Currently being used in almost 70 centres across the country, G8 (ASX:GEM) says it sees SD-WAN as a major breakthrough in being able to provide digital learning initiatives and tools to help parents see progress and interact with their children during their first years of formal education.
The education provider says that using Macquarie’s SD-WAN platform will improve how it uses various educational and parent communication tools to enhance communication between educators and parents.
Under the agreement, the improved network means educators will be able to share media of children participating in activities and completing tasks through various applications, while the service gathers information and provides regular feedback on children’s progress.
“The child care industry is competitive – parents are astute buyers and want to know their children are getting the best quality education and that technology is being used to enhance their experience and involve parents wherever possible.
“This way parents can stay involved and be in regular contact with children and their educators.”
Macquarie (ASX:MAQ) says the announcement comes at a time when the Australian Government is encouraging the use of technology in early learning.
Through its Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) pilot programme, commencing this year, the federal government aims to develop digital applications to engage pre-schoolers and encourage real-world play and STEM learning opportunities.
Macquarie’s SD-WAN uses an orchestrator to show in real time how applications are being used in each site and what might be taking up a centre’s often limited bandwidth. It found that Apple and Windows software updates, social media and other non-essential workloads had been congesting the network in the centres currently live.
Macquarie was then able to deprioritise these applications and instead focus network resources on important applications such as parent communication tools. This process will be repeated across all 500 of G8’s Australian centres within the next year.
“This is just the beginning for us,” said Nelson. “We’re placing an increased focus on integrating technology into our programs to further improve the education we provide to children across Australia. SD-WAN is very much at the centre of that, as it will maximise our network capability and resources to make sure these digital services and communication tools are reliable.”
“Technology has the power to improve education and introduce children to STEM subjects and careers from an early age,” said Luke Clifton, group executive, Macquarie Telecom.
“G8 understands this and is using SD-WAN to make the most of its network resources to ensure it’s in a position to provide exceptional education to children in Australia.
“From an IT perspective, child care centres are effectively small businesses. It’s unrealistic to think you can put the best possible network and broadband speeds into each one, particularly in regional areas. What SD-WAN can do is make the most out of the resources that are available, prioritising programmes that help children learn and enable parents to become more involved.”