Online learning in an academically selective secondary school

Barb Bannister

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


xsel Western New South Wales Region Virtual Selective High School Provision caters for gifted secondary school students in rural and remote Western New South Wales (NSW). Teachers and students attend their local public high school but meet over the internet for classes in English, Mathematics and Science using advanced technologies and pedagogies for online learning.
xsel uses a blended learning approach. Students and teachers meet in a virtual classroom using web conferencing software and a learning management system which provides access to materials asynchronously. Communication is via email, chat and forums with the students and teachers meeting face to face once every school term in a residential school. By supporting academically able students in their local community and meeting their educational needs in a 21st century manner, xsel nurtures talent and grows the potential of the student and the community in a very innovative manner. The vision of xsel is to bring the selective high school curriculum to the student in their local public secondary school.
This session will provide information of the infrastructure behind this innovative approach to overcoming “the tyranny of distance” using 21st Century capabilities. Student progress in this unique teaching and learning environment will be shared and the research underpinning the provision will also be discussed.
This session will benefit those looking to develop a shared vision of innovation to cater for the needs of rural and regional gifted students and the staff that wish to teach them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationG.A.T.E Conference, Sydney
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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