Earlier this month, I spent a week in Sydney, Australia, visiting our local office and a number of our customers and partners. The highlight of my trip was a visit to the Arthur Phillip High School in Sydney, a very diverse school with about 1500 students. It is one of the first high schools in New South Wales to receive netbooks pre-loaded with Adobe Creative Suite software – early progress from the deal with the New South Wales Department of Education and Training we announced last year.
Arthur Phillip’s principal, Lynne Goodwin, is incredibly enthusiastic about technology and brought a group of ninth graders in to show us what they’re doing with their netbooks: Flash animation, photography, etc. The students’ creativity and enthusiasm were impressive. The netbooks have even helped students struggling with regular attendance and participation: Lynne said one student has had a “complete transformation” since receiving a netbook and is fully engaged for the first time. The impact of bringing digital tools to youth on a school- and community-wide basis is enormous, and Australia’s Digital Education Revolution is a program that other countries (including my own) should model. I feel really lucky that I was able to see it in action first-hand.