Screen content in Australian education: Digital promise and pitfalls

Stuart Cunningham, Michael Dezuanni, Benedict Goldsmith, Maureen Burns, Prue Miles, Cathy Henkel, Mark Ryan, Kayleigh Murphy

Research output: Book/ReportReports


This research report profiles both the demand side and the supply side of the so-called education ‘market’ for Australian screen content. After introducing the general factors driving change in educational use of screen content, and Australian screen content in particular, we present a highly condensed summary of key findings. We then outline the indicative shape of the education market, followed by a discussion of the demand side comprising schools, teachers, teacher-librarians, and students. This section of the report is based on full-day visits to approximately 30 schools ranging from Prep/Kindergarten to Year 12, and including government, Catholic and independent schools in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Schools engagement typically consisted of interviews with teachers across a range of subject areas and year levels, teacher librarians, focus group interviews with students, and classroom observation. We undertook approximately 150 teacher interviews, along with 25 classroom observations. A total of 175 students participated in focus groups. This section of the report on demand includes two case studies: one detailing how ‘set’ and ‘prescribed’ texts are structured into curriculum in the various states and territories; and the other on how Australian content is taught in university screen studies programs. In the next section of the report, we turn to the ‘supply’ side, including producers, distributors and services. This section is based on desk research and interviews with approximately 25 suppliers of screen content to the Australian education sector, including producers, distributors and service enterprises across the commercial, not-for-profit, and public service media sectors. Suppliers were selected to represent the diversity of supply in terms of business model, technology base, innovative strategy, size and scale, and whether they were relatively new or well established. In this section, in-depth case studies of public service media (ABC, SBS), leading commercial enterprises (YouTube, ClickView), an independent producer (Cathy Henkel/Virgo Productions) and a not-for-profit (ACTF) are interspersed with brief profiles of representative companies. Many of the in-depth case studies, particularly SBS, Virgo Production’s Rise of the Eco-Warriors, and university teaching of Australian screen, integrate the dynamics of supply and demand. A section specifically designed to address practical issues for suppliers of Australian content—Recurrent challenges, successful strategies—rounds out the report.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherDigital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology
Number of pages100
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Screen content in Australian education: Digital promise and pitfalls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this