With the reality of social distancing setting in, schools across the country are doing a tremendous amount of work to provide online education resources for students and parents. But what happens to those who can’t afford, or don’t have access to digital technology?

As we know from the 2019 Australian Digital Inclusion Index, for many in our community, these technological and digital advancements can remain out of reach whether it is due to a lack of access, affordability or digital ability.

We’re proud to be doing our part in helping to bridge the gap by providing 20,000 students and teachers across the country with internet access to educational content to support their online learning through the Department of Education and Catholic Education. The Department of Education and Training in Victoria is one of the first to take up Telstra’s offer and will be ready to go at the start of Term 2.

Just as technology is enabling businesses to keep running during this period, it also has the potential to empower our kids to continue learning, even if they’re not even physically in a classroom.

We’ve been working with national, state and territory education leaders to roll out equipment, connectivity and digital platforms, such as Cisco WebEx or Microsoft Teams, to enable virtual classrooms. Combined, they can allow students to access their teachers’ online learning resources, from worksheets to webinars from home.

In South Australia we’re working closely with the Education Department as they roll-out Cisco WebEx for remote learning. The service allows teachers to create their own individual online learning space to deliver live video lessons and learning content for their class and is an expansion of the State Government’s partnership with Telstra to deliver high-speed internet to every government school across South Australia.

Telstra is also working closely with several universities to increase their network capacity and global wide area network access so students in Australia and overseas can continue with their studies.