The national broadband network and the challenges of creating connectivity in education: The case of Tasmania

Sue Stack, Jane Watson, Joan Abbott-Chapman

Abstract


Tasmania, one of the first locations to have communities connected to the national broadband network (NBN), provided the context within which to ask significant questions about the implications of the NBN for all levels and sectors of education. This paper reports findings from a research project that developed innovative methodology to explore the issues with 21 respondents categorised as "leaders" in the field of information and communication technology in education. The aim of the research was to conduct an audit of actual and planned implementation of new technologies in classroom teaching through in-depth interviews, to assess challenges faced in implementation and to facilitate dialogue between leaders in disparate education areas through provision of forums online and face-to-face. In this way the action research both contributed to an understanding of issues and acted as a change agent in stimulating the sharing of new approaches to what turned out to be a set of highly complex "wicked" problems. Resulting models using a causal layered approach demonstrate that whereas the NBN did not become the immediate solution to connectivity for these leaders, it provided the motivation to consider what a connected educational environment could be like.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14742/ajet.122