AARNet3 connects country students to the big smoke

100 high schools debate over national education network

Up to 100 regional high schools will participate in a two-way video conference with the NSW Department of Education and Training today which will connect student education forums hosted by Canberra's National Museum of Australia.

The event will be routed over the Academic and Research Network (AARNet3) which connects about a million users in regional and metropolitan teaching and research institutions across Australia using 30,000 pair kilometres of fibre running at speeds of 10Gbps.

The museum's Talkback Classroom forum will allow teams of three students to discuss the Australian/Korean Energy Forum with Federal Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer.

AARNet CEO, Chris Hancock, said the forum will give regional students access to information that may be normally inaccessible to them.

"AARNet3 is a high-speed, high-capacity network specifically designed to give Australian schools and universities access to services, information and opportunities they have never had before, removing geographical constraints," Hancock said.

"The National Museum's Talkback Classroom project is a perfect example of how AARNet3 gives students in remote areas access to the same tools as those in city areas."

NSW Department of Education and Training technology infrastructure co-ordinator, David Foley, said the network offers a higher quality education opportunity for remote students.

"Our remote students have had regular access to video conferences and Web casts from [external] agencies, but we can offer students access to a broader range of high-quality educational opportunities using AARNet3," Foley said.

The National Museum's Talkback Classroom is being held in the museum's studio today, August 8, 2007.

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