Editor: In a desperate effort to gain some support for the upcoming elections, this government is again dispensing tablet computers without doing the necessary pre-programming, that MUST include content related to the school’s curriculum, an offline dictionary, and encyclopaedia for the relevant age group.
I have written on several occasions about this issue and the same foolishness is happening again. Yes, these educational devices are important in today’s world as a learning and entertainment portal, but it must be delivered to satisfy the learning needs of our children, if it is to be an effective learning tool.
Before these devices are distributed, they must be pre-loaded with content that is relevant to the age group to which it is given. Parental controls must also be included, so that parents and adult supervisors can monitor the content and time spent on these devices. Regular ergonomic breaks are required to avoid eye strain and carpel tunnel syndrome for those devices with keyboards.
At the time of distribution, a PTA meeting can be held for those students/parents who are receiving these devices, so that both parents and students have a basic understanding how these new devices work.
Nowadays soft copies of text books are available and should be pre-loaded to these devices as books (hard copies) are heavy and expensive.
Care of these devices is also of paramount importance. If you visit the Ministry of Education technician’s office you will notice a ‘mountain’ of damaged laptops and tablet computers, all destroyed through bad care and the loading of virus laden pornographic content which can and will cause hard drives to crash.
If the job is too much for the technical staff at the Ministry of Education, why not get all the IT teachers from all schools involved with pre-loading the relevant content including educational games and ‘learning to type’ programs, while blocking websites that promote violence, pornography and other irrelevant content, thereby making these devices what the original intention is; to provide a modern tool to enhance the learning experience.
I hope these words will not fall on deaf ears, but will be accepted by progressive Vincentian minds. Let’s do a good thing RIGHT !
Donald De Riggs