The Government has unveiled a new $19.94 million National Broadband Network-enabled education portal that is aimed at giving students and teachers access to and interactive educational resources.
The key aspect of the portal will be the ability to view and use Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) comprehensive database of digitised contemporary and archival content.
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, sees the portal as a free and public online experience that students, families and teachers can use to access to an extensive library of educational content and services.
"Students will be able to watch, listen, read, remix, tag and recommend resources,” Conroy explained.
“They will be able to have virtual tours of educationally relevant places, events or communities and participate in interactive games in 3D immersive environments."
Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, also expects the free portal to flourish as a learning tool at school and at home, one that allows students to work collaboratively with other students across Australia
"The portal, which will be accessed over the NBN's high-speed broadband connection, will provide a rich interactive experience as students are able to mix, mash and adapt content according to their learning needs,” he said.
The portal has been slated to launch in the second half of next year with content such as games, video, reading material, and quizzes to be accessible.
The initiative is linked to the Australian Curriculum under a funding arrangement with the ABC and Education Services Australia (ESA), and is seen by Conroy and Garret as complementary to the Gillard Government's $2.4 billion investment in the Digital Education Revolution.