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1995 These technokids learn through play
Sunday Times
Metro Computing
February 5 1995
by Greg Gordon
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARD AT PLAY - Brett Manson and Georgia and Marisa Louridas are discovering that computers can be fun than sitting in front of the TV
 

These techno kids learn through play

by Greg Gordon

IT LOOKS and sounds like the kind of place children would go to have fun. The music is loud, the atmosphere informal and the décor bright. A 10-year-old child on rollerblades goes thundering down the corridor.

Are we at a movie complex on a Saturday night? No, it's Saturday afternoon and between bouts at the pool table or visits to the soft-drink vending machine, these children are getting to grips with the latest computer technology.

They are at K-Net, a computer learning centre for schoolchildren and teenagers that mixes education and entertainment in a relaxed environment. The facility opened in Rivonia in December and 100 children have already attended courses there.

Managing director Jil Hrdliczka says children who attend afternoon sessions, holiday or weekend courses use the centre as a learning and recreational facility.

"It's a place where children between the ages of three and 17 can have fun and learn to make technology work for them. Computers are the best tools for entertainment, research, projects, and general development.

"Here they have a meeting place where they can exchange ideas with other children with similar interests and experience. At the same time they have hands-on access to the latest technology," she says.

David-John Miller, 11, is excited. He's holding up a print of Bugs Bunny produced on a new colour printer at home. He says his grandfather helped him download the image from a bulletin board.

"I love computers," he says. " We've got five PCs at home - from an old XT to a laptop and a 486DX/33 - and the whole family uses them. I enjoy games but would like to do programming when I leave school.

"At K-Net I've learned the basics of animation and how I can use a PC to help me with everyday projects like homework and school assignments," he says.

Brett Manson, 15, attended the opening of the facility and has been a regular ever since. "I knew a bit about PCs before but now I know a lot. I have a 486 at home and use it for games or school projects. I also help my father by typing letters on it. I'd like a job in computer graphics when I leave school," he says.

Sisters Georgia, 12, and Marisa Louridas, 10, joined K-Net when their father told them about it. Says Georgia: "We've got a DOS-based PC at home which we use to play games. Here, I've been working with video and animation on the PC to do school projects and have made quite a few friends."

In one corner a group of kids watch a friend destroying alien spacecraft in one of the latest shareware game. Equally engrossed are two young girls communicating via E-mail.

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