The difficulties of online learning for Indigenous Australian students living in remote communities – it’s an issue of access

Sarah G. Anthony
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Northern Territory, Australia
sarah.anthony@batchelor.edu.au

Michael S. Keating
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Northern Territory, Australia
michael.keating@batchelor.edu.au

Abstract

Online learning and new technologies are driving a trend in worldwide education that is not only gaining momentum, it is becoming a juggernaut. While the positives for online learning are clear and are often being touted by Universities and Vocational Education and Training providers as a panacea for educational access, what is not clear is the potential negatives for those who cannot reasonably be expected to engage with online learning. Through a review of current literature and research findings, this paper discusses the difficulties of online learning for Indigenous Australian students living in remote communities who do not have adequate access to online learning technologies. This paper proposes the idea that this seemingly reasonable trend towards increased online learning will in fact be hugely detrimental to this section of Australian society and will see the potential for a widening of the gap in education.

Source: www.westga.edu

Australian point of view on the Digital Divide from a country that is a pioneer in Distance Education.

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