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Computer technology network for kids and teenagers
ęThe SA Jewish Times Supplement
Friday 10 March 1995









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Computer technology network for kids and teenagers

WELL known educator Jil Hrdliczka has opened a technology network where kids and teenagers between the ages of 4 and 17 learn how to make computers work for them.

Known as K-Net, the environment represents a breakthrough in education and entertainment for children which is unique in South Africa.

It is based on a concept which differs fundamentally from computer literacy and computer based training courses.

"Knowledge knows no age," says Hrdliczka. "We group children according to interest and experience but we make learning a fun experience for each child by letting them discover computers at their own individual pace. We minimise theoretical input in favour of action and creativity."

Although the atmosphere of K-Net is purposely informal, a formal infrastructure is behind everything the children learn. "Supervision is unobtrusive. We don't teach lessons. We mentor projects which allows children to constantly achieve results."

K-Net's comprehensive programmes cover computer skills which are essential for children in today's technology driven age.

"Aside from basic computing, we also work with graphics, animation, programming, multimedia, creative writing, publishing, and music and digital video. It's a new way of life."

Hrdliczka says that the focus is on children learning how to make technology work for them. "They apply practical knowledge to entertainment, research, broadening of general knowledge, projects, summarising, development of life skills, and reinforcing concepts taught at school."

K-Net's talent development and mini business programme is geared towards giving young people skills in programming, building and repairing PCs, and publishing. "We take the concept of making computers work for you to its ultimate, by giving young people experience in using their skills to earn money."

K-Net also provides a meeting place where children network, exchange ideas and make new friends. Hrdliczka says that working with other children of similar interests and experience develops each child's self-confidence and nurtures a positive attitude to learning.

"Above all, we provide a stimulating, motivating, exciting and safe environment. We run programmes all day, over weekends and during holidays."

The K-Net mentors are computer industry specialists who share their knowledge and experience to provide increasingly sophisticated levels of interaction. Young people continually develop, never running out of fresh and exciting learning opportunities. No expense has been spared in the equipment used at K-Net Programmes are run on brand new 486 DX units with 8MB RAM.


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