Students at Camberwell Girls Grammar School are now able to learn from experts all over the world thanks to a new unified communications deployment by Dimension Data.
Located in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, the school has 800 students and 100 staff members spread across two campuses.
Camberwell Girls Grammar School Principal, Debbie Dunwoody, said the school invested $1.1 million in technology and professional services in order to transform its IT environment and prepare students for a workforce currently undergoing major change.
“The rationale was all about educating tomorrow’s woman,” Dunwoody said.
“We know we’re going through a time of rapid change in the world where if we want our students to thrive, we need to teach them the 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration and innovation.”
She said Cisco’s collaboration equipment had been a particular favourite among the students since the implementation in January 2014, as it gave them access to subject matter experts from across the globe.
“We’ve had students speak face-to-face with archaeologists from digs in Turkey, witness science experiments too dangerous to hold in the school and hear from divers researching the Great Barrier Reef.
“It’s been an incredibly exciting time – we’ve been all throughout Australia and all around the world in such a short space of time. There’s no limit to where we can take them,” she said.
Dimension Data Australia general manager communications business, Michael Slip, said after taking the time to understand what both teachers and students desired from the technology, a solution was developed based on a number Cisco offerings.
“We’ve deployed the full range of Cisco tech, from the infrastructure layers of networking, Wi-Fi, switching and routing, to the full collaboration offering which includes video conferencing, WebEx and Show and Share applications,” he said.
“Camberwell Girls Grammar School is a shining light. They’re an example of an organisation that has really adopted the technology and are extracting the most value. They’ve redefined their entire approach to teaching and, in the process, they’re preparing students for the environments they’ll be employed in later in life.”
Cisco Australia & New Zealand vice president, Ken Boal, said, “Science, technology, engineering and math skills are critical to Australia’s future. Camberwell Girls Grammar School is fantastic example of a leading institution, inspiring young women to learn, through using the latest technology, preparing them for the opportunities of the future.
“The Cisco technology deployed throughout the school places the students at the forefront of the technology experience in the business environment today.”
Head of Digital at Camberwell Girls Grammar School, Kim Perkins, said the technology not only benefits the students, but also simplifies the day-to-day management of the school for teachers and staff.
“Far and away though, the best benefit has been the possibilities this collaboration technology has opened up for the students. The students can use the collaboration tools on their own devices in the classroom and the enthusiasm it generates among them makes this the most exciting period of my teaching career.”
Year 9 Student, Leah Atalalis, added, “This style of learning is really exciting… it’s engaging because we’re not just learning by reading from a textbook, or through Google or from listening to our teacher. We’re connecting with, and learning directly from the source," she said.
"These kinds of lessons really seem to set off a spark that makes me want to contribute to the lesson to learn more, and the information seems to sink in better.”