MELBOURNE, Australia, August 29, 2008 - The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, (DEECD) Victoria, has selected Cisco as a technology Foundation Partner for its best practice education change initiative at Broadmeadows. The Broadmeadows project aims to encourage new thinking about the design and delivery of education for 21st century learning.
Cisco, along with other global technology leaders Microsoft and Intel, will be working with the Victorian Government over the next three years to build an innovation and learning lab called the Ideas Lab at Broadmeadows, just outside Melbourne. The Ideas Lab is part of the $A2 billion Victorian education system upgrade. In its role as a technology Foundation Partner, Cisco will have the opportunity to be a key player in the overall direction of the project, including providing networking technologies and by sharing its best practice techniques for the use of technology to enhance the overall teaching and learning experience for teachers and students.
Wayne Craig, regional director Northern Metropolitan Region from The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) said; "Educators and education systems face the challenge of catering to an ever-evolving technology landscape. They must adapt to provide the necessary skills and education to students to enable them to successfully compete in the future economy. The Ideas Lab will provide teachers with the tools needed to better engage and prepare students' for life in the 21st century. The Department is pleased to have Cisco's support for this important initiative. Not only is Cisco able to provide word class technologies, it is equipped with the skills, experience and knowledge to teach others how technology can be used to enhance education."
Unified Communications, video and mobility are the technologies Cisco will bring to Ideas Lab. Cisco mobility technologies such as advanced wireless solutions will eliminate physical barriers and provide students, teachers and administrators with access to computing resources anytime, anywhere from any device. Unified Communications and video technologies will help to drive collaboration across the network. DEECD will also work with Cisco to explore the possibility of deploying Cisco TelePresence and WebEx on the network, further driving collaboration and improved communication and help leverage scarce education resources to share knowledge across the school system. It is also designed to facilitate interaction between students and teachers.
Les Williamson, vice president Cisco Australia and New Zealand said; "It is the combination of technology coupled with innovative teaching and learning approaches that makes this project so exciting for Cisco. We believe this is a globally significant education innovation project and we are looking forward to bringing our education experts to the local community of practitioners, researchers and innovators."
The Ideas Lab will be used as a hub for national and international research into technology in learning and teaching. It will offer educators an environment for hands-on experience with leading technology solutions as well as a place for them to meet and share their experience, teaching tools and best practice guidelines.
The Lab will also provide a training ground for teachers to find new ways to integrate technology into their classrooms and to enhance the learning experience for their students. Finally, it will engage students by providing them with access to a wealth of information and connecting them to other educators and students across the State and around the world, with the aim of improving educational outcomes.