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Students consider futures in technology

By Derrek Loewen
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

You are sitting in computer class debating: "Are computers are the right road for me?" and wondering "Where can I learn more?"

This was the plan behind the "Digitizing" Technology Conference held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 16.

The day-long conference was organized into five time slots, each offering a "digitized" lesson from which students could choose. The students attending the conference were expected to choose four sessions out of five. The conference was also structured so students had the opportunity to contribute what they knew.

The conference content was split up into many different areas to maintain an equal balance of information for a wide variety of people. There were three main conference themes: Hardware/Software developments, Information Technology Skills Career Development, and Social/Moral Issues.

The Hardware/Software theme involved such topics as the Future of the Internet, the Future of Virtual Reality, and the Future of Computing Hardware.

Information Skills Career Development aimed to help participants to know how to start their own Technology Business, to know what are the really good Technology Careers of the Future, and to understand general careers that advance one's technology skills.

The Social/Moral issues theme dealt with technology working together to help the world. Sessions focused on Technology and Crime, Personal Safety on the Internet, and Accessability to the Internet.

Norm Lee, Co-ordinator for SchoolNet Canada, said the "Digitizing" conference could be quite beneficial to Manitoba students.

"This conference will help students understand where various areas of technology are going and what that means for them in terms of further education, job training and career selection," he said.

Each student who participated was encouraged to come up with a project based on the conference's information. They are expected to create an Internet site available to be shown to classes and schools.

Students who create such projects will be eligible to win a $1500 one-year tuition at a Manitoba post-secondary institution. Conference organizers also anticipate that schools will allow students use their conference project for course credit.

There was no age limit for conference participants and entire families were welcome. The event was sponsored by Industry Canada, the Economic Innovation and Technology Council and the Canadian Information Processing Society. Each group contributed money to cover such costs as
rental of the building and equipment.


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