e-Learning: The new challenge in education

2 May 2002

The potential future of Australian school education was unveiled today with the release of a major study outlining ways that online learning can change the education landscape.

Embracing e-Learning in Australian Schools, a ground-breaking report by leading author, educator and e-learning expert Dr Dale Spender, and co-author Dr Fiona Stewart, was commissioned by the Commonwealth Bank as part of its continuing support of education.

The report canvasses ways that e-learning is already changing the balance of the traditional teacher-student relationship by giving students greater input to their learning. Equally, teachers are changing traditional teaching styles to suit the new online environment.

The report also provides a snapshot of how e-learning is currently being implemented in Australian states and territories and suggests that a more national approach to e-learning would give schools and students access to the best information and latest technology across existing State curriculum boundaries.

"This is an exciting time in education," said Dr Spender. "e-learning is challenging everyone in the education community to rethink the ways we do things. If Australia can get its approach to e-learning right, the opportunities available to our students and for our international reputation as an education provider are endless."

The Commonwealth Bank's Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Murray, said, "e-learning is becoming an essential skill for young Australians as they prepare for the future. The Bank wants to provide young Australians with online skills to help prepare them for the challenges of their future work environments and to effectively help them manage their finances", Mr Murray said.

The report's aim is to prompt discussion and provide practical suggestions on how students, teachers, parents and schools may best prepare for learning in this century. The report will be a practical resource to be used by teachers and schools as they develop and implement their individual online learning strategies.

The release of the report follows the recent announcement of the $350,000 Commonwealth Bank e-learning grants for Australian primary schools. The Bank is committed to helping young Australians develop financial skills and to the development of online learning for all Australians.