COMMENT: Techno world awaits

I FEEL I'm not the only one baffled by the kinds of things high school students can do with computers in the year 2017.

We've gone from a time not so long ago when having one computer in the classroom was seen as a kind of luxury, to now, where nearly every kid can use an iPad like they were born with one in their hands.

Seeing students barely out of primary school being able to create coding that can control the flight of unmanned aircraft is impressive but also a tad scary for those of us who have trouble logging into their email account.

There is no doubt that the skills these STEM students are learning now will prove extremely valuable when they leave school and enter an increasingly automated world.

Yet, amid rapid advancements in technology, there has been a strong backlash against the proliferation of computers in the classroom, even among some teachers.

I've heard a few of my tradesmen friends comment on the disappearance of manual skills among the recent generation of apprentices; something they often put down to kids simply not picking up a hammer these days because they are too busy fiddling around on some kind of techno device during their vital early years.

While schools must prepare students for what's coming, I hope it's not at the expense of all the old manual skills that we still rely on when things just need to get done.