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Are we smart enough for the digital future?

Thursday, 24 October 2013 19:35

Could education be the stumbling block when it comes to Australia embracing the digital future? Could we end up with a ubiquitous high speed broadband network that we really don’t know what to do with?

In this week’s CrossTalk we look at the decreasing numbers of people studying engineering and science at University. Even at the TAFE level we’ve seen a shortfall in trained resources able to meet demands for the build of the NBN.

It’s seen as a significant issue by all of our guests on this week’s program:

•Alan Patterson, CEO of the Australian Computer Society;

•Patrick Fair, chairman of the Internet Industry Association;

•Mark Gregory, senior lecturer at RMIT University in Melbourne; and

•Kevin Morgan, industry commentator and CommsDay columnist.

If it’s a recognised issue, do we have an answer? The Coalition’s paper on ‘E-government and the Digital Economy’ promises that they will work closely with States and Territories to reverse the deterioration in relative performance in educational outcomes and ensure extra funding leads to better outcomes. It doesn’t say how.

As you’ll hear, a lot has to do with how a career in ICT is sold to today’s young people. At the moment, perhaps, it’s just not sexy enough.

Give us your thoughts on this discussion. Leave a message on the CrossTalk feedback line: 02 9304 5198


Are we smart enough for the digital future?


0 #1 Evan Stanbuy 2013-11-02 09:09
One role that Government can play in the internet is to make government-coll ected data available to citizens. Exemptions must be made for national security, and personal data must be made anonymous, but the presumption is that if we paid to collect the data, we should have access to it.
I understand that such a policy decision has been made in the UK.
Some good examples already in Australia are the Bureau of Meteorology live weather maps and Census data. But open access to data needs to be a design criterion for all government data processing systems.
0 #2 Ian Quartermaine 2013-11-04 18:28
I'd like to draw your attention to a schools education project that is all about doing something with NBN level connectivity. I co-manage a project funded by the NBNEESS fund set up by the last government. Cyncially you could say they were just looking for some good news about the NBN but what has resulted is a project attempting 10 different services to independent schools across the country. It includes online tutoring, VC initiatives, managed services etc etc.Check it all out at . Happy to offer detail if anyone was interested

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