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Project Title Groote Island Social Computing Project – Phase 1
Project Team Neil Anderson, Juanita Sellwood, Lyn Courtney (SiMERR Queensland), Colin Lankshear, Alan Clough, (James Cook University)
Period March 07 – July 07
Funding Agency SiMERR
Organisational Base SiMERR Queensland


The initial stage of this project, Phase 1, involved negotiation, consultation and further planning with the community and SiMERR Northern Territory, in order to develop specific on-going plans to facilitate better use of ICT across the curriculum in Groote Island schools and facilitate better community use of ICT. In addition, while visiting Groote Island, the project delivered some robotics workshops to schools. Prior to the initial visit, the Groote Island community funded a trip to the Cairns campus of James Cook University by the Groote Island elders and Council (including the chair of the Council). They attended a one day workshop where the community members could examine examples of social computing tools, educational games and robotics. The day was also attended by the School of Indigenous Studies (SIAS) Associate Professor Alan Clough and involved sharing by members of the Groote Island community about their needs and current resources.


Groote Island Elders, Groote Island Council (including the Chair) and 12 teachers at all three schools on Groote Island.


The main findings are that the Groote Island Community is keen to pursue community use of ICT and have welcomed this project. The Community has agreed to participate in Phase 2, which is expected to commence in late 2008, if external funding is forthcoming.


As the distance and isolation of Groote Island makes physical visits to the island difficult and intermittent, Phase 1 has provided the platform on which to launch Phase 2 in 2008, whereby videoconferencing will be examined as a possible practical conduit for providing specific on-going programs.

A third Phase is proposed for 2009. It will investigate techniques to broadcast broadband internet to the general community via a wireless network.

A research report (case study) on the uptake of robotics will be undertaken in 2008/2009. A collaborate research publication will be undertaken at the end of Phase 2 and the end of Phase 3.


The immediate impact of this project is the introduction of social computing tools to the Groote Island Community, including the three schools. The long-term impact will be realized after Phase 2 of this project is completed in 2009. This phase will introduce better forms of communication between education and students living on this isolated island with the outside world. Phase 2 will investigate if videoconferencing will provide a practical conduit for providing specific on-going programs.

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