A new age for Conondale students

MALENY Blackall Range Lions Club made the largest single non-subsidised purchase or donation in its history when it donated almost $12,000 to Conondale State School this month for the purchase of four flatbed interactive television screens, mountings, cabling and installation.

Following an unsuccessful application for a federal grant, a request for a subsidy was made by another local organisation and the local Lions Club decided the students’ need for assistance was too great to ignore.
The new screens, which are state-of-the-art equipment, are currently being introduced to schools where the P&C can supply them.

While the small school of 64 students now has a very small P&C, in the past equipment like this would have been only a dream.
As the school has only four classes, one screen will be provided in each classroom replacing the old, worn out whiteboards that stopped being interactive quite a few years ago. A projector will be used to provide vision from apps on teachers’ laptops.

The screens encourage students who have a limited attention span for chalk-and-talk teaching to become involved as most would already use apps on phones and other devices at home.

Robotics and coding are being introduced in all high schools and this new technology will give these primary students a working knowledge before they transition to high school.

With the school’s current low enrolment, acting principal Scott Willis is hoping this technology might attract additional students living in the area to attend their local school instead of travelling to schools on the coast where this technology is already available.

Both the school and the Lions Club are eagerly anticipating the delivery of the new equipment and the staff is also looking forward to the professional development training to use the new technology.

The club has a great relationship with this tiny school, assisting Chappy Becky Francis to provide breakfast, clothing, shoes and school requisites throughout the year. Club members are extremely happy to provide the best equipment to aid the students’ learning as well.

Lions International president Dr Jung-Yul Choi’s theme for the year is ‘United in Kindness and Diversity’ and Maleny Blackall Range Lions Club members know that the impact of this equipment goes far beyond the work of “helping hands in kindness”.

Photo: Lions Club member Judy Brodie with Conondale State School’s acting principal Scott Willis