• 05 DEC 08
    • 0

    #998: NSW to roll out WiFI networks to all schools

    When NSW Education Minister Verity Firth was asked (below)about taking a cost-saving option and provide wired internet access points for the roll out of thousands of lap-tops for students she said “the flexibility provided by laptops should not be compromised”.

    I would ask: But what about the risk of compromising the health of the students?”.

    Perhaps this is an ‘opportunity’, with so many involuntary exposed subjects, to also start a study to follow the health status these thousands of school children who will be exposed to WiFi while at school. The point to the study would be to see if there are any health impacts of WiFi exposure on a population of children. The problem, however, is that if a proposal to study these children was written up, what ethics board would approve involuntary exposing of thousands of kids to low level microwaves?


    From Australian IT

    Fran Foo | September 30, 2008

    NSW will stick with its plan to spend federal funding on laptop computers and wireless networks, despite a possible cost blowout.
    In the first round funding of the National Secondary School Computer Fund, NSW was allocated $56 million for 56,542 computers in government schools.

    This meant the schools would be able to spend $990.41 on each machine.

    The state is negotiating with the Commonwealth on additional costs such as technical support and software licensing, which are expected to cost $245 million over four years.

    Last week NSW declined to move forward with the second-round applications until the extra funding issue was resolved.

    The Commonwealth rejected NSW’s application for a deadline extension and the state was unable to recommend that schools apply for computers without the funding issues being resolved, NSW Education Minister Verity Firth said.

    Asked if it would be cheaper for NSW government schools to purchase desktops and rely on wired networks for internet access, Ms Firth said the flexibility provided by laptops should not be compromised.

    “The NSW Government’s preferred model recognises that senior students move between classrooms each day and laptops can move with them,” she said.

    “A laptop gives students a sense of ownership and limits the need to modify classrooms.

    “Laptops also redress any inequity for students who don’t have computer access at home.”

    Mobility was a key plank in NSW’s education vision, she said.

    “Information technology is increasingly moving towards the use of smaller portable computers, whether they are laptops, tablets or personal digital assistants.”

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