Posted on 28. May, 2010 in Victoria

Students at eight Victorian Government schools including those battling illness at the Royal Children’s Hospital won’t have to wait long to get their hands on Apple’s latest gadget – the iPad – thanks to a groundbreaking trial.

Visiting the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in Southbank today, Premier John Brumby announced an Australian-first trial of iPads in Victorian schools.

Mr Brumby said the Victorian Government would distribute more than 500 iPads, each worth $629, to eight schools so students can continue to learn with the latest technology.

“Education is the top priority of this Government and our Australian-first trial of iPads in schools will ensure our students remain one step ahead when it comes to emerging technology,” Mr Brumby said.

“Students and teachers want access to the latest technology, and the iPad will provide them with the best in innovative learning technology.

“This trial will allow us to understand the impact of iPads on student learning and communication, and on the way teachers plan and deliver curriculum in the classroom.”

Mr Brumby said students were already using mobile devices at school and home to access the internet and interact with their peers, and the iPad would capture their interest and deliver learning benefits.

“The iPad will take its place in classrooms alongside netbooks, interactive whiteboards and the revolutionary online learning portal – Ultranet,” he said.

The schools participating in the trial include the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and Manor Lakes P-12 Specialist College in Wyndham Vale.

Students battling illness at the Royal Children’s Hospital will also be included in the iPad trial through the hospital’s Education Institute. The Department is finalising the remaining schools that will participate in the trial.

Mr Brumby said the iPad trial was one of many innovative technology programs being rolled out at Victorian Government schools.

“This year alone, our Government is investing more than $150 million in information communication technology in schools, so students stay up-to-date with the digital age,” he said.

“The first phase of the Ultranet is connecting 580,000 Victorian students and teachers to cutting edge digital resources and reflects the modern classroom by breaking down the traditional walls.

“This Government agrees with parents that nothing is more important than their children’s education, that’s why we’re delivering the latest in learning technology – to give Victorian students a real head-start in life.”

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