The Australian Government has set a series of eight Digital Economy Goals - which are being used to drive the economy and public planning forward. They relate to use of technology at home, in business, in health, in government and in education.
Digital Economy Goal for Education
The Digital Economy Goal for Education is quite audacious:
By 2020, Australian schools, TAFEs, universities and higher education institutions will have the connectivity to develop and collaborate on innovative and flexible educational 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.
Taken literally it means learners will be able to choose to learn online from their own school, TAFE or university.
Now, if you're used to reading Government targets you'll spot the get out clause, which is that the institutions have to have the facilities to offer it - it doesn't actually set the target that they must offer it. But let's ignore that for the moment.
There are two parties to this target:
- The government is accountable to ensure that education has the connectivity and the facilities and things like the DER and NBN are both moving in that direction
- Every school, TAFE and university is accountable for providing ways of delivering learning online for their students
I would guess that most institutions have a way of making some learning resources available online today - but do they all have a roadmap that gets them to the point of delivering a full traditional course by online virtual means?
And if you are in a school, TAFE or university, do you feel accountable for the goal?
Australian Government Digital Economy Goals
FYI here are all of the Australian Government Digital Economy Goals. The goals are that by 2020:
- Australia ranks in the top five OECD countries in the portion of households that connect to broadband at home.
- Australia ranks in the top five OECD countries in relation to the percentage of businesses, and not for profit organisations, using online opportunities to drive productivity improvements, expand their customer base and enable jobs growth.
- The majority of Australian households, businesses and other organisations will have access to smart technology to better manage their energy use.
- As identified in the National eHealth Strategy endorsed by the federal, state and territory governments, 90% of high priority consumers such as older Australians, mothers and babies and those with a chronic disease, or their carers, can access individual electronic health records. Through the government’s investments in telehealth, by July 2015, 495,000 telehealth consultations will have been delivered providing remote access to specialists for patients in rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas, and by 2020, 25% of all specialists will be participating in delivering telehealth consultations to remote patients.
- Australian schools, TAFEs, universities and higher education institutions will have the connectivity to develop and collaborate on innovative and flexible educational 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.
- Australia will have at least doubled its level of teleworking so that at least 12% of Australian employees report having a teleworking arrangement with their employer.
- Four out of five Australians will choose to engage with the government through the internet or other type of online service.
- The gap between households and businesses in capital cities and those in regional areas will have narrowed significantly.