South Australian DOE Hooks Up with Saba

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3/29/2007—The South Australian Department of Education & Children's Services (DECS) has deployed Saba Centra Live to enhance distance learning in the region.

Saba Centra Live is a system designed to reduce travel time for educators, enhance collaboration and interaction between students, and generally improve the learning experience for students who can't be physically present in schools or at special events.

"Imagine a student working in isolation, who never gets the chance to share his or her work with classmates or see a teacher face-to-face," said Roger Edmonds, manager of e-schooling Services for DECS. "From the moment we deployed Saba Centra Live, we saw immediate improvements in the way students collaborated with each other. We also have standardized tests at different grade levels, and the e-school students are doing remarkably well."

South Australia covers nearly a million square kilometers, with inhabitants spread out sparsely over the area.

"Saba Centra Live has enabled students and teachers to easily see, hear, and collaborate or interact with one another--in many cases for the first time," said Edmonds. "The intuitive design of the product has made it very, very easy for everyone--students and teachers--to pick up. Even preschoolers can hold the control key down by themselves to talk."

Previous to the Saba deployment, the only way for DECS to communicate with remote students was via high-frequency radio. The system now provides students with audio and video conferencing, polling, chat, and whiteboard capabilities.

In a related story, Saba Centra Live will also be used to monitor the activities of marine biologist Lloyd Godson as he spends 14 days submerged in a self-sustaining underwater habitat as part of Australia's BioSUB project. The biologist will grow his own food, produce his own oxygen and power, manage waste, and generate power via a stationary bike. Coverage of the experiment begins April 2. (See link below.)

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Have any additional questions? Want to share your story? Want to pass along a news tip? Contact Dave Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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