By Divina Paredes
July 13, 2016
Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae with members of the Orion's Junior Development Board Mukti Prabhakar and Mohammed Abu-alsaad
Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae is adamant that New Zealand is ready to deliver digital technology as an academic subject in secondary schools, without the need for more consultation.
He also believes the technology sector is prepared to work with the Ministry of Education to make this happen.
"The technology sector is already investing a lot to raise the profile of technology in schools, and it is almost certain that the sector will work with the Ministry of Education to help deliver some of the content," he tells CIO New Zealand.
"We just need the Ministry of Education to come to the party."
"This has already been going on and I would imagine the industry is going to provide experts to the Ministry of Education to help out with the more complicated areas."
Asked whether there would be enough teachers to handle the courses, McCrae says, "You are quite right that teaching resource today does not exist within the educational system."
"But working with the sector, I am pretty sure we can come up with an innovative solution to the problem by using technology itself."
"Broadband opens up a whole new range in the way we deliver course content. You no longer need the experts standing in front of you."
"Why does the teacher have to be in the class? Why can we not deliver some of the content via broadband? There are all sorts of possibilities."
"Everybody learns it by going to forums, asking questions, that is how technology is learned."
"That is exactly how we can do it and how we should do it," McCrae says.
Ian McCrae of Orion Health
"We have put a lot of money and time [on this] and will continue to do so," he says.
Orion Health, for instance, has been providing Raspberry Pi computers to schools.
He says Datacom and half a dozen other companies have done similar things. These activities are augmented by IITP and other groups like Code Club, #SheSharp and OMG Tech.
Earlier this week, McCrae, and two other ICT leaders -Frances Valintine of The Mind Lab and Ian Taylor of Animation Research-sent an open letter to Education Minister Hekia Parata to fast track the delivery of digital technology as an academic subject.