Friday, June 15, 2012

Australia's Digital Future in Education

The IBM sponsored report "A Snapshot of Australia's Digital Future to 2050" (Phil Ruthven, IBISWorld, June 2012) has been released. This 154 page 5.6Mbyte report suggests we will be moving into Stage 2 of the Infotronics Age, with ubiquitous high-speed broadband (2 MBps are greater), analytics, learning systems and cognitive computing. However, it should be remembered that any report which tries to predict what will happen with the economy decades in the future is mostly speculation.

In my view the predictions on changes in the economy are not decades away but are happening now. However, the availability of high speed broadband through the NBN is not all good news. As well as providing access to export jobs for Australians, it opens up the Australian service industries to further overseas competition. Not only will an Australian accountant or teacher be able to provide their services from anywhere, but overseas professionals will be able to offer the same service from elsewhere.Australian professionals will therefore have to compete on price and quality with those from other countries.

The report predicts that ICT will be key to "Opportune Industries" which are "transformational and significant" and constitute 31% of national revenue. One of the Opportune Industries will be Education & Training, making up 7.1% of revenue from the new industries. The report suggests that along with Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Education and Training will benefit most from the new era:
"Education must embrace the new paradigms powered by superfast broadband, and new delivery systems (including virtual delivery), if Australia is to become smarter in an increasingly borderless and competitive world. This is particularly important for higher education, which is facing growing competition from the increasingly information-oriented emerging large economies in the Asia-Pacific. ...

Education makes a transition from a mass medium to a pluralism of bespoke yet global offerings, developing new skills and communities around the learning process.

Australia will no longer be known as much for
it’s dependency on the export of natural resources over the next half century as in 2012, but more as an exporter of services such as tourism, business services, health and education services. ...

Demand for natural resources, immigration, and a growing trade in skills and education services now tie Australia closely to China, India and the rest of Asia’s emergent forces. ...

However, it should be noted that in both stages it has been service industries that have dominated the economy, unlike all previous ages of progress where goods dominated. Interestingly, information-based service industries such as education, professional and other business services, financial services, health and others have led the charge in this direction. ...

Today, service exports, in the forms of tourism, education, health, business services and IP, are growing fast – now representing around a fifth of all exports,
as is the pattern globally. The new utility will facilitate the continued growth of many of these, especially education, knowledge exports, business services and
health. As a result, by 2050, exports will once again be closer to a quarter of our GDP or more, rather than the fifth they are today. ...

Government budgeting will not be easy over the next 40 to 50 years, but there are areas of spending (education, health, social security fraud and public safety) that the new utility offers considerable promise of productivity advances. ...

The following seven (out of 19) industry divisions benefit
most from the new utility:
  1. Public Administration and Safety
  2. Retail Trade
  3. Mining
  4. Health Care and Social Assistance
  5. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  6. Education and Training
  7. Transport, Postal and Warehousing ...
Education and Training will experience plusses and minuses in the decades ahead, with a growing need for knowledge and skills retraining over a working life time, yet virtual education making big inroads into
classroom education. ...

Fastest Growing Industry Themes New age 1965-2040s ... Education – outsourcing pre-school, plus universities ...

Results overview
(% of the industry division’s revenue that will benefit from the new utility)
Transformational benefit ...
• Education and Training (98%) ...

Given its low productivity and critical input to Australia’s prosperity, Education and Training needs to embrace the new utility paradigms of education, new delivery
systems (including virtual delivery) and more, if the nation is to become smarter in an increasingly borderless and competitive world.

This industry division is likely to be a little more important in 2050 as a share of GDP
– 5.2% versus 4.5% in 2011(F). In terms of industry make-up, the revenue shares of the tertiary and secondary school sectors are similar, but the secondary school students are three times the 1.2 million students at universities. ...

Capability to take advantage of flexible education
Developing a flexible, mobile population will entail significant changes to learning and training processes. Skills in problem-solving, responsiveness and rapid innovation will take precedence over static knowledge and memorisation, in large part due to growing access to the internet’s global knowledge resources. Education itself will become more flexible, extending across geographical borders to connect citizens with learning resources that meet their specific needs and situations. ...

From: A Snapshot of Australia's Digital Future to 2050, Phil Ruthven, IBISWorld, June 2012

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 9
The Macro-environment for Australia 16
2.1 International Context 2.2 National Resources 19
2.3 Industries 20
2.4 Utility Sectors 21
2.5 Economic Outlook 23
2.6 Government Spending 26
High-Speed Broadband in the Infotronics Age 28
3.1 History of Broadband 28
3.2 Where We are Today 29
3.3 The Impact on the Economy 30
3.4 Future Usage of Broadband and Digital Technology 30
3.5 Energy Efficiency 33
3.6 Applications 33
Industries and the Impact of the Digital Future 36
4.1 Key findings to 2050 36
Index to the Industry Divisions 43
4.2 Primary Sector 44
4.3 Secondary Sector 49
4.4 Tertiary Sector 55
4.5 Quaternary Sector 60
4.6 Quinary Sector 70
4.7 Impact Summary 76
Australian Business and Society of the Future 78
5.1 Enterprise of the Future 78
5.2 Workplace of the Future 81
5.3 Households of the Future 84
5.4 Cities of the Future 88
Recommendations 93
6.1 For Organisations 93
6.2 For Citizens 95
Addenda 97
7.1 Outsourcing Figures 7.2 Industry Impact Panel Findings (all 509 Industry Classes) 99
7.3 End Notes 151
7.4 Glossary 153

From: A Snapshot of Australia's Digital Future to 2050, Phil Ruthven, IBISWorld, June 2012

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