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Title: Bridging the Digital Divide:


1
Bridging the Digital Divide an Australian
perspective Mark Wigley Australian Commonwealth
Department of Education, Science and Training
2
AUSTRALIA
3
Australias Population
Australian Population20 million
Northern Territory
Queensland
1
19
10
Western Australia
8
34
New South Wales
South Australia
25
Victoria
2
Tasmania
4
Australias Federal Systemof Government
  • Commonwealth Government
  • 8 State and Territory Governments
  • Responsibility for education policy and delivery
    is split between the Commonwealth, and State and
    Territory Governments.

5
Commonwealth roles / responsibilities
6
Commonwealths role
  • enabler in providing substantial funding across
    all education and training sectors
  • facilitator in providing for policy and
    operational frameworks for the effective delivery
    of education and training,
  • partner with other levels of government, industry
    and the education and training sector

7
Structure of Australian Education
Vocational Education
Schools
  • voluntary
  • work related education at the technician and
    para-professional level
  • apprenticess and trainees
  • delivery mainly through institutes of Technical
    Further Education.
  • compulsory to age 15 or 16 (around Year 10)
  • general education
  • 2 extra years of voluntary senior secondary
    studies

8
The Australian ICT Context
  • 64 of households own or lease a computer
    (Australia ranked 2nd after Korea)
  • 52 of households connected to the Internet (7th
    in world)
  • 80 aged 16-34 have access to Internet
  • 68 aged 35 have access to Internet (1st for
    equity of access between age groups).
  • Source The Current State of Play, NOIE, April
    2002.

9
Australian households with a computer
10
Australian households with Internet access
11
Improving education
  • Improved education is seen as a means to embrace
    the knowledge society, remain competitive
    internationally and address digital divide issues
  • Ensuring improved basic education for all a key

12
Educational Attainment
  • Over 70 completion of Year 12
  • 60 of all school leavers proceed to further
    education and training
  • 62 of all Australians have post-school
    qualifications
  • 16 hold a degree (6 in 1982)

13
Growth in participation in education
  • 56 15-19 yr olds in full-time education in 1990.
    70 in 2002
  • (20-24 year olds 12 to 20)
  • Commencements in bachelor degree courses rose by
    49 between 1989 and 1999
  • (post-graduate by 66)
  • In 2001, publicly-funded VET providers delivered
    programmes to over 1.7 million students, or
  • 13 of Australias 15-64 year old population
  • (8 in 1991)

14
Apprenticeshipsand traineeships
  • 1995 - 1999 the number of apprentices and
    trainees grew by 31 a year
  • In 2002, a record level (334,000) apprentices and
    trainees
  • Recent growth reflects broadening of apprentice
    style training beyond the traditional skilled
    trades.
  • Australias system, cf working age population
    ranks fourth in the world
  • Australia is a world leader for adult apprentices

15
Strategic Framework for the Information Economy
16
Australian response to Information Economy
  • National Government released a Strategic
    Framework for the Information Economy in 1999
  • Education and Training industry was recognised as
    a key priority and fundamental to developing
    Australias competitiveness in the global economy

17
National Goals for Schooling
  • When students leave schools they should be
    confident, creative and productive users of new
    technologies, particularly information and
    communication technologies, and understand the
    impact of this technology on society.

www.curriculum.edu.au/mceetya/nationalgoals/index.
htm
18
Agreement by all Ministers
  • July 2001 all education Ministers
  • endorsed a framework for national assessment and
    reporting of students ICT skills and knowledge
  • authorised the development of assessment
    instruments and key performance measures
  • agreed to 3 yearly sample assessments of Year 6
    Year 10 students commencing 2005.

