said, had thousands of students from a number of schools in western NSW compete in English and maths-related competitions in a virtual classroom.
With the added bonus of NBN by the year 2015, the aim to “push education, knowledge and learning” will become apparent, particularly if students are asked to bring their own tablet devices.
The CCP was introduced by the NSW government in 2007, and issued students with a laptop computer, as well as interactive smartboards in classrooms.
“We want to teach kids to be safe cyber-citizens. Mobile technology, as well, will teach kids to capture and explore and learn the cycle,” Mrs Furney said.
“With NBN, we hope to create stronger links with regional universities and TAFE. Western NSW is the food basket of this side of Australia and these kids have the imagination to do well.
“The xsel students, in particular, are the ultimate multi-taskers. We’ll keep in contact with those kids and their pathways post-school.”
Installation of the NBN in Dubbo is set to begin in June.
Seven NBN modules, the first of which will be in Dubbo’s central business district (CBD), will bring Dubbo online by 2015.
NBNCo stakeholder relations worker Joe Dennis said the modules would be installed one by one, starting in the CBD.
The Orana Texpo continues and ends today at the DRTCC.