[LINK] Benefits of a digital economy enabled by the National

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sat Sep 25 08:38:21 EST 2010

On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM, ARTHUR,Evan (Dr)
> ... You can find data on school
> connectivity, along with some background information on
> implementation of the Australian Government's fibre to schools
> initiative at:
> http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/HighSpeedBroadband/Pages/ImplementationApproach.aspx#a

Professor SV Raghavan and Senator Conroy both talked on the benefits of 
broadband for education at the World Computer Congress 2010 in Brisbane 
this week. But do teachers know what to do with broadband?

More work is needed on tools and skills for teachers to use the fibre. I 
  can say this sort of thing now I am an award winning online educator: 

While the federal government has done good work on educating teachers 
with projects such as Edna and <http://www.edna.edu.au/> and the 
Australian Flexible Learning Framework 
<http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/> the investment is relatively small 
compared to that being spent on computer hardware and networking.

Recently I have been taking part in a discussion of how to present 
materials to students. What was worrying was that many teachers were 
replicating poor paper based education in the digital domain. Faced with 
the problem of students not reading long wordy documents on paper, they 
put them online, producing long wordy PDF documents. When the students 
did not read that they then subjected the students to hour long 
explanations of what was in the documents the students (sensibly) did 
not read.

This week during the World Computer Congress in Brisbane I talked to a 
university professor who was having problems with email. They were 
keeping copies of all messages from students and book collaborators in 
the university mail system. As a result their mail box was clogged with 
copies of draft papers and books.

Universities provide tools for efficiently handling documents in 
learning management systems and e-portfolios. However, the system 
administrators may be too quick to remove all data from the system, such 
as at the end of each semester. This then requires the teachers and 
students to manually store duplicate copies of materials elsewhere. 
Multiplied thousands of times across schools, TAFEs and universities, 
this is a waste of teacher and student effort. Also the students will be 
learning poor e-literacy skills which they will then take with them into 
the workforce. I will be discussing some of this at the Canberra 
MoodlePosium, 7-8 October 2010: <http://moodleposium.netspot.com.au/>.

The ANU asked me to prepare a 6 week e-learning course on electronic
document management to be offered from early next year. This would
incorporate material on electronic document management and web design
courses I previously presented in ANU face to face courses.

One problem I had with this was making it interesting. When part of a
larger course the student has to do it, to complete the course. A
standalone EDM course might appeal to a few records managers and
librarians, but then they are more likely to want to do specialist
courses designed just for them. What I might do is call it
"Working in the Cloud" and present it for all information professionals
(including educators) needing to support efficient online work
practices. That is efficiency both from the point of view of getting the
work done and efficient use of the online resources: 

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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