has changed my life."
Paul Clark 1995
MARKS - Jil Hrdliczka with
Paul Clark and top-scoring project
Kids get top
marks with K-Net
A useful tool
to learn life skills
by Greg Gordon
SCHOOLBOY Paul Clark
did not mind being used as a guinea pig - in fact,
it earned him top marks in a school project.
Eleven year-old Paul,
a Std 3 pupil at Marian College, Linmeyer, scored 92
percent for a school project about diamonds which he
put together using a computer.
And that's the
concept behind a new learning facility for kids that
opens on December 1.
Headed by Mrs Jil
Hrdliczka, K-Net will teach children how to use PCs
as a tool in their everyday lives. Mrs Hrdliczka was
the principal of the Damelin Computer School for 10
years before embarking on her latest project.
"We used people
like Paul to establish whether it would be viable to
start a technology network for young people.
"The facility will take youngsters beyond basic
will show them how they can use technology to
broaden their general knowledge, to learn life
skills and perform powerful research
"The emphasis is
that learning can be fun and that research comes
alive on PCs.
"Books are all
very well, but by using educational software,
children can cut and paste information and pictures
into their projects, making them more colourful and
school-going kids between the ages of seven and 17.
"They'll be able
to use the facility after school or over weekends.
"We'll also be running a holiday programme in
which children and their parents can attend.
be exposed to all sorts of technology, from the
Internet to CD-ROM and digital video, and learn
about other computer-related issues like computer
viruses," says Mrs Hrdliczka. K-Net will have
24 486 workstations for students networked to a file
server, CD-ROM server, scanners and colour printers.
A lot of the software
will be shareware and freeware, the sort of packages
found on many home-based PCs.
next year we'll be launching sessions for children
aged between four and seven. "It's never too
early for kids to learn about technology and there's
plenty of, multimedia software designed specially
for this age group," she says.
Hrdliczka says the children will be treated like
adults at the centre and will be encouraged to share
ideas. "People will work in teams and will be
motivated to be creative.
instruct them, the process will be more subtle.
guided rather than taught. "Often computers are
seen as a means to an end, something to be used only
in the workplace.
forget the future, computers can be used to assist
kids with what they want to achieve now.
useful skills at a young age, children gain
confidence and are able to produce something that
they enjoy and can be proud of, "she says.