Press Clipping 1995 - K-Net brings computers to kids
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©Software World
Skills Update
March 1995
by Kathy Gibson









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Kids at work at K-Net. Facilities are designed to be comfortable, functional and fun. (Georgia Louridas and Janet Pavey in the foreground.)

K-Net brings computers to kids

Education has never been this much fun before. Kids attending sessions at K-Net learn how to make computers work for them in a their everyday needs. Kathy Gibson looks at the facility, which has passed its first three months as a resounding success.

Kids can have fun while they're learning. That's the overwhelming conclusion from the first batch of kids to pass through K-Net, a newly-formed technology network for kids from ages four to 17.

K-Net, the first facility of it's kind in SA, is the brainchild of Jil Hrdliczka, previously principal of the Damelin Computer School.

"K-Net is a technology network for school-going kids and teenagers," says Hrdliczka.

"The kids learn how to make computers work for them. We teach them to use a computer as a tool to help in what they are doing - and have fun." While the emphasis may be on fun, there is a sound educational philosophy behind the K-Net programmes. "The kids work in an open environment, they are motivated and their ideas are their own," says Hrdliczka. "Best of all, nothing they create using computers is ever wrong."

K-Net is staffed by educationists and computer industry specialists who have had many years experience working with children in recreational, teaching, leadership, computer, and sporting environments.

Programmes at K-Net are project-based, with kids grouped according to interest and experience rather than age, in keeping with the K-Net philosophy that knowledge knows no bounds.

About 60 kids recently attended K-Net's Christmas holiday programme. According to Hrdliczka, the K-Net debut was even more successful than the organisers could have imagined.

Kids learnt how to use technology to achieve a variety of fun, educational and even pretty advanced goals - getting more out of the computers than many adults have even thought of.

Using both online and printed reference and graphics sources, the kids put together a project. These were stunningly-presented, full of facts, colourful and easy to read.

They also learnt how to manipulate graphics - again either from clipart, printed matter or self-generated.

Without consciously "learning", the kids not only gleaned facts and figures about their project topics, but learnt to find information on-line; scan reference books; input data; find, scan and generate graphics; work with a number of software programs - including conversions from one to another; and put it all together in a professional format.

The kids also created a video during the holiday programme. They created a series of graphics to run together for the animation, recorded sound and synchronised the two to make a short video clip - again producing output of a quality that would put many adults to shame.

K-Net runs holiday and after-school programmes. It also runs a K-Net Club, which allows kids to make use of K-Net facilities at anytime after school and on weekends.


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Date of update: 18 February 2009