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New digital mobile classroom to visit Canterbury next week

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Canterbury school children are about to learn the complexity of the human body and what they need to do to look after it and remain healthy.

The Life Education Trust’s new prototype classroom uses technology to engage children’s imaginations and is intended to propel the Trust into the next 25 years as a relevant and essential player in the health curriculum

The new mobile classroom, which is equipped with the latest digital technology, was unveiled by the Prime Minister in May and will be demonstrated to children, supporters, Life Education trustees and members of the public in Christchurch from August 20-22.

The classroom will be on display at Miles Continental Skoda, 70 Tuam Street, from Tuesday to Thursday next week. It then moves to Ashburton on the Friday. Members of the public are invited to experience it from 3-4pm on Tuesday, August 20.

Last week Minister Amy Adams announced that Life Education is one of eight New Zealand organisations selected as finalists in the 2013 World Summit Awards for creativity and innovation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The Trust, established 25 years ago, now teaches health and nutrition to 225,000 individual primary and intermediate children each year and 350,000 over the two year period.

Their latest mobile classroom which, through the latest technology, replicates the human skeleton and organs and demonstrates to children how they work so they have a greater understanding of their own body.

Life Education Trust’s CEO, John O’Connell, says it’s essential the Trust remains at the forefront of a child’s learning experience and its commitment to the next 25 years is to reinforce its position as a leading and innovative player in the school environment.

The latest mobile classroom, one of 45 across the country, is equipped with Microsoft Kinetic technology and software developed by Life Education so a child’s imagination can be captured by the images on the projector based screen.

As they react and move in the mobile classroom, the "augmented reality" of the images becomes their own skeleton and organs. They will then be able to download the programme and use it as part of their learning and assessment experience back in the classroom.

"Our challenge in remaining relevant is to integrate our programmes into the school’s needs and learning outcomes," John O’Connell says. "The digital classroom is an example of how we’re developing our resources and content to support the school teacher in the classroom environment."

While Life Education Trust educators bring their programmes to 50 percent of New Zealand schools annually and 80 percent every two years, John O‘Connell’s vision is to engage with every child, every year.

"We’re continuing to grow and have the capacity to meet the needs of New Zealand schools. To achieve that we must fund and introduce 10 more technology driven classrooms in the next five years," he says.

Two more classrooms have become operational in the last 12 months but meeting the $2 million cost of the 10 new classrooms requires "new money." John O‘Connell says the Trust is committed to funding that extra resource.

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