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Oct 162013

Speech given in State Parliament by State Member for Bulimba, Aaron Dillaway, on 15th October 2013.

A challenge that people my age or older often face is the constantly evolving face of technology. How many honourable members can relate to the experience of having to ask your kids or the younger generation to get your computer to work or how to do something on your phone? I can assure honourable members that we are in very safe hands.

On 26 and 27 August I attended the Kids Connect 2013 event at The Edge, part of the State Library of Queensland. Kids Connect is a two-day technology based conference run by kids for kids. This year, the year 7s of St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School in Camp Hill, which is in the Bulimba electorate, ran the show, acting as the Kids Connect organising committee. I was honoured to be invited to attend part of the workshop as a sponsor and was more than impressed with the way that the year 7s of St Thomas’ conducted themselves and engaged and connected with other students.

Seventeen other schools from across Queensland participated in the two-day event, which incorporated a range of activities with the theme ‘Tech on the Edge’, reflecting their aim to take technology to the limit and push it to ‘the edge’. It is very fitting given the venue’s name. The students explored new, fun and exciting technological skills through breakout activities such as movie making, creating and using games to improve learning, creating a virtual tour of Southbank for tourists and creating a magazine. One of the activities was called ‘Breaking “Edge” Gadget Design’ where they explored what technology on the edge actually means. Students were amused by the thought that pencil and paper was once technology on the edge. For many of my colleagues in the chamber it was. Students were given the opportunity to explore the amazing facilities in the vicinity such as QPAC, GoMA, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Sciencentre and the Queensland Museum. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our work, home and lifestyle and is continuously growing and changing face, education programs like Kids Connect are of paramount importance.

With the 17 schools represented from across the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions, so many of my colleagues would be aware of the fantastic program these year 7s were able to be involved in. They say that you learn 90 per cent of what you teach. So teaching, discussing and sharing knowledge is one of the best ways to firmly grasp and retain concepts. Attending this event provided me with a great perspective in the wake of the Queensland Plan. I experienced just how much education has transformed over the years with the evolution of technology. Learning methods and strategies have expanded and there is more of a focus on self-directed learning, which I believe is vital for giving our next generation the skills they need for the real world.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate the year 7s of St Thomas’ for their hard work, passion and enthusiasm for learning. It was truly inspiring to see a group of bright, young students sharing their knowledge and interacting so well with other students from different schools.

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