Melbourne-based Impaq Network Services and Britannica.com have teamed up to enable Australian schools to put their curriculum online.
Impaq develops, implements and supports a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for schools which uses the Internet as a connection to the schools' intranet. This gives staff, students and parents access to the school's intranet and curriculum from their homes in the same way that they do in schools.
"The VPN environment gives students, staff and families access to specific, secured education resources online, that are controlled and provided by the school," said Mark Niemes, co-founder and national marketing and communications manager of Impaq.
"Increasingly parents and students want to have access to their schools' education resources and curriculum from home. It means students can do their homework more easily and share resources with other students using any type of computer."
With Impaq's partnership with Britannica.com, schools can also incorporate Britannica.com's interactive study guides which have been indexed to Australian Curriculum Standards.
"Up until now all that was really available to Australian schools was scanned-in textbooks or new media companies with no education heritage. No one has actually developed materials that a student can work through to develop the basic skills of English, Mathematics and Science in an online school-centric context," said Robert Smyth, CEO of Impaq.
"If a school uses online media to deliver some aspects of their curriculum more efficiently and effectively, there is the potential for a much richer learning experience when the students are in class."
Impaq has also partnered with system integrators, Computelec and Histar Invetech who will implement its VPN in schools, said Niemes. Besides Britannica.com, Impaq is also working with other content providers including Macmillan, Kidznet, Infosentials, Tutornet and N2H2.