Tasmania recently deployed eduroam (education roaming) in its public schools, paving the way for increasing the number of sites in the state where students can access their educational files and study. This is a first for public schools in Australia and follows eduroam deployments in several Independent and Catholic schools in Queensland and Victoria.
What is eduroam?
Eduroam is the secure, worldwide mobile roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. In Australia eduroam is operated by AARNet.
eduroam in Australian schools project
The eduroam in Australian Schools project, a collaboration between AARNet and Australian universities, is a great example of an accelerating global trend that is seeing eduroam extended beyond university campuses to support mobility for the sector.
Chris Hancock, AARNet’s CEO says the primary objective is to trial Australian schools becoming eduroam participants in a number of states in order to determine if, and how best to, expand eduroam more widely into this branch of the education sector.
“Universities around the world have adopted eduroam and we could see that it potentially solves some of the problems with roaming wireless access our school and TAFE customers face,” Hancock said.
Partnering universities with schools
The Eduroam in Australian Schools project is currently trialing the deployment of eduroam in the school sector through a Buddy University program. Participating schools are partnered with a nearby university where eduroam is already deployed, and the buddy university assists the schools with technical and user support.
In addition to Tasmania, eduroam has been deployed in schools in Victoria and Queensland. In Victoria, Deakin University is the eduroam buddy university for North Geelong Secondary College and Sacred Heart College Geelong, and the University of Queensland for Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Brisbane Grammar School and Moreton Bay College.
“School students and teachers are more involved in university activities and programs these days, both for educational and research purposes, and trainee teachers are also often on school campuses.
It’s making a lot of sense to provide the same mobile roaming service across the education community so that people can more easily access their files and others resources,” says Andre Dreyer, Queensland University Directors of Information Technology Service and Project Manager and the co-ordinator of this project.
Brisbane Girls Grammar School was the first to deploy eduroam as part of the trial, closely followed by Moreton Bay College and Brisbane Grammar School.
James Culverhouse, UQSchoolsNet Business Development Manager, says Brisbane Girls Grammar School staff and university students visiting the school for prac teaching have access to eduroam.
“We’ve seen eduroam sessions grow from 60 to an average 150 sessions a day since deployment in February 2016,” said Culverhouse.
Brisbane Grammar School has also extended BYOD eduroam access to senior students in Years 10 to 12 with an average of 400 eduroam sessions a day being clocked.
Extending eduroam across the education sector
For the successful rollout of eduroam across Tasmania’s public schools and TAFE campuses, announced last week, University of Tasmania IT staff worked in partnership with AARNet, the Tasmanian Department of Education and TasTAFE.
University of Tasmania Chief Information Officer Jeff Murray said eduroam was already in use at the University of Tasmania’s three campuses, and its introduction to public schools would in time provide pathways towards higher education.
“University staff who now visit public schools will be able to access their files through the eduroam network and this forges an even stronger partnership between the University of Tasmania and the Department of Education,” he said.
“Stage two of the project will open even more doors to our university for young people as it will allow students from Department of Education schools and TasTAFE visiting any of our campuses to simply connect their wireless devices to the eduroam network and enter their own username and passwords to access files or websites allowing them to study on site,” said Murray.
For more information about how to participate in the eduroam in Australian Schools project please contact us.