Last Friday, we had a very different visitor in the Primary School, one we had never experienced anything before. At lunch time, six special student delegates interviewed our guest, named Nao. The interview took place in my office in front of a number of cameras and videos but the children confidently asked their questions and responded well to the answers given. They were particularly impressed when Nao began to show his dancing skills, performing, amongst other things, ‘Gangnam Style’. These same six children then interviewed Nao again in front of hundreds of children and staff during our afternoon assembly. Nao had even more talents to show off and dances to perform; we were all particularly impressed with his balance and poise whilst performing some Tai Chi moves. If your children have not already told you, as there was much excitement for our special guest, Nao is a robot, a very lifelike robot!
Technology is an ever increasing part of our world and an area that many new jobs will be created for in the future. This could be a career that your children may choose, future innovation, cures for disease, reducing the effects of global warming, any role where creativity, critical thinking and potentially programming of machines to solve problems may come from one of our BVIS students. The Japanese company producing the Nao Robot, predict that there will actually be more robots, in one form or another, than humans on Earth by 2040 and that by 2020, a micro-chip will be as powerful as a human brain. It certainly makes you think. Our visitor made the children think. Yes, Nao was entertaining, but seeing, to us as educators at least, the possibilities of programming, engineering and students choosing a potentially life-changing career is far more exciting.
Technologies, the future, what will they hold? Nao showed us what is available right now and we need to harness these technologies to ensure your children are ready to be global citizens and leaders of the future. Computer Science has just been added as an examination subject in Secondary and Sef Waldron writes about it in the Secondary update.
Have a great weekend and as you walk around, do point out to your children the technology you can see and that someone has had to program all of it to make it work. One day, that could be them.
Mr Nicholas West – Head of Primary