Update on Sky Muster Education Ports for Regional Internet Access

This is a reminder for the parents of Australian Home Educated Students that they along with their Distance Education peers can access the nbn Sky Muster Education Port for internet access with up to 3 dedicated 50G download limit separate from the household connection.

It is a big thank you to the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association for pushing for this equity of access.

This is a huge win for remote home educators. In the past, families would be sharing, on average, 20G per month with speeds under 1mpps on their satellite NBN. This would place a great deal of difficulty of trying to allocate the download resources for all the family’s needs.

Sky Muster Education Ports provide internet access for students without access to wired NBN, which is more expensive, and has only a limited download. The Education Port is only available on the NBN Sky Muster satellite service.

Home Education Students (Pre K -12) who have registered with their State Education Department and are in receipt of the Federal Government’s Geographically Isolated AIC Allowance, may now apply to a Retail (Internet) Service Provider for access to the NBN Sky Muster Education Port.

Equally, Students (Pre K -12) who have a medical condition and are in receipt of the Medical AIC Allowance living in an NBN Sky Muster designated area, may now also apply to a Retail (Internet) Service Provider (RSP) for access too.

Stay tuned for more information on access for other regional home educators. And viewers, please do let us know at contact@edconsult.com.au if there are any changes to this scheme.

Here are some details:

1.       Student’s Home Education registration and AIC status will be verified as part of the approval process. Regular audits will be conducted to confirm the status of Students.

2.       It is the Parent’s / Carer’s responsibility to advise RSPs when Students complete their education or change their status e.g. move to Distance Education or into non-home based education.

3.       Students who have been approved for access to the Education port are allocated 50 Gigs per month. That can be used at any time of the day for Education purposes.

4.       Up to 3 students (50 Gigs each) can be connected as standard. 1 Student is approx. $40 – 50 per month, 2 Students are approx. $70 per month, 3 Students are approx. $90 per month. Check the pricing with the individual RSPs as they vary.

5.       If there are more than 3 students at a site, special arrangements will be made to accommodate them. This may alter how the tariff is charged.

6.       If the school room is in a house with an existing Sky Muster service, the Education port will be attached to that service. If the School House is remote from the house, then a standalone Sky Muster service could be provided at that location. It can have a Standard + Education service or just an Education service.

You cannot have 2 Sky Muster services on the same building.

7.       Depending on the number of Students and the configuration of the internet installation, it may be necessary to purchase a Router to connect Student devices to the Sky Muster service.

8.       All costs associated with the Education Port are the responsibility of the parents / carers.

For more details about this scheme, please see the information including web links for 6 Rural Service Providers (RSP) who sell the Education Port.

For some general information from the launch of the NBN Sky Muster Education Port click here

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Difference Between Home Education and Distance Education

In home education groups online, there is often confusion over what the difference between Distance Education and Home Education entails.

Distant Education is still school, but done in the home environment. A school is still responsible for delivering the subjects covered with the students sometimes expected to be online at certain periods of the day or on the phone to the teachers at specific times. The parent acts like a teacher’s aide responsible for the supervision of the educational materials emailed to the students or delivered on an online learning platform.

For this kind of education, you generally need to be home 5 days a week (or at least within internet access) during school hours of the distance education provider, so if you are interstate, you will need to keep the time change in mind.

The benefit of distance education is that the parent is absolved of developing any learning plans and registering those plans and work samples with the state education departments.

The downside to distance education is that you lose the right to choose how you spend your days. Without the freedom to go to home education meet ups, valuable social opportunities are lost. The learning opportunities provided are also still a one size fits all with minimal modifications for the individual learning needs of the student.

Distance Education really can work well for some kids, but not so great for others. It is a real choice, however in order to gain access to the state run distance education as a public student, you would need to have a medical reason or a geographical reason for not attending the local public school near you. The only other way to access distance education is through registered private providers that can be interstate and expensive. But if that is a good option for you then explore it. There will be further blogs in the future on some funding that is provided to eligible distance education students so subscribe to Ed Consult blog to learn more.

Home education on the other hand is all delivered, and developed by the parent or guardian of the student and the requirement is for that home educator to register for home education or in South Australia’s case, to apply for an exemption from schooling after enrolling in their local state school. 

The benefits of home education over enrolling in a distance education provider is that your days are you own to do with as you please. You can also tailor a personal learning plan for your child rather than a one size fits all.

Home education is a particularly good option if you are travelling with kids. You can tailor the learning to be relevant with where you are on your journey to really help make the learning stick.

The number of family trips around Australia that I have heard being ruined by the need to be near a good internet signal to connect with their teacher, is rather high. Home education is definitely the way to go for that year long family journey around Australia. If you would like any support in developing your registration plan for your big family holiday, don’t hesitate to email contact@edconsult.com.au to explore your options together.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.