Beacon Foundation is striving to be at the forefront of innovation in delivering its online platform eBeacon – and now this unique work has been recognised on the national IT scene.
eBeacon is the first of its kind in Australia, facilitating online communication between secondary school teachers, industry volunteers and students. It enables Beacon to reach more young people than ever before, and ultimately improve student, employment and community outcomes.
Beacon and Tasmanian web designers Ionata Digital have been awarded a Merit Achievement (second place) in the category of ‘Community Service’ at the 2017 Australian Information Industry Association’s iAwards ceremony in Melbourne.
After winning a state iAward in June, the team went on to the national finals on August 30th, 2017, and gained great recognition from a field of eight finalists in their category.
For Beacon CEO, Scott Harris, the award is an acknowledgement of years of work planning and developing eBeacon and finally delivering to schools in 2017.
“For us eBeacon represents the opportunity to connect young people to the world of work in regions of Australia never before touched by Beacon’s work. For the young people in these communities, this means opening their eyes to possible careers, and importantly, helping make their education engaging.”
The app is already being seen by members in remote and regional schools as a means by which their students can be connected to wider Australia; to be linked to employers who give them information and advice; to be shown the kinds of jobs that are available in the 21st Century workplace; and for students to be shown examples of how their education is relevant to the world of work.
National eBeacon Manager, Jodie Fraser said that the State and National iAward recognition was exciting and extremely encouraging for the future of the online space for Beacon Foundation.
“Through the innovative use of technology our goal is to provide young people with the experiences and resources they need to navigate the changing world of work.
“Our current offer is ‘MyRoad’, an online mentoring program which connects young people with volunteers from across Australia to increase their self-confidence and inspire them to explore new hopes and plans for their future”, Ms Fraser says.
MyRoad 2017/18 is exclusive to young women in their senior years of secondary college. Visit ebeacon.net.au/MyRoad to get involved and to register your interest in volunteering with Beacon.
eBeacon has many other offerings too, for example, Business Blackboards. These allow businesses and educators to co-design lesson plans, linked authentically to curriculum outcomes to inspire excellence and increased engagement with students and teachers. These experiential lessons provide a unique opportunity for business to showcase career pathways and skills. Beacon’s Business Blackboard Library is updated regularly for members to use in their planning.
Other features include Learning Lives – in which, for example, people from a range of jobs chat to a group of student live, via video conferencing technology, about how they use skills learnt in certain subjects in their daily work; or how young people can get their foot in the door to a job in particular field.
And then there’s access to Career Story videos, training modules and the opportunity to take part in scheduled Events, connecting Beacon staff to other collaborators to encourage and support the use of eBeacon.
eBeacon is in its first stage of roll out to secondary schools around Australia, and will continue is development and roll out in 2018.
“Watch this space,” says Jodie Fraser.
“We have some exciting initiatives planned for 2018 and beyond.”
Picutred at the awards night are L-R, Anthony Garnham (Business Development Manager, Beacon), Christian Cuthbert (Chief Technology Officer, Beacon), Jodie Fraser (National eBeacon Manager, Beacon), Val Ridley (Director – Programs, Beacon), Martin Anderson (Managing Director, Ionata Digital).