NBN Co Blog
Mon 04 JUNComment
Aussie parents prepare children for 3rd millennium learning
Posted on Monday 04 June 2012 by Anne Flanagan
Chat to many parents and they will tell you their children know more about how to use the internet than they do.
So how do we help prepare our children for the world of tomorrow when they potentially know more about it than we do?
We gathered the thoughts of 1,000 Aussie parents across Australia and then asked the education experts to respond.
The majority of parents we surveyed (96 per cent) said they thought the internet was important for preparing their children for the future, but many of them had concerns about their ability to support their children's online learning.
According to education expert, Professor Stephen Heppell, the more parents experience the interactive and engaging educational resources on the internet, the better equipped they are to help their children navigate the online world.
His experience in countries that have high speed broadband like the NBN reveals that the walls of the classroom get "lower and softer" with homework, becoming increasingly important.
Specifically, homework becomes a time for self-directed exploration in exciting online worlds, where students (and their parents) can collaborate online with image-rich digital tools and connect with inspirational teachers across the globe.
He cites examples of children compiling and sharing video assignments across continents, swapping cultural insights by following each others' journeys to school using web cameras and viewing the contents of their respective lunchboxes online.
According to Philip Argy, a member of the NSW Parents' Council State Executive, and father of two primary school-aged children, the internet is becoming the "umbilical cord of learning".
He says "that in the same way that parents help their kids to become 'streetwise' in the real world, parents have a vital role in helping their kids become 'streetwise' on the information superhighway."
Professor Heppell says there are a growing number of global jobs where it is a requirement that graduates be experienced in using technology to collaborate with colleagues who may be in another state or another country.
Just as a child practises their handwriting and public speaking, increasingly they will need to practice their ability to communicate via videoconference and submit assignments using video, images, music and their own narrations.
He argues that Australia has a huge double advantage in seizing these stimulating jobs: our time zone makes it possible to service a large part of the global market from home; and the NBN will help equip our children with the skills and the infrastructure to do so, no matter where we live.
And as we all know, the people you meet through work (even virtually), become part of a network for future job opportunities if you do decide to travel.
I was lucky enough to travel overseas following great job opportunities before I returned home to regain my great Australian lifestyle.
The idea that with the NBN I can have both a global job and a home near a great beach is pretty cool.
If you are interested in learning more about how services provided over the NBN can help open up better learning opportunities for all Australians visit our newly launched education site: www.nbnco.com.au/schools .
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When we talk about speeds delivered over the National Broadband Network, we are referring to the wholesale speed to telephone and internet service providers. The speed you can achieve, and services you can use, on your individual connection will depend on many factors including the services you subscribe to, the software and communication protocols you use, quality of your equipment and connection to your home/business, the broadband plans offered by your telephone or internet provider and how it designs its network to cater for multiple users.
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