Classroom risks from missed connections
Even though Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of internet access, there are concerns that kids from disadvantaged backgrounds are being left behind.
Eighty-three per cent of Australians have a home internet connection, but a third of homes in disadvantaged communities do not, according to children’s charity the Smith Family.
“If one in three kids in our poorest communities do not have access to essential tools for learning, the implications for that are obviously significant for that family and that child, but it's significant for us as a nation,” Smith Family CEO Lisa O'Brien has told the ABC.
Dr Scott Ewing, a digital expert at Melbourne's Swinburne Institute, says the isolation that comes with a lack of internet has grown alongside connectivity itself.
“If it's a choice of food or the internet then obviously food's going to win,” Dr Ewing told reporters.
The Federal Government has pledged to address the digital divide by spending on digital technology in schools.