Professor Stephen Heppell -- Australia as a Connected, Learning Society

Uploaded by NBNCo on 29.05.2012

I first came out here in 1988.
Australia was leading the world in distance education even then
because kids out in the outback, kids from city to city
were needing the swap and exchange, even on little, tiny black and white screens.
They were exciting times.
I think now people, as the technology rolls through, as that NBN pipe comes through
to everybody's door, suddenly everybody knows what to do with it,
knows how effective it can be and how powerful it can be.
There was a time when if you were learning in a rural area, you learned.
You did well. Went off to college, maybe didn't come back.
The thing about a connected learning society is that you can learn just where you live.
All those online jobs around the world that are so high value and so important
that are absolutely booming at the moment can be done by children who know how to work.
Work with others. Work at a distance. Work online and harness the NBN.
Now that really matters because it gives a chance for people to think,
"I actually would like to live and learn where I like to live."
When you look around Australia, it's a pretty nice place to live.
You know, the NBN is an extraordinary investment, a hugely important investment.
Most folks will think the raw materials under the ground are Australia's economic future.
Actually, the raw materials between the ears of the students...
...are Australia's biggest, biggest natural resource!
I guess there's something about a country that is born on ingenuity,
that's filled with people thousands of years ago and in their more recent history,
solving huge problems and being ingenious about it.
That national capability turns out to be important
in this age of learning as we underpin it with new technology. You know, when you've got
ingenuity and you've got a passion for learning and you've got very clever technology.
You've got something that's seductive and engaging and delightful,
and actually just a little bit playful.
That's world class. That's world leading.
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