Thursday, February 24, 2011

Digital Education Revolution Report

The Austrlaian National Audit Office has issued a report on the "Digital Education Revolution program -- National Secondary Schools Computer Fund". The auditor found the administration of the fund generally sound with school principals generally positive about it.

The report provides a useful Summary of the Digital Education Revolution. Most of the $2.4B funding for the Digital Education Revolution (DER) is for the National Secondary Schools Computer Fund (NSSCF), which aimed to provide a computer for each secondary student, at a cost of $2.2B.

The remainder of the DER was for the High Speed Broadband to Schools initiative ($100M) and the Digital Strategy for Teachers and School Leaders initiative (teacher education) $40M. It is unfortunate that less than 2% of the funding was spent on training teachers to use the technology.

Another area not receiving sufficiency attention is the development of curriculum and content. An investment of a few hundred million dollars would provide very large benefits to the student's education. This would also pay for itself in the reduction in imported content from overseas and boost one of Australia's major export industries, which is education.

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