Is chalk and talk past tense – a victim of ‘dash for cash’.

I guess the days of chalk and talk are over, in my view, merely a taste of things to come. From conversations throughout the education sector, there is wide-scale disenchantment and frustration with the system and the apparent breach of promise our politicians speak on school funding will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and bring many to the point of protest – students, teachers and parents.

The question that appears to be wanting in the ‘dash to slash cash’ mindset is changes are needed but what is surviving in the face of technology upgrades is education remains the means of survival and how we learn to fine-tune the way knowledge is delivered.

That said, according to Leanne Mezrani writing for the Project Manager – www.aipm.com.au – in the February/March 2013 edition (but still very relevant) “truly effective teaching relies on the give-and-take between teacher and student. Feedback can be as subtle as a facial expression or tone of voice”.

What is all this based on? Invaluable lessons learnt through industry experience, face to face feedback and deliver using a combination of face to face, online and project based assessment. According to Leanne’s article. So rather than cuts more needs to be spent on knowledge delivery. Especially when we are slipping in world ranking and failing our regional area needs on education.

Is there a revolution or evolution of education delivery though technology? Evolution we think, and if you consider this timeline, also courtesy of Leanne Mezrani:

1911 – first distance education scheme in Australia offered by the University of Queensland and extended to correspondence schools in the 1920’s in NSW and Queensland.

By 1933 – correspondence lessons replace the last itinerant teacher.

In 1935 – All Australian mainland states now have Classroom lessons broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC).

1960 – The school of the Air is established. Lessons are broadcast by radio from the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Cloncurry Queensland.

1975 – The personal computer meant users did not need to rely on mainframe computers for use of education software.

IN the 1990’s – Leaning tools went through a significant upgrade in graphics and sound. CD-ROMs become the preferred method of content delivery.

1993 – Under ownership of Monash University Open Universities Australia was formed as a nation wide means of providing distance education using printed courseware and non-commercial television.

1999 – e-Learning was the term used for internet and other interactive or electronic media sources.

2008 – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) used as a term to describe an online course offered by a US University. The significance – online classes offered free of charge.

2011 – The Centre of Online Learning Excellence is launched by Open Universities Australia with the purpose of becoming a centre of best practice in online education.

2012 – A total of 20 universities and other education providers across Australia offer 1700 units and 180 qualifications through online courses.

2013 – it is recognized that MOOC was a revolution, but it seem only the highly self-motivated student derive any great benefit from this type of learning. What is now apparent is that is it is an evolution of delivery as the average student is more likely to require motivation and inspiration, and are likely to lose their way in an environment that doesn’t offer scheduled classes or feedback from instructors.

The CO2Land org reads, April 2014 – Australia rates 14th in the place to get a quality education. Rating first is South Korea because of the way they give quality time to students. Since writing this post it has come to our attention Australia is now 15th place according to BBC, 8 May 2014. Also worth noting is that UK is second to South Korea according to BBC.

Does it make you think – dash for cash or offer quality learning? What gives the better future payback?

 

Gas Prices – irrelevant statements

Are you having trouble making fracking sense of the gas price? Don’t understand that if we triple our gas production we pay more for energy! Simple answer is it is a case of people on the far queue. The queue being the mantle of ‘world price’, and dismantle of price protection for domestic consumption. In this instance we mean Australian industry and households described as domestic.

It was bemusing to hear the new NSW Energy Minister (in case you did not hear – new premier and new cabinet after the shock resignation of the old, but same party, Mid April 2014) say we need to find more gas to keep prices down after the regulator said we approve 17% increase for gas from 1 July 2014. Bemused because our price is now set at what the world is prepared to pay to keep their industries productive. Therefore the more we produce the more economical it is to export the gas in economies of scale – simple is it not?

Then the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) reported via Stephanie Smail : “The mooted gas price hike in New South Wales has created tensions with Queensland about the future of the coal seam gas industry. The NSW Government wants more information about overseas buyers from Queensland’s fast-growing market. The Queensland Government says that’s not an issue”.

Co2Land org is not so sure, that it is not an issue. The issue is how do we have faith that government is still relevant and capable of making decisions that are patriotic. But wait I hear you say we need to be aware of world trade and economic cooperation (AKA, Economic Participating Agreements, Free Trade etc). But something gets lost in all that: Governments tend to add fees and charges to balance their own end. So even if you agree on the level playing field for border entries (AKA Tariffs), the distribution price can be distorted by subsidies, fee and other charges.

This leads to the next matter. Why do we not have a social protection price for our own gas? We did, but it was not privatised then. So who wins? As we said increasingly, government is making itself irrelevant.

But let us, Co2Land org, propose a new angle for social inclusion and we could engage in for Direct Action (being the new Energy Reduction Fund white paper is released by the Federal Government) on this issue: 1. Do not engage in reverse auctions with no detail yet. 2. Crowd funding future developments. That is correct we the people fund the projects to the tune we expect prices to rise, and then from the interest we charge we pay off the increases when they come. Oh no! A terrible thought, we could tell the Treasurer the idea come from overseas and he will buy it. Imagine it now: We will save you, we are responsible managers etc. Overseas experience says etc. They are doing it as it is proven?

Unfortunately, it is all too true – we do follow others, and despite all the measures not working overseas we are being told to have faith. Again a case of people on the far queue.

