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Fast broadband set to ‘flip’ lounge rooms into classrooms

27 January 2016

Aussie parents embrace technology to help prepare their kids for a competitive digital future

Tech-savvy mums and dads across the country are gearing up to swap book lists for app lists as increasing access to fast broadband in the home and the school is set to ‘flip’ the way kids learn this year, according to new research.

The nbn Digital Parenting Report1 indicates most Aussie parents are ready to embrace a new ‘flipped’ way of learning which allows students to watch educational tutorials online at home and then head to school for university-style discussions with their teacher and classmates.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Family time goes digital – the majority of Aussie parents surveyed (76 per cent) understand the need to harness the internet for education in the home in order to help prepare them for the future with almost half (48 per cent) co-viewing educational material with their kids online to learn something new together;
  • Internet is the new library and study group – three quarters of parents surveyed (75 per cent) believe their children are learning online at home with a number of them using bandwidth intensive applications such as conducting research via online tutorials (51 per cent), collaborating via video conferencing (33 per cent), creating multi-media projects (30 per cent), and uploading podcasts (12 per cent);
  • City and country kids now in the same class – more than half (65 per cent) of Aussie parents surveyed believe having the Internet at home levels the playing field between kids in the city and bush with just under half (46 per cent) believing it will help to break down barriers of different socio-economic groups.

Children’s Technology and Brain Researcher, Dr Kristy Goodwin said:

“As kids head back to school this week, parents should avoid feeling the ‘techno-guilt’ that comes with monitoring screen-time. Instead, they should try to understand what content their kids are consuming online and not focus on how many hours they are spending on it.

“The nbn™ network will help enable our children to take advantage of online tools such as video tutorials and podcasts which have been shown to encourage creativity and help prepare our children for the  digital workforce. Access to a fast and reliable home broadband connection will also help to ensure children’s screen-time can be maximised and isn’t wasted due to buffering.”

Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation, Managing Director, Bruce Dixon said:

“The nbn™ network is helping to breakdown the walls of the classroom by providing access to experts, experiences and information which were previously unimaginable. We have found that online, collaborative learning supported by access to fast broadband in both the home and the school can motivate children to become even more engaged in their education.”

Dr Kristy Goodwin tips for parents helping their kids using technology:

  • Don’t obsess about quantifying your child’s screen-time - screen-time limits are important, but not the most critical factor to address how your child uses technology. Instead, focus on what your child’s doing when they’re online and ensure that this time is maximised by providing access to efficient and reliable broadband;
  • Use technology with your child where possible – research confirms that co-viewing has educational benefits, whether you’re streaming TV or playing video games together. So help your child really learn in the lounge room by being present and interacting with them;
  • Prevent the ‘digital zombie effect’ – ask your child about what they’re doing, creating and communicating online; encourage your child to create digital content (such as multimedia slideshows, digital books, podcasts, or videos) in addition to consuming digital content (for example watching You Tube content, or downloading games);
  • Parents can learn too – kids love teaching their parents! Remember your child might have more technical knowledge and skills than you do, but they don’t have the life skills and knowledge that you’ll necessarily have so work with them and learn from each other.

The nbn™ network is scheduled to reach almost one in four Australian homes and businesses by June 2016, with new construction work set to be complete or underway across 1,500 communities and suburbs over the next 12 months. There are currently more than 1.7 million premises around the country which can already connect to the nbn™ network, with every Australian set to have access by 2020.

Visit our nbn™ blog series to learn more about the how access to fast broadband is transforming the way Australians learn.

Media enquiries

Dan Chamberlain
Phone: 02 8918 5837
Mobile: 0400 569 951

nbn™ Media Hotline
Phone: 02 9927 4200





nbn™ Digital Parenting Report

Notes to editors


1The research included in the nbn Digital Parenting Report was commissioned by nbn and developed by Colmar Brunton, with a Australian sample size of 1001 parents across every Australian state and territory – November 2015.

About nbn:

  • nbn is building a new, fast wholesale broadband network which will be accessible by all communities across Australia. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
  • Fast broadband delivered via the nbn™ network can provide a range of benefits for Australians such as opportunities to work from home, access to online education tools and options for on-demand entertainment.
  • End-user experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how the end-user’s service provider designs its network. Access to your work network will depend on factors outside our control like your organisation’s IT policy and infrastructure.