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Innovations: School of the Air

School of the Air allows children in remote areas of Australia to be involved in 'classes' with teachers and other students. By the late 1940s most outback homesteads had a two-way radio used for communication with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Adelaide Miethke, the President of the South Australian branch of the RFDS and a former school inspector, developed a plan to use the radios in a home schooling scheme. Many children in remote areas were educated by correspondence, with schoolwork sent to them through the postal system and no chance to discuss with their teachers any problems they might encounter while completing their classes. Miethke proposed that the RFDS network could be used to teach classes to groups of children. The students would then be given the opportunity to interact with their teachers and each other. After a trial period, the first School of the Air (based at Alice Springs) was officially launched in June 1951. Today, Schools of the Air use improved telephone services and the Internet rather than two-way radios to communicate with remote students.

World's first School of Air opened
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