Virtual connections to help regional schools

USQ's Dr Christopher Dann preparing for his trip to central-west Queensland.
USQ's Dr Christopher Dann preparing for his trip to central-west Queensland.

THE University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is heading to outback Queensland to talk tech with remote schools.

USQ Senior Lecturer (Curriculum and Pedagogy Technology) Dr Christopher Dann will be travelling around central-west Queensland to share his expertise with teachers, students and principals from schools at Birdsville, Bedourie, Stonehenge, Jundah, Isisford, Muttaburra, Ilfracombe, Jericho and Windorah.

Dr Dann, who is based at USQ Springfield, will be conducting a range of professional development workshops and hands-on activities designed to showcase the benefits of using emerging technologies like virtual and augmented reality to deliver high-quality learning experiences for students.

The purpose of the trip, which starts in Ilfracombe on Monday May 21, is to provide educators with a deeper understanding of the Digital Technologies Curriculum and ways it can be implemented practically in remote classrooms.

"This trip will provide a great opportunity to discuss solutions to barriers faced by young learners and teachers in rural and remote locations,” Dr Dann said.

"Technology is also a great way to reach more teachers and students, especially those who have been denied opportunities to learn because they don't have the same access to the new technology curriculum that people in metropolitan areas do.”

The week-long trip, which is supported by the Outback Advantage Cluster, expands on existing work by USQ's School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood around using technological initiatives to support regional schools.

USQ Head of School (Teacher Education and Early Childhood) Professor Stephen Winn said rural and remote engagement is a key focus for the School, which has been pioneering virtual connections to schools in outback Queensland.

"Virtual synchronous connections to and from these schools demonstrates what can be done to improve teaching and learning outcomes and highlights that distance should not be a barrier to accessing the curriculum and expertise,” Professor Winn said.

"Dr Dann will be playing a key role in using virtual engagement to foster direct connections and sustained relationships between schools and other education institutes including USQ.”

Topics:  remote schools technology usq springfield