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ITx Day One: Education is key

Paul Brislen, Editor. 12 July 2016, 10:05 am
ITx Day One: Education is key

It took 130 years for electricity to arrive in the small New Zealand town of Raupunga but only three years for Google to deliver its service to the world.

For Ian Taylor, founder of Animation Research Limited and president of the organisation formerly known as IITP, this fact lies at the heart of a profound understanding - this industry is changing both itself and the world around it rapidly.

Just look at Periscope, which now delivers more than 40 years' worth of video content every single day, only 15 months after launch. Or look at the Pokemon Go phenomenon which has leapt from its beta launch to having more users than Twitter in under 15 days.

For Taylor, speaking on the first day of ITx, how we use technology and absorb it into our lives, will shape our future and help us in all fields of life. His mihimihi doesn't just list his history, instead he made it into a digital presentation that includes maps, photos, music and of course, animation to describe the journey he's taken to reach his place in life today.

He also uses the example of just how quickly technology is moving to plead with the government over its recent announcements around changes to the way digital technology is treated at school. We don't have time, says Taylor, to wait until 2018 to deploy any new strategy because that's a full three years after we first started talking about it and that's too long. 

"IT is the most powerful learning tool on the planet, particularly for those children from poor backgrounds," says Taylor, who says the groups that stand to benefit most from digital education are precisely the groups who need more help than they currently get - Maori and Pacific Island children.

Taylor says Maori don't have "pencils and paper" in their DNA but give the kids a tablet and it's as if they're designed for Maori and Pacific Islanders.

Taylor also sees technology and in particular the UFB and RBI projects, as the silver bullet to the problem of Auckland.

"Why spend billions of dollars to cram people into Auckland when we  have the solution. We can build these businesses from home, and we can take on the world from Dunedin."

Taylor lives in "Gigatown", and as a result gets a connection speed at home of around 850Mbit/s down and 440Mbit/s upload speed. Imagine, he says, if every region had that capability. Just what could we do with it?

The ITx conference continues today, culminating in the Excellence in IT Awards dinner and celebration of the most dynamic industry in the world.


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