The Digital Education Revolution (DER) program was initially proposed by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2009 as an educational reform, funding the wireless infrastructure in public schools and a laptop to every student attending (after accepting user agreement).
The DER program hoped to achieve:
- 1:1 Student – Laptop ratio from years 9-12.
- High speed broadband to compliment the usage of the DER Laptop.
- Provide onsite (TSO) and offsite (Regional team) support for DER.
- Every student graduating a public high school will be able to keep their laptop.
The DER program starting early 2009 finished its first 4 year cycle of laptops 2012.
However, the program was extended providing for one last year group with laptops, under a new agreement that schools decides, upon graduation whether the student will take ownership of the laptop or return it to the school to be used as a learning resource.
DER laptops (2009-2013)
- 2009 Lenovo Ideapad S10e (10.2”, Red Laptop)
- 2010 Lenovo Thinkpad mini10 (10.2”, Blue Laptop)
- 2011 Lenovo Thinkpad Edge11 (11.6”, Green Laptop)
- 2012 Lenovo Thinkpad X130e (11.6”, Silver Laptop)
- 2013 Lenovo Thinkpad X131e (11.6”, SSD, Red Laptop)
DER has since the beginning successfully;
- Installed Wireless Access Points (WAP) in over 21000 classrooms.
- Issued laptops to over 300,000 students from years (9-12).
- Supported professional learning to over 50,000 teachers (including online learning resources).
- Employed over 560 Technology Support Officers (TSO) to provide onsite support.
The DER journey has been a long one and the ideal to integrate technology with learning has certainly revolutionized education as a whole, but like all good things must come to an end. Now in 2014 the closing of the program draws near and with the support of the laptops and network infrastructure left in coordination of the school, it’s very fortunate that if without technical issues, the laptops currently allocated to students will operate and remain on the system till the student graduates.
Through it all, while receiving criticism, DER has also received much praise, delivered what was promised and has brought education to a new era. Some will look back and reminisce over what DER has achieved. However, what DER will inspire and evolve to is what we should focus on. As mentioned, all good things must come to an end and what’s in the past should be left where it is in hopes to see a greater future.