A ‘true’ reflection of our community thinking

Alan Kohle – finance presenter on ABC News, said: Abolishing the carbon tax will cost real money – $13.7 billion over four years – because unlike the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), it would have actually worked. He postulated that the repeal of the MRRT and its associated spending measures produces a net GAIN to the budget over four years of $9.5 billion … and this was supposed to be a tax. This makes interesting reading, the MRRT is a tax that is a net gain to the economy and the repeal of Carbon Pricing is a cost. Now we are starting to understand that the Senate is on about – is expected to vote for costs at a time when someone or something declared ‘budget emergency’.

Jokingly, a near neighbour suggested the best way to tackle the deficient is to remove the cabinet from our executive. It makes some sort of sense if you consider the spin doctors make up the words, the power brokers approve and the Ministers mouth the words with Shakespearean gusto, and possibly cannot answer simple questions outside the script, often saying when asked to do so – I am not the author Ill get the person that wrote it to answer?  It would reduce our deficit would it not?

But far more damaging is what our trading neighbours think…Great conversation with a phone call coming in from …….. yesterday afternoon…have confirmed our first ……… be shipped to us end of January, plus additional projects (really interesting ones) over there. They also provided some friendly political advice that our esteemed PM was doing considerable harm in Asia and needed a bit of “polishing”…… brought gales of laughter and the comment that this is why he was not being taken too seriously at the moment because it was not believed he was a true reflection of our community feeling.

Are our Asian neighbors right? What is so sad about this story is that originally, the project mention above was mooted to be manufactured in Australia – government programs were solicited and proved difficult. It also seems incredulous that the program administrators expect the bankable is sufficient because they approve or disapprove through a program. If you go to the bank with that view they are likely to say government is irrelevant – It is starting to sound like a prophesy, is it not!

Then someone said something ridiculous – I thought they were ‘nomads’ – but they get angry when I TALK TO THEM – The joke is in ‘no mads’ OK!

Hot Air and the Unfair

We nearly choked, Malcolm Turnbull – Liberal Front bencher – Minister for Communications, said the loss of Holden’s local manufacturing operations is a watershed event for an Australian economy that must 
commit itself to innovative, high-tech industries. We then lamented, this and previous governments have demonstrated that they have contempt for promoting small innovative firms that demonstrate they can provide globally competitive technology best in its class and fully capable of entering multi billion dollar markets. Proof,

–       Look the number of innovators that go off shore for success.

–       Then look at the procrastination going on about reviews and approvals processes.

–       Then look at the discussion going on about cutting red and green tape etc.

Then CO2Land org thought, maybe we could write a book instead of a post about this and call it – Hot air and the unfair – something like that! Or is it that Mal is planning a new power base in getting a fair deal?

On with the story: Why Malcolm Turnbull saying? Recently the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) wrote The inconvenient truth for the Coalition’s NBN By David Braue Updated Fri 13 Dec 2013, 1:23pm AEDT that the NBN Co of the coalitions model was grossly underestimated in what will cost. Maybe there is cabinet reshuffle of portfolios coming already? It has already been reported that Ian McFarlane is unhappy with Warren Truss’s intervention on Holden. That considerable unrest is around with Government performance to date, and the endless control measures such as Joe Hockey’s handling of money movements. Comments like need to review, measures against etc. All this meaning the excuse to do nothing.

Maybe Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull saying to Sky News on Sunday 15 Dec 2013, Australia has to realise its future is not in “large scale, very low cost manufacturing” where it can’t compete.

“Emotionally this is a big watershed event,” Mr Turnbull told.

“This should be seen as a wake-up call, a reminder that we must recommit ourselves to an economy that is based on innovation and technology, and that is globally competitive.”

What Malcolm said is precisely our point. Thank you.

Does Australia have “globally competitive technology best in its class and fully capable of entering multi billion dollar markets”? Well if you consider China as a desirable trading party, then as you should, take notice of this invitation for a ‘little aussie battler’: The 4th Annual World Congress of Bioenergy

Theme: Roadmap toward 2020  Time: September 21~23, 2014     Venue: Qingdao, China.   Website: http://www.bitcongress.com/WCBE2014/default.asp

“Dear Peter Davies,

On behalf of the Executive Committee Office, it’s our great honor to announce the most influential bioenergy event in Asia – The 4th Annual World Congress of Bioenergy (WCBE-2014) will hold in Qingdao, China during September 21~23, 2014. In view of the fact that your enthusiasm for biological applications and outstanding achievements in the field of bioenergy. The organization committee cordially invites you to be a speaker in our program and give a presentation at Pipeline 315: Integrated Biochemical Conversion Processing and Bioreactors for Scale-up.
Main Characters of Annual World Congress of Bioenergy

Comprehensive agendas: With the bioenergy steady economic growth and biomass technology is improving by the day. This congress will discuss on biotechnology development and bioenergy sustainable development. The agendas cover Bioenergy Economy and Sustainability, Applications, Commercialization, Biofineries of Bioenergy, Biomass Conversion Technologies, Feedstock Landscape. This congress with the “Roadmap toward 2020 “as the theme to focus on bioenergy and look forward to the new era.”

Well what is there wrong about our posturing? What is wrong with having a front bencher of the cabinet having the courage to make statements that make sense, that is very close to what the ‘real’ world takes notice of! CO2Land org is saying it goes to say to make government relevant again it must have Headship – the current Leadership talk is exactly that – talk.

Then Mungo MacCallum said 16 Dec 2013, “And if Tony Abbott would rather spend the money on building lots of roads around our choking cities and restoring tax rorts for those who get part of their salary in cars to drive on them, so be it. Perhaps we can pretend that the cars are Holdens. That would make us feel better, wouldn’t it?”

Mungo MacCallum is a political journalist and commentator. View his full profile here.

Over to you Mal – show yourself, please.

But, have we lost something here!