PM to learn about his body with new digital technology

Press Release – Life Education Trust
Prime Minister John Key is about to learn the complexity of his body and what he needs to do to look after it and remain healthy.

The Prime Minister is attending the Life Education Trust’s 25th annual conference on Friday (May 3) but, before he opens it, he’ll be shown the Trust’s new prototype classroom which is equipped with the latest digital technology.

The Trust was established in 1988 and now teaches health and nutrition to 225,000 individual primary and intermediate children each year and 350,000 over a two year period.

Their latest mobile classroom, which will be unveiled at the Auckland conference, is intended to propel the Trust into the next 25 years as a relevant and essential player in the health curriculum using technology to engage children’s imaginations.

Through the latest technology, software will replicate the Prime Minister’s skeleton and organs and demonstrate to him how they work so he has a far greater understanding of his 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 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.

The theme for the Auckland conference from May 3-5 is the challenge of the next 25 years and John says it’s being met through changes to its own programmes and the use of state-of-the-art technology which can be aligned and integrated into classroom teaching.


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