19
Education and TrainingAction Plan
www.dest.gov.au/edu/edactplan.htm
20
Education and TrainingAction Plan
  • A plan for the whole education and training
    sector
  • sets out an analysis of issues and identification
    of key strategic priorities
  • A set of action plans, one for each part of the
    sector, developed by the relevant constituencies
  • 2000 - 2002

21
Sectoral action plans
22
Consultation How did we do it?
  • Important to gain agreement across the country
    for a shared approach
  • Developed by DEST in close consultation with
    representatives from all 3 sectors of education
    and training (universities, VET, schools)
  • Endorsed by Federal and State/Territory Ministers
    of education and training
  • Education Network Australia collaboration

23
What does it say?
  • Five action areas
  • People
  • Infrastructure
  • Content, Applications and Services
  • Policy and organisational frameworks
  • Regulatory framework

24
Joint National Statement
  • Released by all education Ministers in December
    2000
  • Provides a strategic agenda between 2001-2003 for
    all parts of the education industry to work
    together to achieve the outcomes of the Action
    Plan

25
Joint National Statement
  • Undertook to
  • Provide learners with opportunities to develop
    their ability to use technology confidently and
    creatively and develop specialist skills for info
    economy
  • Provide effective and affordable access to
    internet for learners regardless of location
  • Promote collaboration in the development and
    dissemination of high quality digital educational
    content, services and applications

26
Recent developments
  • Australian Education Ministers meeting (July
    2002) endorsed the need for priority to be placed
    on the provision of high bandwidth services to
    schools covering urban, rural and remote
  • July 2002 all Ministers agreed that a second
    action plan 2003-2006 be developed.

27
Professional Development for Educators and
Teachers
28
Teachers for the 21st Century
A national Commonwealth initiative to improve
teacher quality and increase the number of highly
effective Australian schools in order to maximise
student learning outcomes.
29
Teachers for the 21st Century
  • 159 m is available 2000 to 2005
  • The bulk of the funding is provided to education
    jurisdictions to provide PD for teachers in the
    priority areas
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Science
  • IT
  • Mathematics
  • Vocational Education

30
Quality Teacher Programme - ICT Projects
  • 147 projects funded to June 2002
  • 30 focussed on PD in ICT
  • 30 of teachers choose PD involving ICT in the
    classroom.

31
Quality Teacher Programme - ICT Projects
  • Of 147 projects
  • 19 classroom use of ICT
  • 13 teachers skills with software
  • 2 ICT skills of teacher librarians
  • 2 ICT teaching at senior secondary level
  • 4 ICT distance learning, videoconferencing
  • 1 female participation in specialist ICT studies
    at senior level

32
Making Better ConnectionsTeacher Professional
Development for theIntegration of ICTs into
Classroom Practice
  • Current research and trends in pre-service and PD
    and mapped what is happening
  • Models and measures of effectiveness

33
Making Better Connections
  • Analysed connections or lack of connections
    between key factors and barriers/success factors
  • Developed a support network for teachers, school
    leaders, professional associations and PD staff
    within school systems
  • Aimed to create a Community of Practice for the
    main influencers of PD for ICT

34
Major findings
  • Pre-service education
  • student-teacher learning has been about ICT,
    but should include learning with and through
    ICT
  • A challenge is facilitating opportunities for
    student-teachers to be immersed in school
    classrooms where ICTs are effectively used

35
Major findings
  • Online PD and Learning Communities
  • not magic solutions
  • should be an integral part of sustained
    school-based teacher inquiry approaches (ICTs
    support and extend local networks by offering
    connections and resources from outside the school
    or district)

36
National Review of Teaching and Teacher Education
  • Announced as part of the Australian Governments
    Innovations statement in 2001 Backing
    Australias Ability
  • wide ranging brief to identify the skills needed
    by teachers to build a culture of lifelong
    learning and innovation in schools
  • Focus on science and technology
  • Due to report in 2003

37
Review of Teacher Education
  • The Review will develop an action plan for the
    school sector with a focus on technology, science
    maths that includes
  • strategies to improve teacher education programs
    in universities
  • strategies for equipping teachers to create an
    innovative learning culture amongst their
    students
  • school exit outcomes necessary to equip school
    graduates for the knowledge society

38
Raising the StandardsICT Competency Framework
for Teachers
  • MCEETYA has established the Teacher Quality and
    Educational Leadership Taskforce
  • A significant priority is to develop a National
    Framework for Professional Teaching Standards
  • After consulting with key educational
    stakeholders, the Taskforce will present the
    framework to Ministers in May 2003

