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Computer Usage Survey Sparks Warning

10 February 2006

Christchurch School Sounds Warning Following Computer Usage Survey

How computers are being used in schools is the key.

That today from one Christchurch school following a survey published by The Economist which rates New Zealand below the OECD average in terms of those accessing and using computers at school.

Associate Principal and Head of IT at Selwyn House School, Simon Mutch, says serious consideration must be given to what was actually surveyed as the key is how and why computers are being used in schools.

"The survey refers to how often computers are used in schools by students. We need to be careful about what that usage relates to as far as looking at computers as a tool and considering when they are the best tool for the job. Usage for the sake of usage isn't productive, he says.

"Most girls in the senior school at Selwyn House (Years 7 and 8) would use the computer several times a week for such things as finding, manipulating and storing information in one of the following ways:

- Through Internet based research or activities

- Use of still photography

- Use of moving images

- Through the medium of web authoring

- Through music composition

Understanding and incorporating computers into education, at all levels is essential in this day and age and Simon Mutch says a good foundation in IT from an early age is important.

"Our students use computers to help their learning. They've come to expect such things as the Internet to be at their fingertips wherever they are in the school. They are also used to the idea of wireless laptops so it gives them the freedom of access anywhere, anytime," he says.

Mr Mutch says one particular area which Selwyn House has been expanding is photography and movie making.

"We've had some girls working on the industry standard software "Final Cut". To make sure we are getting the best out of this software we have had a group of girls working with industry leaders to help the girls. Their knowledge and input has been invaluable."


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