Thursday, July 29, 2010

Google launches Student Voice mock Australian election for high school students

Google has launched the Student Voice initiative, whereby 15-17 year old Australian students will be able to vote online in a mock election reflecting the current Federal election.

The goal is to help these students learn more about elections and also provide a perspective on how Australia's future voters (who will be eligible to vote in the following Federal election) may vote.

The launch has been supported by videos by Julia Gillard and Bob Brown.

I applaud Google for launching and managing this initiative, however it distresses me that no Australian organisation has tried to make something like this a reality. It is a shame that we are relying on a foreign-owned company to broaden Australian democracy, while Australian companies, institutions and other organisations sit on the sidelines and do nothing to support democracy in this country.

Also interesting is that this approach involves online voting. Today's high school students are already likely to expect to be able to vote online in real elections and the Student Voice initiative could further reinforce this expectation.

Perhaps, over time, this type of initiative will be a trigger that encourages Australian governments to support online voting (with appropriate security in place).

Certainly this initiative could help Google position itself as a potential provider of online voting facilities in the future. I would also expect to see them rolling out similar Student Voices in other jurisdictions over time, after using Australia as a guinea pig.

Student Voice launch video

1 comment:

  1. It is an intresting applicaiton towards teaching young students digtial citizenship skills. These sorts of applications are great tools for K-12 teachers to foster participatory and justice-oriented citizens in a protected environment. More on types of citizenship in my blog...