Zig Zag Public School was included in Release 2 of the Rural Access Gap program. The school has had great success through their involvement with the program, and its staff and students have benefitted from the digital uplift, tools, devices and tailored support.
Zig Zag Public School received 8 student devices and 1 teacher-dedicated device, allowing students and teachers to work and engage collaboratively, and teachers to streamline their lesson planning. The program has achieved its targeted 1:4 device to student ratio across all Rural Access Gap program schools.
Digital Classroom Officer (DCO) role
The school received funding for a Digital Classroom Officer (DCO) role for four terms. The role was filled by Tiffany Sirisisavath, who is also the school’s Assistant Principal Curriculum Instruction leader. Tiffany says, “I think mentoring staff to feel confident in their skills really takes time, so a lot of the duration of our allocation of the DCO role has been building skills.”
The DCO role gives schools an opportunity to create sustainable change with the way they embed technology into their teaching and learning. DCOs are supported by the program’s Digital Support Team, who provide professional learning relevant to each school’s context and create a network of DCOs across similar schools who support and guide each other throughout the program. To 30 June 2022, 458 program-funded DCOs were identified.
Principal Vicki Gillmore is proud of her teachers’ digital skill and capability uplift, “Our teachers’ technology ability has grown one-hundredfold.” She says that the DCO role has allowed schools to dedicate valuable time to this uplift, “The Rural Access Gap program has given us that time, for there to be a designated staff member that is there to try and upskill everybody.”
As part of the program’s rollout, the school received 2 learning space upgrades with Main Learning Displays (MLD’s). Principal Vicki Gillmore said that the MLDs have “made our whole school approach flourish, it’s been great.” She says that the MLDs have “had an absolutely huge impact on teaching and learning and all of our classrooms.”
Vicki says that teachers use the MLDs every day in almost every lesson, “They love it. They are fantastic and they’d be lost without them... every day you walk past the classrooms and front and centre are the Main Learning Displays.”
Zig Zag Public School was also allocated $5,000 from the Schools Digital Infrastructure Fund, a part of the $13,493,067 grant provided to Rural Access Gap program schools to invest in creating effective digital learning spaces and meet the Department of Education’s occupation and health safety standards.
Universal Resources Hub
The teachers at Zig Zag Public School use the Universal Resources Hub (URH) to support their teaching with curriculum-aligned resources that are quality-assured and easy to access.
Tiffany said, “The Universal Resources Hub is an amazing platform of evidence-based and research-based teaching practices. It is a one stop shop for teachers to find really fantastic teaching lessons, units of work and teaching support.”
Zig Zag Public School has benefitted from improved connectivity through Wi-Fi and Telstra upgrades provided by the Rural Access Gap program. A key deliverable of the program was to ensure each school has access to 5 Mbps per student of connectivity, meeting the Department’s strategic target.
Prior to the upgrades, the school had 50Mbps internet service which has increased to 600Mbps internet service, and there has been a 785.7% bandwidth increase following their Telstra upgrade.
The school’s DCO Tiffany commented on the way that improved connectivity supports the use of their new tools and devices, “Having state-of-the-art MLDs and really reliable connectivity that’s fast...has just made access reliable and enabled teachers to start embedding technology.”