College gets $1.2m technology upgrade

QEC's 'more modern learning environment'

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 08:07 27/03/2014
QEC Michael Houghton
MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

OUT WITH THE OLD: Queen Elizabeth College principal Michael Houghton in one of the rooms that will be upgraded.

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A $1.2 million upgrade of Queen Elizabeth College in Palmerston North has been announced by the Ministry of Education to create a more modern learning environment.

A number of buildings will be removed, including an unused block of classrooms called the Forties Block, and new green space will be created.

Technology within the school will also be upgraded to allow the school to take advantage of ultrafast broadband and the role the internet now plays in education.

Principal Michael Houghton called the announcement a new chapter for the school.

"We're quite excited by this."

Staff are trialling technology before decisions are made on what will go into the school's classrooms.

"We're working out what we really want to do, staff are trialling things like interactive TVs, having teachers with tablets, having Apple TVs."

The way students learnt had changed to a more self-directed approach, Mr Houghton said, with teachers acting as facilitators. Having more technology in classrooms would mean when topics or ideas came up during class disccusions they could be explored online immediately rather than later when a computer lab was free.

"In recent years Queen Elizabeth College has had positive growth, in particular with year 9 enrolments. This latest project is a demonstration of faith in the school and of future-proofing the achievements of our students, ensuring they are ready to tackle the challenges of the digital age."

Ministry of Education head of education infrastructure Kim Shannon said the upgrade would allow Queen Elizabeth College to focus its capital funding to create quality, modern learning spaces. The upgrade includes the removal of six buildings and four other structures that have reached the end of their economic life and are surplus to requirements.

It would open the college campus, she said.

Board of trustees chairman Doug Wallace said "By providing our students with excellent technologically advanced learning environments, it will help secure their future in an ever-changing world."

Work would get under way in May and be completed by mid-2015. Mr Houghton said it would be done to cause minimal disruption.

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- Manawatu Standard

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