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Workshop 6: Harnessing Digital Technology for Application in Workplace Training with Employment Outcomes

Target Audience:

  • Higher education and TVET educators and administrators

  • Policymakers with an interest in educational innovation

  • Ed-tech entrepreneurs and digital start-up founders



ASEAN member countries have embraced the opportunities and transformations made possible by digital technologies. The Jakarta Post recently published an Opinion Piece on Building a Digitally Inclusive ASEAN by 2040, by Vo Trí Thanh (a senior economist at the Central Institute for Economic Management, a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council and Chairman of Vietnam National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation) and Le Ngoc Bich (Viet Nam News’ Deputy Editor-in-Chief). In the article (attached) they identify that Indonesia is set to become Southeast Asia’s largest digital economy within the next few years, while Vietnam is working on a national project of digital transformation, and other ASEAN countries have also embraced the digital revolution.


Globally the education technology (ed-tech) sector is changing how students learn, as well as who delivers education, and where and how people are taught. In terms of ed-tech investment – the venture capital sector invested $8.1 billion into education technologies in 2018:

  • 50% in China

  • 20% in the US

  • 15% in the rest of Asia (excluding China)

  • 8% in Europe, and

  • 7% in the rest of the world.


McKinsey estimates that by 2030 learning and artificial intelligence will add an extra $13 trillion in global economic growth.


Aligning to this investment are the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and specifically Goal 4 which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. In measuring progress against achieving this goal, the United Nations reports that “some 750 million adults – two thirds of them women – remained illiterate in 2016. Half of the global illiterate population lives in South Asia.” The UN goes on to note that “rapid technological changes present opportunities and challenges, but the learning environment, the capacities of teachers and the quality of education have not kept pace.”


At the same time that digital technologies are helping to rapidly expand the learning opportunities available to a broad range of learners who lack basic literacy, numeracy, and digital technology skills; these technologies are also assisting with the upskilling and reskilling challenges education systems are grappling with as they confront the impact of the 4th Industrial revolution and the rapidly changing world of work.


The increasing use of artificial intelligence, big data and personalised learning in the ed-tech sector mean that digital technologies are now not just allowing traditional educators to reach more learners at lower cost, they are transforming how educators teach and assess. Ed-tech companies are combining the knowledge and skills of educators and data scientists to change how knowledge and skills are taught and to improve students’ learning outcomes.

The aim of the panel and the workshop is to explore these trends and apply them to the ASEAN-Australia context. Educators across the region are grappling with the new opportunities presented by digital technologies and the challenges they pose. Educators, entrepreneurs and policymakers from both ASEAN and Australia will share their insights and experiences, as well as identifying solutions to the challenges posed by the increasing prevalence of digital technologies in the learning process. 

Workshop Objectives:

 The key outcomes of the panel and the workshop will be:

  • A deeper understanding of the drivers for change in the use of digital technologies in TVET and higher education, and how these are manifesting across the ASEAN region and Australia.

  • An examination of how digital technologies are supporting skills development for learners who need help to improve their basic literacy, numeracy or digital skills.

  • A broader understanding of the different business models and opportunities presented by digital technologies through an examination of how ed-tech is being used to support skills development in different sectors of the economy.

  • Opportunities to foster new connections across the higher education, TVET, government and ed-tech sectors.


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