Kids shape up for the hi-tech
business world of tomorrow
By Greg Gordon
A NATIONAL computer technology conference for children,
the first in South Africa, will take place in May.
Hosted by K-Net and Microsoft, its objective is to show
youngsters what they can achieve with computers using modern software tools.
Sessions will be held in Johannesburg, Cape Town and
Durban. The Johannesburg event will take place at the Volkswagen Conference Centre in
Midrand on May 20.
Says Jil Hrdliczka, managing director of K-Net: "We
aim to provide a model for the technological business world our children will inherit.
"The conference is for kids aged between 10 and 17
and will address common how and why computing questions. Delegates will be introduced to
new technologies and be brought up to date on how they can make computers work for them.
"While many kids are switched on and know their way
around a PC because of the games they play, they do not know how to harness powerful
technology to help them do better at school. The conference will attempt to create a
culture of using computers to, for instance, turn school projects into spectacular
presentations," she says.
"The morning session will be video-taped to create
footage for a video-making session scheduled for the afternoon. Delegates will edit images
on an Apple Mac, add music and titles and produce a professional-looking end product.
"At the end of the day the kids will put together a
conference newsletter on computer. During the conference, they'll be able to take pictures
for the publication using a digital camera.
"Another activity will involve hooking-up live to the
Internet and exploring the on-line world. Rather than just demonstrating software
products, these will be used to put together a school project," says Mrs Hrdliczka.
"A key issue at the conference will be the effective
use of existing technology. Not everyone has a 486 at home and we'll be showing just how
much can be achieved with old XT machines.
"Many kids have not learnt how to use computers to
their full potential. The conference will open up the world of computing and make kids
aware of the many software products designed for the home on the market. Unless kids know
how to use them, they lose out on all the fun and educational opportunities."
The conference runs from 10 am to 3.30 pm, costs R125 a
delegate and includes lunch and snacks. For more information, phone Russell on 803-5554.