We can come up with an innovative solution to the problem by using technology itself…Why can we not deliver some of the content via broadband?Ian McCrae, Orion Health
Health CEO Ian McCrae is adamant that New Zealand is ready to deliver digital
technology as an academic subject in secondary schools, without the need for
also believes the technology sector is prepared to work with the Ministry of
Education to make this happen.
technology sector is already investing a lot to raise the profile of technology
in schools, and it is almost certain that the sector will work with the
Ministry of Education to help deliver some of the content,” he tells CIO New Zealand.
just need the Ministry of Education to come to the party.”
has already been going on and I would imagine the industry is going to provide
experts to the Ministry of Education to help out with the more complicated
whether there would be enough teachers to handle the courses, McCrae says, “You
are quite right that teaching resource today does not exist within the
working with the sector, I am pretty sure we can come up with an innovative
solution to the problem by using technology itself.”
“Broadband opens up a whole new range in the way we deliver course content. You no longer need the experts standing in front of you.”
does the teacher have to be in the class? Why can we not deliver some of the
content via broadband? There are all sorts of possibilities.”
learns it by going to forums, asking questions, that is how technology is
is exactly how we can do it and how we should do it,” McCrae says.
Ian McCrae of Orion Health
To teach digital technology properly, the government has to invest additional money for those courses.
have put a lot of money and time [on this] and will continue to do so,” he
Health, for instance, has been providing Raspberry Pi computers to schools.
says Datacom and half a dozen other companies have done similar things. These
activities are augmented by IITP and other groups like Code Club, #SheSharp and
this week, McCrae, and two other ICT leaders —Frances Valintine of The Mind Lab
and Ian Taylor of Animation Research—sent an open letter to Education Minister Hekia Parata to fast track the delivery of digital technology as an academic subject.
Parata had earlier stated this will be done, but the Government will consult with various groups, design new curriculum content, and develop objectives for the programme until the end of next year.
UK and other countries have already overhauled their systems and are teaching
digital technology in primary and secondary schools, he says.
have been in consultation with the Ministry of Education now for almost a
were many other excellent recommendations made during the 12-month review in
2015,” he says.
begs the question: how much consultation do we have to have?”
Orion Health Outreach coordinator Ruth James works with Adamya Manchanda at Code Club.
The technology sector is already investing a lot to raise the profile of technology in schools, and it is almost certain that the sector will work with the Ministry to help deliver some of the content.
we simply want is for digital technology to be separated from metalwork,
woodwork, sewing and cookery,” he states.
wanted a major change to the curriculum so that it actually taught secondary
school students how to code, rather than how to create a PowerPoint
you leave it in the vocational area, it will continue to share resources with
is a lot of course content that is shared across all of them, and it is very
generic stuff, like ‘describe the goals of your project’. What that means is digital technology is
needs to be taught as an academic subject, in a separate learning area just
like maths and science. And it needs to be properly funded.”
teach digital technology properly, the government has to invest additional
money for those courses,” McCrae says. “From what we can tell there is no
significant money set aside to do that.”
you are lucky enough to go to a school that teaches the Cambridge Curriculum,
it has a very good set of papers and standards [for digital technology].”
am sure there are other syllabus that are equally good,” he says.
is hard for some of us to understand is why can’t the NCEA [The National
Certificate of Educational Achievement, the main national qualification for
secondary school students] offer something similar?”
is what needs to happen, and it needs to happen relatively soon, not in another
10 years time,” he says.
technology sector can move quickly, he says, but as each year passes, another group
of children will miss out.
says that Orion and other software companies “are staffed by many good people
from overseas, but we also want our own students to
have that opportunity.”
says reports estimate New Zealand schools produce 1,500 ICT students every
year, well-short of the industry demand for 3,000 a year.
are starting at 50 per cent of the supply needed.”
should be looking at this as a great career opportunity. The jobs are very well
paid,” he says.
many entrepreneurial companies can you think of
that have started in chemistry?
when you look at the software sector, there are so many of us. We started Xero,
Wynyard, Serko, Gentrac, and so many others that are unlisted.”
Related: ‘We can’t wait until high school to influence children, young women especially, to have an interest in maths and technology science. We have to start really young.’ – Westpac CIO Dawie Olivier
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