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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4341 ..

edge when it comes to the future. We have been part of the debate on how funds should be invested. We have been a partner with the federal government on funding. We have been listening to education experts on what is needed and we have been prepared to invest to get the best outcomes for ACT students.

A great example of the digital revolution in action in ACT schools is the virtual learning environment known as the CLC, the connected learning community. The system is delivered across high speed fibre, the fastest and most effective way for schools to access online content.

Put simply, without fibre, the functionality of the connected learning community in our schools would be severely limited. There would be limited possibility for video conferencing. Also, podcasting of lessons would not be practical because, when a large number of students wanted to watch or listen, the system would simply be too slow to allow this. The use of embedded media, movies, embedded documents, sound files and flash games would also be very difficult without broadband fibre.

The CLC is the new kid on the block when it comes to broadband learning and replaces the previous my classes platform with a faster, fibre-delivered speed and superior technology. It has a total budget of $2.9 million and is part of the ACT government’s smart schools, smart students initiative. The CLC provides opportunities for learning which were previously unavailable to ACT teachers and students. It provides exciting opportunities to broaden curriculum opportunities for students across the education system.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Excuse me, Mr Barr, for a second. Gentlemen, could I ask you to do two things, please. Keep your volume down a little and press your mute button, please, because the guys upstairs are being entertained. Thank you.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. It also provides the necessary components to explore more future-focused models of education across ACT schools through the concept of a virtual school. Since the CLC rollout started in ACT schools in May this year, students and teachers have recognised its value. They have responded with a great deal of enthusiasm to its learning possibilities.

In fact, our technical experts tell us that in August this year student hits on our CLC learning environment outnumbered hits on Google. In the face of scepticism of those opposite, CLC has become the most frequently visited website for ACT public schools. CLC continues to be rolled out in our schools, with 51 schools currently having access to the technology. The remaining schools will have access to this virtual learning environment during term 4.

The rollout is being carefully staged, of course, with elements being rolled into next year. This will include the introduction of a portal for parents, scheduled for late 2011. The parent portal will give parents the ability to conveniently get a better idea of what is going on at their child’s school. The parent portal will give information, including attendance data, school timetables, homework tasks, test results and even a portfolio of their child’s work. I think it is fair to say that the old excuse that perhaps many of

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