The NSW Department of Education and Training has rolled-out an AU$84 million e-learning system, providing 750,000 public school students and 51,000 teachers with their own e-mail addresses.
The system will also link students and teachers to a comprehensive new Web site and chat rooms.
NSW Premier, Bob Carr, said "computers are now essential tools of research, learning and teaching. This investment will ensure NSW students have the best possible chance to remain at the top of the class."
Christine Thompson, a partner with supplier Unisys, said the company was providing DET with secure Internet services and high capacity connectivity allowing users to access the Internet, e-mail and other services in study and work.
"With the click of a mouse schools as far west as Broken Hill can work and interact with schools in Sydney or anywhere else in the State. Teachers will also be able to share lessons and ideas through email and on-line educational forums," Carr said.
The e-learning system will be rolled out in 200 schools in south-western Sydney in Term 2 this year. The remaining 2,000 government schools will be connected over the next 18 months.
The system will enable students to chat and debate on line, develop Web sites and projects and share information with other schools; keep their e-mail addresses and accounts during their schooling years -- and on to TAFE if they choose; access information from the Internet and enable teachers to share lessons, ideas and experiences via chat forums, e-mail and on-line educational forums.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Dr Andrew Refshauge said the e-learning system was part of an AU$910 million, four-year program to install state-of-the-art IT services in NSW schools and TAFEs.
The department said the systems would include mechanisms to ensure that inappropriate Internet sites were blocked, the use of bad language was stopped and teachers were able to control chat rooms.