School of the Air is an innovative ‘on-line’ way of teaching youngsters in remote areas of Australia where the school age population cannot support a traditional school. In its infancy, School of the Air was conducted by short wave radio and is now mostly conducted through the internet from a studio in Alice Springs.
Dubbed ‘the largest classroom in the world’ Alice Springs School of the Air began in 1951 as a way of reaching children in far away rural areas. School of the Air was a revolutionary experiment that went on to be introduced in all Australian states except Tasmania. Teachers conduct live class sessions and students are then able to study with tutors at home.
The wonderful visitor centre demonstrates how this innovative teaching method works. A short film takes visitors through the history of the school and its teaching methods up to the present day. During normal school hours there is also an opportunity to witness an actual live lesson broadcast. On days where there is not a class in session a variety of recorded lessons are available for viewing. Funds raised at the visitor centre support school activities and excursions as well as for the purchase of IT equipment.
The visitor centre is located north of Alice Springs. From the town centre travel north along the Stuart Highway and turn left onto Head Street. Proceed one kilometre where the visitor center can be found on the right hand side just next door to the Braitling Primary School. Walking paths and bike trails are also available along the Stuart Highway.