Tech plan for school worries parents but pleases pupils

Teaching tech doesn't mean children will miss out on core subjects.
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

Teaching tech doesn't mean children will miss out on core subjects.

OPINION: When the Government's plan to bring more tech into the classroom was recently announced, I suspect many parents and teachers cringed and tut-tutted.

The idea of children spending more time in front of screens puzzled parents while teachers wondered how they were going to have the time and skills to teach tech.

About the only group ready for this plan is the children. Give any child a device with a new app and they'll be whizzing ahead of you within minutes.

Pupils will be lining up to build robots and apps and to create content using technology.

READ MORE: Nikki Kaye reveals digital shakeup for school curriculum

The digital literacy plan has many aspects and I'm not surprised parents and teachers are overwhelmed.

But one of the key ideas is to teach children how to use technology to solve problems. So instead of downloading an app and using it to learn some maths, children will be taught how to code an algorithm to better solve a maths problem.

This problem-solving ability is key to our children's future careers.

This is a tough challenge for our schools as they will need to roll this out for some pupils by next year. Teachers who already struggle with computers must be wondering how they are expected to teach coding, and principals will be scrambling to get skilled staff.

However, there are plenty of talented teachers out there so hopefully they'll get the support from principals and parents.

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Meanwhile, many parents will be confused and skeptical about the plan which, in their eyes, will mean their kids spend even more time on devices.

If you are worried about your kids having too much screen time, you could always stop them using devices at home except for educational purposes.

Teaching tech doesn't mean children will miss out on core subjects. Tech will become part of their learning so rather than replacing maths, reading and writing, it'll enhance it.

​I encounter a lot of resistance and doubt about tech. But we need to overcome this. The technology revolution is here. You may want to ignore it we can't limit opportunities for our children.

 - Stuff

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