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Tag: education

Connecting a high-speed future for South Australian students

Business and Enterprise

Posted on December 13, 2018

2 min read

As part of a landmark partnership between Telstra and the South Australian government, we will connect almost every government school in the state to a high-speed fibre optic network, delivering speeds up to a thousand times faster than before.

The massive undertaking will see 514 government schools across the state of South Australia connected to a high-speed fibre optic network capable of speeds of 1Gbps and beyond, improving some schools’ internet access speeds by up to a thousand times.

The agreement will also enable thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cables to be leveraged throughout the state – running past the front doors of small businesses, hospitals, independent schools and other public sector agencies, making high-speed internet connection a viable reality for almost every town across South Australia.

“Fast, reliable internet connectivity is critical in the modern world, and our students will now benefit from this landmark network expansion that will help deliver a world class education system,” said South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall.

“The expanded fibre optic network will not only provide high speed internet to our public schools, it also puts a fibre optic connection within reach of thousands of small businesses, public agencies and independent schools.”

We’re proud to be working with the South Australian government to deliver the new network for students and teachers across the state, allowing educators more seamless access to curriculum resources and professional development and helping students experience new ways of learning.

We are excited to help level the technological playing field for public school students in regional and remote locations as well as open the doors for new digital education methods. It will now be possible for almost every public school student across the state to have access to educational collaboration tools as well as emerging virtual and augmented reality solutions.

Demand for connectivity is growing exponentially in Australia and around the world, which makes fast and equitable internet access crucial not only for the students of South Australia, but for the future competitiveness of the state.

We expect this network expansion will be completed over the next 18 months, with 98.8% of SA schools connected to fibre by the middle of 2020. We’re also working with the SA Department for Education to provide alternative fast internet solutions to schools that are too remote to connect to the expanded fibre network.

Building cyber-safe communities through libraries

Telstra Foundation

Posted on March 5, 2018

3 min read

A library is a community institution, a place almost all of us would have visited at some time in our lives. Increasingly, these vibrant knowledge centres are playing a key role to bridge the digital divide, by connecting communities to the online world. Over the past six years, this transition has been supported through eSmart Libraries, a unique and ambitious partnership between the Telstra Foundation and the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

The partnership is an acknowledgement of the key role libraries play to bridge the digital divide, by connecting young people and communities to the online world safely, smartly and responsibly. As well as promoting safe behaviour online, it improves digital literacy and teaches skills around social media and digital copyright.

The eSmart framework was designed to equip staff and visitors with the skills they need for smart, safe and responsible use of digital technology. The Telstra Foundation has committed $8 million to the project and aims to improve online safety through the 1500 public libraries in Australia.

Seventy percent of libraries are now participating in the program, which was developed from a holistic and evidence-based approach, to look at how the library and community can develop smart, safe and responsible digital behaviours.

Jenny Musty is a librarian at a rural eSmart Library and says the program has enabled staff to offer help and advice to parents whose children are victims of cyberbullying.

“Recently we had an incident where we knew a child was communicating with someone they shouldn’t have been via computer. They were skipping school and our staff felt confident in dealing with that situation by contacting the school, making sure they were aware of what was happening and following up on that and making sure the child was safe.

“That was a really good outcome and I believe that child had a better outcome because of us picking up that situation and being more aware and confident,” Ms. Musty said.

A recent evaluation shows it to be one of the most highly-rated programs ever undertaken in Australian libraries, with 100 percent of surveyed library managers recommending the program. 93 percent of library staff reported improved knowledge on how to assist community members to stay safe online.

“eSmart has helped to reinforce the library staff role, it is about technology and supporting people and making sure everyone is comfortable.

“I think libraries have played a key role in assisting people to use technology, right through from when email was first thought of – and we’re in an excellent position to provide education and support in all facets, including all the downsides and the pitfalls of technology,” Ms. Musty said.

In the 21st century, it is clear that librarians’ roles are evolving, from not just assisting individual customers but to tackling wider societal problems. The success of eSmart Libraries comes down librarians having the skills and the technology available to them to solve problems.

This year, Safer Internet Day is all about R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Telstra Foundation

Posted on February 6, 2018

1 min read

Happy Safer Internet Day! This is a day where hundreds of organisations, including Telstra, from 130 countries band together to help raise awareness about how we can make the online world a safer place. That’s a lot of people power.

This year’s theme is about showing respect for others online, and we thought we’d get up close and personal – because when it comes down to it, online respect starts with all of us.

