The Digital Education Revolution in NSW is providing wirelessly-enabled laptops to all Year 9 to 12 students in NSW public schools by 2012.
Evidence shows that where technology is used effectively in schools, the results are inspiring - improved grades and retention rates, greater participation by students and increased effectiveness by teachers.
By providing a laptop installed with software worth more than $5,500, we're giving our students and secondary teachers access to the very best information and communications technologies necessary for their educational, working and social lives.
Your child is embarking on a revolutionary journey, armed with a shiny new laptop to take home every night.
The Digital Education Revolution is bringing a new level of engagement to classrooms, where today's students will experience education like no other generation has.
Laptops turn the tables
Julie Haeusler, a science teacher for more than 10 years, has been helping integrate student laptops and other new technologies into Year 9 classrooms. As a curriculum expert, she has also looked at research from around the world on how technology changes students' experience of school and says the findings are amazing.
"The one thing that is common across all the research into interactive whiteboards and laptops for individual students is how engaged, motivated and interested in the school work most kids become," Ms Haeusler says. "And they're more likely to stay focused on the task, and more likely to do homework after school."
Laptops, wireless connectivity and a wealth of teaching resources being created by the education department can bring learning alive for all students, even in subjects they've previously found difficult.
Ms Haeusler says there have always been challenging concepts that students find difficult to understand, but thanks to technology these concepts are now within their grasp. For example, students frequently confuse the concept of "dissolving" with "melting", which is an important concept in chemistry.
"The reason for the confusion is that kids have real difficulties in going from what they can see (like blue copper sulfate dissolving in water) to a written equation that represents what they can't see - what's happening down at an atomic level," Ms Haeusler says.
"Now we have really easy access to animations and simulations online that show them what's actually happening in incredible detail. It really helps them make that connection."
Julie Haeusler says teachers and students are now able to go beyond the traditional texts and resources to discover more about any given topic, and how it relates to the bigger subject area.
She says the opportunities to connect with students, teachers and experts around the world and draw on their experiences will enrich children's learning.
"Now you can turn an assignment into a blog and instantly you have a worldwide audience with feedback on what you've written. You broaden your knowledge when you connect with the global community. You start hearing different viewpoints and your learning opportunities expand."
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