Technology in prisons for learning: Making the Connection

Lightning talks 1

Helen Farley
University of Southern Queensland

Catch this session

Monday 4 December, 2.30pm – 3pm
Stream 4
Room L209


The Australian Government Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program-funded project, Making the Connection, is taking digital technologies, that do not require internet access, into correctional centres to enable prisoners, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, to enroll in a suite of pre-tertiary and undergraduate programs. A version of the University of Southern Queensland’s learning management system has been installed onto the education server of participating correctional centres. The second stage of the project has seen notebook computers pre-loaded with course materials, allocated to participating prisoners. At the time of writing, the project has been deployed at thirty correctional centres in Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory with negotiations underway for further rollout to Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia late in 2017. It is expected that the technologies and processes developed for this project will enable the delivery of higher education to other cohorts without access to reliable internet access. This presentation presents an update of the project.

About the authors

Helen Farley

Associate Professor Helen Farley researches within the Digital Life Lab at the University of Southern Queensland. Her research interests include investigating the affordances of emerging digital technologies, including virtual worlds, augmented reality and mobile technologies, in formal and informal learning. She is passionate about digital inclusion and leads the $4.4 million Making the Connection project which introduces digital technologies into prisons to allow prisoners access to digital higher education. The project has attracted some 1500 course enrolments over five states and recently received an Australian Award for University Teaching for Programs that Enhance Learning. Associate Professor Farley has published extensively and is a featured speaker at both educational technology and corrections conferences.