Letters to the Editor

By Heather Kelsall

Kilvington Girls' Grammar shares their directions on the use of the Internet.

I am responding to your request in Connections for what is happening with the Internet in schools. Kilvington is a girls' school from pre-prep to year 12. I am the teacher-librarian in the secondary school library, and the Internet is networked in this library. Schoolsnet is our service provider and an IT support person is employed to help teachers use it. He has held training sessions for teachers in order to develop their skills and confidence in using the Internet, both e-mail and surfing the 'Net.

We have purchased the Internet Yellow Pages in order to give us access to many Internet sites. As well, Lindsay (our IT support) surfs the 'Net to locate other sites. When I know of educationally appropriate sites relevant to a current assignment, I integrate these into my 'locating relevant resources' talk. This is really at the beginning from my point of view. Some teachers make bookings with Lindsay to give their classes instruction in using the Internet for a specific purpose.

What is most positive is that our Principal is a keen user and supporter of the Internet.

Kilvington is a school where laptop computers are used by students from Year 5 up. The Internet network utilises this to operate. There are ten access points for students and staff to plug their laptops into the Internet network (relevant software must first be loaded onto their laptop). There are also three computers linked to the same network.

If you'd like further information please contact me on: [email protected].

Grace Kinch
Kilvington Girls' Grammar, Ormond

Dear Grace,

Thank you for your information and for most of us we're also at the beginning! 1996 budgets will reflect the huge impact that the Internet has had on information servicing. However, in the interim many schools are trying to link up and learn search strategies with limited funds. Here at The Southport School our emphasis has been on 'educating' the staff, and we have a laptop with a PCMCIA modem card and Internet software which we lend (or rather push into hands!) overnight. The two connections available for student access are not adequate, we have students queued at peak times which causes much frustration. Our dilemma is which direction to take next year: the costly ISDN link or the cheaper (but slower) router linked to a telephone connection. With five new service providers on the Gold Coast in the last six months the next decision involves who will provide the best access for us! Keep smiling as you surf ...


Heather Kelsall