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Overhead projectors and floppy disks unrecognisable to Aussie students

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Three-quarters of Aussie school kids don’t know what an overhead projector is and two-thirds can’t identify a floppy disk.

School children in grades three to six and their parents were surveyed which revealed that kids don’t recognise many of the defining objects from their parents' time at school.

The national study was undertaken to coincide with the return of Woolworths’ popular Earn & Learn program. The program helps schools and early learning centres obtain a variety of educational resources, including sporting, mathematics, arts, science and technology equipment.

Key additional findings from the report from students include:

  • Nine out of 10 kids don’t know what a library stamp card is
  • 91%  of kids believe teachers were stricter in previous generations
  • 61% of kids believe school would have been more boring back then
  • Four out of five kids claim they’re smarter than when their parents were at school

The study also highlighted just how much the physical classroom has changed with parents equally baffled by STEAM items that are now commonplace in many Australian classrooms. Key findings from parents include:

  • 96% unable to identify a Sphero, a popular robotics toy
  • More than 8 in 10 (83%) were not able to recognise a 3D printer
  • 100% of parents were not able to recognise a USB Microscope

However, children of today are still enjoying some of the same pastimes of their parent’s generation, such as handball, footy, clapping games and cartwheels during recess.

What was apparent, regardless of generation, was parents and kids both acknowledging the importance of learning a broad range of skills through science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

  • 79% of parents recognise that learning to use technology is very important in today’s classroom
  • 80% of parents place the opportunity to be problem-solvers as the most important aspect of their kids’ education.

Kids are in agreement too; citing hands-on activities to help them learn (94%), using technology like computer and robots (93%), doing creative things like arts and crafts (85%) and science (82%) as the reasons that they like going to school.

The findings were published in the Woolworths Earn & Learn Changing Classrooms Report.


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