With all the negative press recently about government programs for improving schools and education it’s tempting to be a little cynical when yet another official is wheeled out to snip a piece of ribbon.
But the opening in January of the new Senior School Centre at Sydney’s Pymble Ladies’ College by NSW Governor Marie Bashir is attracting plenty of positive attention in education circles for all the right reasons.
Providing the nerve centre of PLC’s Senior School Centre is a communications solution from Cisco combining presence, unified communications and several other best-of-breed business tools designed to support one of the most sophisticated learning environments ever deployed at a high school anywhere in the world.
Already PLC is ranked as one of the world’s top five schools by the respected UK-based schools form guide The Good Schools Guide International, which mentions no other Australian school in its global report of 2008.
PLC is also the biggest in Australia with 2000 students all the way from kindergarten up to year 12. More than half of these students have a laptop, with a similar proportion having a least a standard mobile if not a more powerful smart phone.
According to PLC’s head of IT, Rathika Suresh, the technology requirements of a school are similar in many ways to those of any commercial organisation, whereby the ability to instantly communicate and share information without physical boundaries translates into superior results. “Our core business is education,” she says. “But what we do with the technology has to make economic sense.”