Safer Internet Day is a great reminder to reflect on our own online behaviours – when we email, text, post on our social feeds, like, upload and download. We’ve pulled together five questions – with no judgement, but just a little bit of self-reflection. How many can you say yes to?

New TAFE cyber security training courses will grow high-tech skills

Cyber Security Business tips

Posted on January 25, 2018

2 min read

People are a critical part of the cyber security equation, and today marks the launch of new training options for individuals looking to train or upskill in cyber security.

We’re proud to support Australia’s first national skills-based cyber security Certificate and Diploma level qualifications to be delivered by TAFEs across the country.

As Australia’s leading telecommunications and technology company, we understand that the internet and connectivity are fundamental to the lives of all Australians and the ongoing prosperity of our economy – and strong cyber security capabilities to protect this connectivity are critical.

These new training options are a welcome step in upskilling professionals and broadening the base of cyber security-skilled individuals, so organisations large and small can harness the potential the internet provides and help organisations manage the business critical risk of cyber security.

We have been a proud contributor to the development of the cyber security Certificate and Diploma-level qualifications offered by TAFE institutions around Australia. We recognise the need to upskill professionals, and equip a larger number of individuals across organisations both large and small with cyber security knowledge.

We’ll also actively recruit graduates from these qualifications into our Cyber Security team, whose mission is to protect the privacy and security of our customer and corporate data and network. We’re always on the lookout for curious people who love security, and these new training options grow the pipeline of skilled and educated cyber security professionals.

The Certificate IV in Cyber Security 22334VIC and Advanced Diploma of Cyber Security 22445VIC courses are practical, non-degree courses. They are available for enrolment at Box Hill Institute (VIC), Canberra Institute of Technology (ACT), TAFE NSW, TAFE QLD, TAFE WA (SMT & NMT), and TAFE SA from 2018.

TasTAFE and Charles Darwin University (NT) are committed to providing cyber security training, and will work closely with industry in their respective jurisdictions to plan implementation of these programs in 2018, in line with other states and territories.

Find out more about the courses here.

Why industry needs to play a greater role in shaping our education system

Business and Enterprise Advice

Posted on January 17, 2018

3 min read

Demand for digital skills is growing around the world as businesses digitise their operations. But the supply of talent with relevant skills is not keeping up with this demand.

Research Telstra commissioned from the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) this year found that talent and skills shortages are amongst the two toughest challenges businesses around the world face in pursuing digital transformation. While 57 percent of executives surveyed across 45 cities think their city’s schools and universities do an effective job at turning out the talent firms need to drive digitisation, more than 40 percent said otherwise.

Digital security and advanced data analytics are identified as the two most critical skills needed for transformation, with ‘softer’ leadership skills such as networking and customer focus also a top priority.

With digital skills top of mind for business leaders around the globe, why isn’t the volume of talent keeping pace – and what can be done to change this?

One issue is the narrow pathways into technology-related careers. Although high-quality universities and other institutes are generating a growing volume of graduates with technology skills that fit the needs of companies, it’s simply not enough to keep pace with demand.

In today’s fast-changing workplace, there’s a greater need to create vocational pathways for high school students that are focused on technology in addition to traditional trade and technical careers.

Telstra is involved in a number of programs to address key skills gaps, including the Business Technology Services Academy, which is training future network and security talent as part of a three-year training program. More recently, we have also become involved in the Australian Government’s P-TECH program.

P-TECH is an innovative program that creates partnerships between schools and industry to strengthen young peoples’ employment prospects by equipping them with skills like coding and data analytics, and building interest in STEM subjects. It will also help create the defined career pathways that will carry today’s high schoolers into technology careers.

We are proud to be working with McCarthy Catholic College in Western Sydney as part of the P-TECH program. Over the course of 2018, we will contribute to the school’s curriculum and spend time with students at a number of interactive sessions.

Members of our team will take part in sessions at McCarthy Catholic College to help students get a real-world sense of the topics they’re studying, and learning will extend beyond the classroom too. Most recently, McCarthy College’s students completed an interactive tour of Telstra’s office in Sydney where they learned about the business by observing work in progress, met employees, and got to see first-hand some of our technology.

Central to P-TECH’s value is that it offers an alternative and practical route for students. Instead of going the university route, programs like these can help young people to pursue a career in technology straight out of high school.

Of course, universities will continue to play a key role in nurturing talent. But in this time of digital skills deficit, it’s a good chance to think outside the box. Industry can help with this at a grass-roots level by stepping up to facilitate these practical, hands-on experiences. It makes good business sense to invest in the development of future talent.

Read more about what else we’re doing to close the skills gap.