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Education links to go online

A NEW Internet portal linking parents, teachers and students is likely to revolutionise the WA public school system.

Developed by the WA Education Department, the Education To Community – or E2C – portal will create an online community of 285,000 students, 20,000 teachers and countless number of parents and guardians and has been hailed as the solution to providing equity to remote students.

“Access to information has long been a problem for remote and regional students, but all children have a right to the same services, and this E2C portal will bring a new kind of equality to the education system,” Education Department Information and Communication Technology director, Greg Martin said.

According to Mr Martin, the E2C portal, which will be developed over the next five years, will allow for an unprecedented amount of communication between the entire school community.

Students will be able to move at their own pace through online school lessons and homework created by teachers, educators will be able to chat online about best-practice teaching methods and parents will be able to monitor their child’s progress in different subjects.

“We are creating a knowledge base. Teachers can contribute to the site and others can learn from their experiences, resulting in a richness of ideas and resources,” Mr Martin said.

“Children logging on can work in their own online space ... and rather than feeling like they have to get it right the first time in class. If they don’t understand they will be able to go back over it at their own pace, as many times as they like.

“Parents, too, will also be able to use the site to refresh their memory on year eight mathematics so they can help their child with their homework.”

Each user will be given a password to access the relevant section of the portal – teacher, parent or student section.

And in each of the different sections will be a series of links to other relevant Internet sites, including libraries, government departments and parental advice sites.

The first stage of the project is the rollout of the telecommunications infrastructure that will be needed for the portal.

The $120 million infrastructure project sees public schools given Internet capabilities between 20 and 300 times more powerful than present capabilities.

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