Students, Teachers And Parents Of DigiKidz Schools Receive Technology Training

CAY HILL - Students, teachers and parents of the two Digikidz schools Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School and Seventh Day Adventist School, received technology training through workshops on programming and the use of social media by Pauline Maas from the Netherlands. The trainings and workshops were held over two weeks starting from May 18th.

Pauline Maas visited St. Maarten as one of the many ICT workshop presenters for the Medialab project. Having an educational as well as strong IT background, she decided in 2004 to resign from her IT career and start with her own business, giving lectures, workshops and writing books on coding, social media and gaming in order to assist and guide parents, teachers and children in the virtual world.

Maas conducted a total 18 workshops for school classes, teachers and parents. This project started originally in Curacao and expanded to the DigiKidz Medialab at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library in St. Maarten. Saskia Luckman-Meijer of Foundation KultuurKameleon in Curacao is the big motor behind this initiative and works closely with the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and Foresee Foundation.

Mrs. Maas introduced students to the world of programming. All over the world many initiatives are taken to let young students get acquainted with coding (computer programming) with the aim to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Coding helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. Using websites like www.hourofcode.com, www.scratch.mit.edu/and www.codekinderen.nl were visibly a good choice looking at the excited faces of the students and teachers.

Parents at the Hillside School were also invited for a special parent evening during which Maas spoke about social media, games and smart phones and the role of parents.

Parents often have questions on whether or not to monitor their child on the internet; they wonder what makes internet so fun for children and often feel insecure on how to deal with their child as they themselves do not know enough about computers and social media. In her interactive presentation, Maas gave parents tips and ideas on a range of topics varying from kids on the internet, gaming and the extended use of smart phones.

Students, teachers and parents had a great learning experience. The Foresee Foundation and the DigiKidz Medialab are looking forward to having Maas return to St. Maarten to conduct more workshops and train local persons to become future ICT workshop presenters.


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