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All Canberra public students in Years 7-11 to receive laptops early next year

By Glynis Quinlan - 30 October 2017 6

ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry discusses the rollout of the laptop devices with student Annabelle Ingram at Kingsford Smith School this morning. Photo supplied.

Students in Years 7-11 in all Canberra public high schools and colleges are to receive a laptop device in term one next year.

During a visit to Kingsford Smith School in Holt this morning, ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry announced that Datacom Systems AU has won the tender and will provide each student with an Acer Chromebook in early 2018.

The ACT will be the first Australian state or territory to provide laptop devices universally in public schools.

Ms Berry said that in many ways laptop devices are the “textbooks of today”.

“This initiative will ensure every secondary student in Canberra public schools has the same access to a device to enhance their learning through technology,” Ms Berry said.

“Irrespective of family circumstances, every student will have an equal opportunity to access technology-based learning when and where they need it.

“With a single device as the standard across classes and schools it also means Canberra teachers don’t need to be experts in every platform or spend valuable lesson time trouble-shooting multiple devices.”

The 2017-18 ACT Budget set aside $17.2 million to “ensure that every public high school and college student has access to a device”.

Ms Berry said that Chromebook laptops had been selected because they will best align with existing ACT public school IT infrastructure.

“Students are already equipped with access to a specialised Google educational platform where they access a Google classroom and Google apps,” Ms Berry said.

“Chromebooks integrate seamlessly with these apps and will ensure all students are using a safe, secure and easily managed platform,” she said.

“In future years, Chromebooks will be provided to all new students at the start of every school year, meaning Canberra public secondary students will have up-to-date devices as they move through their schooling.”

ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry with students at Kingsford Smith School during the launch of the laptop initiative this morning. Photo supplied.

Ms Berry said the Chromebooks rollout delivers on the ACT Government’s commitment during the 2016 election campaign to “bridge the equity gap by allocating all secondary students with a personal electronic device for learning”.

“Detailed information will soon be provided to parents to help with planning for next year,” Ms Berry said.

What do you think of this initiative? If you have a child in an ACT public secondary school do you think this will really benefit them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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6 Responses to
All Canberra public students in Years 7-11 to receive laptops early next year
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bj_ACT 12:04 pm 03 Nov 17

Queanbeyanite said :

You should have seen the look on my devoted apple-fan-boy teenager’s face when they read ‘Acer Chromebook’. I’ve heard this latest Chromebook is actually not too bad performance wise. It should be means tested; poor ratepayers shouldn’t be subsidising wealthy people’s kids tools. If they have to pay for it they’ll look after it.

I agree. Why should the ACT Government close 6 schools in Kambah to save the Education budget money and then blow the money on Laptops for the majority of Canberra students from families on above average wages.

Kambah residents saw their rates double, their schools close and the replacement school become a performance disaster. A Superschool that is not adequately staffed with the highly skilled people it requires to support the kids it is meant to teach.

Now Kambah, Charnwood, Holt and Richardson residents etc get to subside a laptop for a rich inner city kid who already has a MacBook Pro, PlayStation and Tablet.

Andrew Barr through his policy changes and tax changes keeps making it tougher for the bottom 30% of Residents to help the top 30% and to help him stay in Government.

Frank Arena 4:55 pm 02 Nov 17

dungfungus said :

Queanbeyanite said :

You should have seen the look on my devoted apple-fan-boy teenager’s face when they read ‘Acer Chromebook’. I’ve heard this latest Chromebook is actually not too bad performance wise. It should be means tested; poor ratepayers shouldn’t be subsidising wealthy people’s kids tools. If they have to pay for it they’ll look after it.

I wonder how many will turn up at Cash Converters?

Each laptop will be asseted as ACT Government property and fitted with a DataDot security device, if they do turn up to Cash Converters the Police can track them down.

dungfungus 6:04 pm 31 Oct 17

Queanbeyanite said :

You should have seen the look on my devoted apple-fan-boy teenager’s face when they read ‘Acer Chromebook’. I’ve heard this latest Chromebook is actually not too bad performance wise. It should be means tested; poor ratepayers shouldn’t be subsidising wealthy people’s kids tools. If they have to pay for it they’ll look after it.

I wonder how many will turn up at Cash Converters?

Queanbeyanite 2:59 pm 31 Oct 17

You should have seen the look on my devoted apple-fan-boy teenager’s face when they read ‘Acer Chromebook’. I’ve heard this latest Chromebook is actually not too bad performance wise. It should be means tested; poor ratepayers shouldn’t be subsidising wealthy people’s kids tools. If they have to pay for it they’ll look after it.

Lucy Baker 7:59 pm 30 Oct 17

There was a scandal in the US a few years ago where students were being spied on at home by the schools that provided them with computers. I hope no data-mining or worse occurs with this program…

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