The contract, part of the Australian Federal Government's Digital Education Revolution initiative, will provide more than 200,000 students and around 25,000 teachers with enhanced teaching and learning opportunities. The solution will connect wireless enabled notebooks via a centrally managed network. The NSW Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said the network, which will be rolled out over the next 12 months, will support access to learning resources, school resources and the internet. "The way kids learn is going to be transformed. We are not tying students to their desks. Learning activities using online resources including the internet can take place in classrooms or the library," she said. In addition to the design and build of an Aruba-based wireless solution, IBM will provide the Department with project management, network configuration and roll-out expertise, enabling most secondary schools to take advantage of the new technology before the end of the year. To achieve this, implementation teams will be set up across regional and metropolitan New South Wales creating approximately 100 contractor roles during the course of the network deployment.
Approximately two-thirds of these implementation teams will operate outside of Sydney, and will comprise locally sourced skills wherever possible. IBM will also work with equipment vendors to provide the Department with a single point of contact minimising risk and enabling timeframes to be met. Steve Bond, general manager for public sector IBM A/NZ, said its expertise in robust wireless network implementations and large-scale project delivery would ensure students and teachers benefit from a network technology with minimal disruption to everyday learning. "As an organisation committed to smarter education, IBM is delighted to support the Department in rolling out this vital infrastructure program, which will not only lead to improved learning outcomes in our schools, but a more innovative and collaborative workforce for the future," he said. Last month, IBM launched its 'Smarter Planet' vision to create a sustainable economic, social and environmental future for Australia.
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