Kids On The Internet
The meeting was in three parts, a paper read by Karl Auer, a presentation by Michelle Huston about the ACT Education Information Network, then a panel discussion with Michelle, Jan Heuron, Margaret May, Natalie Wise, all from the education department, and Karl Auer.
Karl's paper delivered on the subject of Internet censorship. Values change over time, things that were bad yesteryear are OK today, values vary with culture and religion, do we want to restrict our exposure to the rest of the world?
Michelle explained her work in getting ACTEIN Schools Program up and going over the last few years. After a modest start of eight schools on the Internet, there are now seventy odd connected, and hopefully more by years end.
Virtually everything had been done on a shoestring budget. If you want to see what has been achieved, point your browser to http://actein.edu.au. They have their own IRC channel, outside the mainstream IRC world, but their email has taken them all over the world, to meet different people with different lives.
They have developed their keyboard, spelling and vocabulary skills quite rapidly, and once they get the idea of surfing, have been able to use the net, amongst other resources, to finalise project assignments.
A fifteen minute video, produced locally by ACTEIN and several schools on the project followed. Again, it was a remarkable video, and credit is due to all those who produced it.
The video was followed by the panel discussion, Jan, Margaret and Natalie who are active and dedicated participants in the project joined Karl and Michelle in fielding questions from the audience of some 200.