Southern Cross University became a founding partner with a number of other Australian universities in the Innovative Links Project. This project is funded by DEETYA for $1 million per annum through the National Professional Development Program and reflects a partnership between universities and schools. The Innovative Links project uses the methodology of action research as a tool for curriculum and school reform. The 'Middle Years' - that is, education for children in early adolescent, aged 10-15 - became the theme for the regional forum associated with Southern Cross University. The collaborative association of universities and schools was called the 'Roundtable'. Schools in the Roundtable conducted research within their schools with a focus on Years 5 to 8. To add impetus to these professional development and research activities. A Web site http://www.scu.edu.au/ewt/resprof/innolinks.html and a hyper-archived discussion group http://www.scu.edu.au/ewt/resprof/Innoother/midyears.html have been established to discuss and document the Innovative Links activities to promote professional dialogue concerning early adolescent education. The expansion and development of this site with hyperlinks to local, national and international locations illustrates the power of information technology in developing and disseminating research and knowledge. The Web site provides a basis for trialling the use of the Internet as an alternative form of communication which can empower educational practice and facilitate emancipatory action research and professional dialogue.
Phelps, R & Kean, B 1996, 'The interactive artefact: "middle years", the innovative links project, and international links using informational technology', T Bossomaeier & L Chubb (eds), AUUG 96 & Asia Pacific World Wide Web 2nd Joint Conference & Exhibition: networking, internet & the World Wide Web, World Congress Centre, Melbourne, 18-20 September, AUUG, pp. 329-337.