Mannum's community vision enhanced with new technology

Mannum is a low socio-economic town with a big community spirit. The town is located on the River Murray, 100 km east of Adelaide, and has been seriously affected by years of drought and subsequent loss of tourism. With the rising river levels, the resilient community is slowly recovering as visitors rediscover Mannum, and bring with them revived optimism.

New ‘Hub’ engages community

The Mannum Community Hub opened in September 2013 as a joint project between the Mid Murray Council and Mid Murray Support Services (MMSS), and comprises a community centre, the Mannum Community Men’s Shed and a community garden. The Hub is supported by the entire community of Mannum and is managed and operated by volunteers on behalf of MMSS, who have been running Adult Community Education (ACE) courses in Mannum for more than 15 years.

Mid Murray Support Services has a great vision for members of the Mannum community in providing pathways to employment and further education. A key part of their strategy is being able to provide ACE students with the very best learning facilities available, to effect their transition to meaningful work. The move to the new Community Hub was just the opportunity MMSS were looking for to revitalise the delivery of the ACE courses, and the group received an $8,000 ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant facilitated by FRRR to purchase and install a Promethean Activboard.

ACE program enhanced by smart technology

The interactive whiteboard is an exciting piece of classroom technology that has the ability to be used as a standard whiteboard, display PowerPoint presentations, internet access or live Skype sessions and much more. It dramatically enhances teaching capabilities and conversely the community members’ learning opportunities and subsequent chances of finding meaningful employment.

Fiona Mann, Chair of Mid Murray Support Services, said that now the Activboard has been installed, they are discovering other activities and uses for it. She reported that the Mosaic Art Group have been able to use it to research on the internet, the youth group has hosted a movie night using the big screen, and it is proving especially useful for beginner computer classes for seniors.

“The Activboard gives our education and training classes a ‘WOW’ factor. It has improved our ability to present training courses, volunteer inductions and group presentations in a professional manner. Participants have been very impressed with the clarity of the board, and there has been an increase in participants in ACE courses, as all students can now see the screen at once,” she said.

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