I WAS really interested to read recently in this paper that the ‘Escuela TIC 2.0’ Programme has been completed in El Ejido. It basically means that around 1,769 10 and 11 year olds have now been given a Laptop Computer and Backpack Carry Case, which are by far the best for your back as they spread the weight evenly across your shoulders and back when you carry the computer.
While I am not quite old enough to have used chalk and a blackboard at school, we didn’t have computers of any shape, unless you count a calculator although as I recall we weren’t allowed to use them for O’Level Maths or even A’Level Pure Maths and Statistics (although to be fair I don’t think anything was ever going to help with that particular subject!).
In fact, even though I started my working life with a Computer Company in the UK that was before the desktop computer had been introduced, before even mobile phones had been invented and certainly before the Internet was around. Looking back it was really interesting to ‘be around’ during the emergence of these developments, especially as they are taken for granted by so many these days.
I am a big of fan of technology and the opportunity it brings.
Ever since I first worked in Spain up in Barcelona I have always felt that Spain was lagging behind in it’s use of technology. In many ways that isn’t a bad thing! Sitting in a cafe enjoying a chat is much better if the friend isn’t stuck on their mobile phone texting the world and its mother!
On the other hand with so much of the world connected via the Internet these days, with so many jobs and business opportunities created and available online it would be wrong in my view not to educate the youth of Spain on this, and to facilitate their access to it.
Years ago when we went to America a lot I used to look at the kids in Starbucks with their laptops, tapping away doing their research, updating facebook, writing their assignments and thought how much more productive and conducive it all seemed to the library and books of my college days. Coming back to Spain was always a noticeable cultural shock, and if I had to choose between the American (non) culture and the Spanish culture I would select Spain, well actually we did as living in the US was indeed an option we considered, and in no way would I want to see Spain become Americanised as the UK has become.
On the whole though I think the ‘Escuela TIC 2.0’ Programme in El Ejido is excellent, as not only does it provide laptop computers to the children, but it has equipped the teachers with better classrooms that are set up for the modern digital world that the children will grow up in and one day will have to compete for jobs in with digital blackboards and virtual projectors, and 76 digital classrooms created to teach children the basic needs of the new information society which they live in.
By Chris Marshall