School of the Air

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
School of the Air's studio in Alice Springs in 2005

In some places, very few children are in a large area. These people usually live far apart. If there are settlements, they are also far apart. In most places of the world, children of a certain age need to go to school. School of the Air is a phrase which describes children being taught using radio, or other technologies. The children do not need to travel, they stay at home. The phrase was first used for a kind of distance learning, which is targeted at chldren going to primary or secondary schools. It was first used in remote areas of Australia, especially the outback. In these areas, people live too far apart, and there are too few school-age children to run a normal school in a village.

History[change | change source]

Around 1929, Alfred Traeger invented a radio that could be run by human power, it was called the pedal radio.[1] With Adelaide Miethke, who was a teacher, they made up a programme for schools, which also used the radio communication services of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. These were important milestones that helped develop the School of the Air.[2]

The first School of the Air lessons were officially sent from the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Alice Springs on 8 June 1951.[3] The service celebrated its 50th jubilee on 9 May 2001, ahead of the real jubilee on 8 June;[4] and its 70th year on 8 June 2021.[5] Each state of Australia that uses this means of training has well-documented checks and overviews of the service.

Method[change | change source]

There are School of the Air programmes in all states except Tasmania.[6]

School classes were conducted via shortwave radio from 2003 until 2009. After 2009, most schools switched to wireless internet technologies: The lessons include live one-way video feeds and clear two-way audio.[7][8]

Each student has direct contact with a teacher in an inland town such as Broken Hill, Alice Springs or Meekatharra. Each student typically spends one hour per day receiving group or individual lessons from the teacher. The rest of the day, the students spend working through the assigned materials with a parent, older sibling or a hired home-stay tutor.

Originally the students got their course materials and returned their written work and projects to their hub centre using either the Royal Flying Doctor Service or post office services. However the extension of Internet services into the outback now allows for more rapid review of each child's homework.

The children using this kind of training are living far away from other people. Very often, the School of the Air is their first chance to get to know other children who are not part of their family. Three or four times a year, the children travel to the school, where they spend a week with their teacher and classmates.

Studies have shown that in most cases, this kind of schooling has the same quality as traditional methods of schooling; in some cases it was even better than the traditional methods[source?].

Awards[change | change source]

In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the School of the Air was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as an iconic "innovation and invention".[9]

Schools of the Air[change | change source]

Schools of the Air operate from:

New South Wales[change | change source]

Northern Territory[change | change source]

Queensland[change | change source]

South Australia[change | change source]

Victoria[change | change source]

Western Australia[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Behr, John. "Traeger, Alfred Hermann (1895–1980)". Biography - Alfred Hermann Traeger - Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 24 August 2019. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  2. "Territory Stories: Adelaide Miethke". hdl:10070/218047. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  3. "World's First School Air Opened". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 9 June 1951. p. 2. Retrieved 19 July 2011 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. Ashton, Jean (1978) School of the air. Adelaide : Rigby, 1978 Previously published as Out of the silence, Adelaide: Investigator Press, 1971. ISBN 0-7270-0985-0
  5. "World's largest classroom turns 70". 2021-06-08. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  6. Archived 9 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine In 2005, there were more than sixteen schools of the air located around Australia, a network covering more than 1.5 million square kilometres. In fact, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory are the only states who do not have a School of the Air. These schools also teach children who are travelling around Australia or who can't, for medical or other reasons, attend a regular school.
  7. "New wings for schools of the air". The Age. Melbourne. 11 February 2003. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  8. Bond, Donald S & Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (1978). In Satellite communications for the school of the air in Australia. Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, Sydney ISBN 0-908522-09-6
  9. Bligh, Anna (10 June 2009). "PREMIER UNVEILS QUEENSLAND'S 150 ICONS". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  10. Gibb, Phyllis (1986). In Classrooms a world apart : the story of the founding of the Broken Hill School of the Air. Spectrum, Melbourne. ISBN 0-86786-101-0 ISBN 0867861029 (pbk.)
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. King, Mark (1 August 2007). "Australia's school of the air". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 6 August 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  13. "Charleville School of Distance Education". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  14. "Welcome to the Charters Towers School of Distance Education". Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  15. Archived 31 October 2000 at the Wayback Machine about Longreach
  16. Archived 12 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine School of the Air – Mount Isa
  17. "MISOTA". Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  18. "School of the Air, Port Augusta, South Australia (SOTA)". Open Access College. Government of South Australia. Dept for Education. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  19. "Distance Education Centre Victoria". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Langford, Stephen (2015). The Leading Edge. Innovation, Technology and People in Australia's Royal Flying Doctor Service. Perth: University of WA Publishing. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9781742588148. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  21. "Kalgoorlie School of the Air". Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  22. "Welcome to Kimberley School of the Air". Kimberley School of the Air. Retrieved 10 November 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]