To mark the establishment of a $9.2 million deaf institute in Melbourne today, 85 students attending the Victorian College of the Deaf were given iPads as a "special surprise".
(Credit: Victorian College of the Deaf)
The institute will provide teachers with training and the opportunity to develop qualifications in special needs education.
"From using Auslan (Australian Sign Language) applications on their iPad to reading interactive books, the iPads open up new opportunities for learning and discovery," Victorian Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Maxine Morland said in a statement.
"This Institute will provide a technology hub, allowing workshops and seminars to be beamed to teachers in remote and regional areas across Victoria, ensuring deaf and hearing impaired students get the best educational opportunities no matter where they live."
According to Morland, the institute was a state budget commitment and is aimed at providing a "centre of excellence for teachers".
"There is growing evidence that students with special needs can benefit significantly from using digital technology to further their learning and we want to tap into that and give these students every opportunity to experience all the benefits of a hi-tech education," she said, adding that around 3000 Victorian school aged children have a diagnosed hearing loss.