Online or Out of Reach?
University of Hong Kong
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
As we move into the 21st century, higher education institutions in Australia and around the world are undergoing a transition. The trend is to move away from traditional methods of course presentation towards online methodologies. In theory, students within isolated and remote areas of Australia and around the world no longer need to relocate to major cities and educational institutions as they have access to learning opportunities online. This paper describes initial research findings undertaken at two isolated and remote schools in the far north of Western Australia. The schools were visited in order to determine how practical this approach to education is in the ?real? world. Early results suggest that in many parts of northern Australia access to these new courses is limited by the telecommunications infrastructure in place. It is evident that in the bush, some Australians are in danger of plummeting into the widening ?digital chasm?.