More opportunities for Australian students
By 2020, Australian schools, TAFEs, universities and higher education institutions will have the connectivity to develop and collaborate on innovative and flexible education services and resources to extend online learning resources to the home and workplace; and the facilities to offer students and learners, who cannot access courses via traditional means, the opportunity for online virtual learning.
Australians want the opportunity to be able to study from anywhere at any time, and not be limited by their location or way of life. The NBN will open doors for many Australians by transforming how education is delivered in the 21st Century. With high speed broadband being available Australia-wide, education providers will increasingly be able to work together and with industry to develop innovative online learning. As virtual learning expands, so will the classroom. All types of learning will become available to us – from the home, workplace or cafe.
Why is it important?
Australia needs people with high quality skills to maintain a strong economy and society. Increased online learning opportunities will break down barriers to accessing education and training – such as distance, time and cost. This will have a big impact for regional and rural Australia. The NBN will allow students in regional schools to connect with metropolitan schools to study subjects normally unavailable to them. Australians will be able to attend courses or professional development training not offered in their local area and this will in turn improve career opportunities.
Where are we now?
Educational Institutions are increasingly moving their content online. Universities are a great example, now offering courses through online platforms such as Open Universities Australia, iTunes U, YouTube University and Coursera. However, educational institutions also need support to make their content more interactive and immersive, to capitalise on the NBN. The government is assisting by delivering programs that provide this support.
The NBN Enabled Education and Skills Services Program supports the delivery of innovative online education and training trial projects, using NBN and equivalent broadband.
The Education Our New England (EduONE) trial in Armidale NSW is developing and deploying an interactive learning platform for the delivery of NBN enabled virtual classes and media-rich learning resources.
The Virtual English Tuition for Migrants trial will take advantage of early NBN deployments to deliver high-quality, online English-language tuition, including virtual classes, to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) education portal provides students, teachers and parents with free access to contemporary and archival ABC content aligned to the Australian curriculum.
CSIRO is trialling a mobile robot, in partnership with the National Museum of Australia, which will allow remote visitors and groups to communicate with museum guides from wherever they are – be it in a classroom in Tasmania or the western suburbs of Sydney.