39
Raising the Standards
  • published by DEST in July 2002
  • addresses ICT standards for
  • pre-service teacher training
  • accomplished teachers
  • school leaders and teacher educators
  • Proposed a framework which could be used by
    teacher education institutions, teacher employers
    and professional associations to develop ICT
    standards relevant to their purposes

www.dest.gov.au/schools/publications/2002/raisings
tandards.htm
40
Initiatives addressing special needs groups
include the following examples
  • Effective Use of ICT to Enhance Learning Outcomes
    of Disadvantaged Students
  • Online Education and Support for Indigenous
    Educators
  • Project to Investigate Improving Literacy and
    Numeracy Outcomes of Distance Education Students
    in the Early Years of Schooling
  • Digital Indigenous Youth Network
  • Improving IT Skills for Older Workers

41
Improving IT Skills for Older Workers
  • provides older workers with nationally recognised
    training in information technology
  • designed to help low income, mature age job
    seekers gain nationally recognised skills in
    information and communication technology, in
    order for them to operate effectively at a basic
    level in the workforce
  • 5.75m annually to provide 11,500 places each
    year for 4 years, from 2002-2003.

42
Infrastructure
  • All Australian State/Territory governments are
    pursuing strategies to increase bandwidth
    provision in schools. For example
  • ACT/NSW progressive rollout of 2 Mbps to
    schools
  • WA rollout commenced to provide 10Mbps to metro
    schools, 2 Mbps to regional schools and 2-way
    satellite to some remote schools
  • Many governments are seeking opportunities to
    aggregate demand across industry sectors

43
Vocational Education and Training
  • Access to Bandwidth project end 2002
  • Analysis of the bandwidth available across the
    VET sector
  • Identify and collate good practices
  • Will determine bandwidth requirements for the
    sector and explore business models to assist VET
    providers to source sufficient affordable
    bandwidth
  • Will facilitate the consolidation of a national
    approach to establishing a business case and
    action plan to secure appropriate affordable
    bandwidth for VET

44
Higher Education (Universities)
  • Need for high bandwidth for academics to perform
    collaborative research with colleagues including
    grid computing
  • Provision of internet access for large numbers of
    students simultaneously
  • Development and delivery of online and distance
    education
  • Broadband capacity for regional universities

45
Higher Education (Universities)
  • Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNET)
    provides the national network backbone, access to
    the national and international internet, and to
    the global advanced research education networks
  • provides internet services to 37 Australian
    universities and CSIRO through its AARNET2
    network which employs high bandwidth ATM links
    and internet services
  • GrangeNet Advanced Networks Project

46
AARNet2 Network
47
Innovative Bandwidth Arrangements for Education
and Training
www.dest.gov.au/schools/publications/2001/bandwidt
h/index.htm
48
Computer Technologies for Schools project
  • the Commonwealth is providing surplus
    Commonwealth Government computers and IT
    equipment to schools across Australia
  • since 1998, approximately 21,000 pieces of
    equipment have been donated
  • we are currently considering private sector
    involvement


49
Content
  • The Learning Federation initiative
  • supports the large-scale, collaborative
    development of a national pool of online
    curriculum resources that
  • address national priorities, support Australias
    cultural identity and nurture innovative skills
    in young people
  • are quality-assured Australian online school
    resources
  • contributes to the development of the technical
    infrastructure for sharing online curriculum
    resources across school systems.

http//socci.edna.edu.au
50
Australian Flexible Learning Framework - Toolboxes
  • The online product (Toolboxes) development
    project supports the online delivery of VET
    qualifications
  • toolboxes
  • have a strong focus on teaching and learning
    strategies
  • are designed to be readily customised by teachers.

www.flexiblelearning.net.au/toolbox
51
Challenges for Australia
  • professional development of teachers and
    education of pre-service teachers
  • provision of adequate infrastructure and
    bandwidth for education and training
  • lack of IT skill and knowledge in some sections
    of the population
  • development of Australian content
  • complexity of the digital divide issue

52
Thank You
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