Shire Christian School has become the first school in the Sutherland Shire to connect to Australia’s National Research and Education Network (AARNet).

The advanced research network interconnects Australian institutions involved in research and education, such as ANSTO and the CSIRO, with the global research community. It facilitates low latency internet use with speeds over 10 times that of commercial internet service providers.

Chad Walsham, IT Manager at Shire Christian School, said that it was “a very significant infrastructure upgrade.”

“We have very good servers, the latest wireless technology, interactive flat panels in the classroom, and a laptop program which means that there is uniformity across the school whereby students have access to the latest generation of Mac devices. The AARNet is the last piece of the IT infrastructure puzzle.”

The new connection will allow teachers to enhance lessons online, removing bandwidth and internet speed barriers, and enable more dynamic content such as media streaming, flipped classroom and cloud based lessons.

Mr David Humphreys, Head of Music, was excited about the new possibilities for instrument tuition.

“It will allow me to duplicate myself as a teacher and tailor content to individual students through high quality, personalised media."

Virtual excursions, video conferencing and other research based activities are now possible, providing the opportunity for the school to participate in programs for innovation collaboration, science research and international courses.

It will also allow the school to further expand its gifted and talented learning curriculum into the areas of robotics, coding and other STEM programs.