‘E-kindy’ trial on offer for rural families

By Chrissy Arthur

Posted May 22, 2012 09:42:27

Isolated families with young children in Queensland are being sought to be part of an ‘e-kindy’ trial.

The Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE) will pilot an e-kindy program from next term for three or four-year-olds who cannot access a kindergarten.

Part of the program will be delivered by a teacher using web-based technology and parents or home tutors will also assist in “hands-on” activities.

BSDE spokeswoman Stacie Hansel says some of the program will be delivered via the web.

“Children will be invited to attend lessons via ‘Illuminate’, which is a web-based interactive platform,” she said.

“The children will do their lessons through a qualified teacher – either that, or through a telephone via a teleconference.

“Technology is something that they are born around and born with using, so it is certainly a skill that they will use as they get older.”

Ms Hansel says parents have been asking for this sort of scheme for many years.

“It’s an alternative for our rural families who cannot access a centre-based kindergarten – to provide them access to an at-home kindergarten program,” she said.

“The pilot will actually commence next semester and lessons will commence.

“We believe initially they’ll commence one-on-one, building up certainly by the end of the year into small groups of two to three children.”

Ainslee McArthur from St Lawrence, south of Mackay in north Queensland, already home tutors two of her children and says she is enrolled her son in e-kindy.

“Those children are already sitting in a home school room,” she said.

“For them to have some interaction with a teacher like their older siblings, I think that’s a good thing.”

Topics: access-to-education, educational-resources, community-development, public-sector, schools, regional, internet-culture, longreach-4730, mount-isa-4825, mackay-4740, cairns-4870, gladstone-4680, bundaberg-4670, rockhampton-4700, toowoomba-4350, townsville-4810

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