This report focuses on the information and communications technologies (ICT) that enable collaborative learning to happen online and includes school education, vocational education and training and higher education. It
• briefly describes the theories that underpin collaborative learning, the skills that are necessary for its success, the implications of collaborative learning on teaching practice, on students, and the spaces in which learning occurs.
• recognises the challenges in enabling collaborative learning including providing professional learning for teachers, knowledge, information and identity management, and managing continual change in tools and technologies.
• found that effective collaborative learning using ICT is dependent on services and skills that are not specific to collaborative learning, but are essential for the provision of ICT in education more generally.
• makes four recommendations that complement existing initiatives and priorities of the Australian government:
- provide access to post-secondary education options for remote and regional users leveraging the investments being made through existing broadband initiatives;
- extend the digital education revolution to the VET and University sectors;
- task a national body to work through national partnerships to reduce fragmentation of effort, and make best use of the investments made in ICT in education at a broad level, and collaborative learning in particular;
- embed new media literacy skills into Australia’s national curriculum in a consistent way independent of specific technologies.