Kids push committee for digital education
It ''bums'' 12-year-old Stephen Dyoco that he can't vote, but that didn't stop him giving politicians advice on keeping schools in the digital age.
He and three other Tawa Intermediate School classmates - Helen Oliver, Jade Gibbons-Lawrie and Lachlan Patterson - told a panel of politicians at the Education and Science Select Committee meeting today how much their learning relied on technology.
It was one of a variety of submissions given, all focused on 21st century learning environments and digital literacy within the New Zealand education sector.
But the engaging and witty words from the intermediate school students gave the committee members the chance to hear things from those effected most by Government's stance on the issue.
''Computers can actually help kids with their learning,'' Stephen said.
Helen Oliver said students needed bright and interesting learning spaces so they could be more comfortable than sitting on the ''hard cold floor''.
''Most New Zealand schools were built in the 50s or 60s, before I was born, so they are out of date with things like furniture and space.''
For Lachlan, it was about using technology effectively, so even students could help teach each other.
"Schools these days aren't just about listening to the teacher drone on for ages about why pi equals 3.1415927. Teachers use hands on learning to help students learn."
Outside parliament, their first-year teacher Stephanie Thompson said digital learning was just part of society now, and the Year 7 and 8 students wanted to express that.
''New Zealand schools lack devices and internet. My students hate it when the WiFi goes down, and so do I, and that can be frustrating for the kids.'' And for children who had different learning styles, like students with dyslexia, using other formats like video was important, she said.
Tawa Intermediate School principal Carolyn Stuart said it was about schools being relevant to the age in which they lived.
''It's a big changing world out there in schools and we have to change with it.''
It was not just children who were rewired to the digital age, it was everybody else too.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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