Access to learning is paramount in our schools

A statement from the department on access to technology for students learning from home.

31 March 2020
A HSC student uses a laptop in her family kitchen
Image: The department is working hard to ensure no student is disadvantaged during these extraordinary times.

Learning from home takes many forms, including online and offline resources and printed materials such as worksheets and classwork.

Thousands of NSW students in need will be loaned digital devices so they can continue their studies at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NSW Department of Education is focused on getting resources to students in need as soon as possible with priority for Year 12 students.

The department is currently exploring a number of ways students can continue to access learning from home where they do not have a laptop, tablet, mobile device or internet connection.

Schools have actively worked to provide additional devices where they are able to and loaned school devices where possible. In addition, the department is sourcing additional devices to supplement school supplies.

Principals are providing the department with advice on the number of additional devices and hardware needs. Access to learning is paramount for students in NSW public schools and as part of its School Continuity Survey, the department has asked each of the state’s 2,200 public school principals to help identify any gaps in technology.

Priority will be given to HSC students, those with a disability or in need of specialised equipment, students in rural and remote communities, young people in out of home care and those from a low socioeconomic background.

Some schools have already provided spare devices to students to assist with online learning during the coronavirus outbreak and will continue to do so based on local needs.

The department will continue to support our schools across a number of platforms. Where there is no internet connectivity or mobile or telephone services in the area, workbooks and textbooks will be provided to students in hardcopy or on a USB.

This will be a school by school solution and the department is working hard to ensure no student is disadvantaged during these extraordinary times.

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