Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, presenting Principal of the Barbados Community College, Dr. Gladstone Best, with a laptop computer and other ICT equipment at??the Hotel PomMarine.??

Students at four tertiary institutions in Barbados today received Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment from the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN), to assist them with their studies.

The donation of 40 laptops, two servers and supporting equipment was handed over at the Hotel PomMarine, Marine Gardens, Christ Church, to representatives from the Barbados Community College’s (BCC) Hospitality Institute, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) and the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, for use in their libraries.

Speaking at the presentation, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, urged administrators to use the equipment to assist them in reaching their optimal ability.?? "ICT is a tool and can do wonders in the hands of well- educated and trained staff," he pointed out.

Mr. Jones also spoke briefly about the top five challenges in teaching and learning with technology, as identified at the Educase Conference held last December.?? These are: creating learning environments that promote active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation; developing 21st century literacies (information, digital, and visual) among students and faculty; reaching and engaging today’s learner; encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning

with Information Technology; and advancing innovation in teaching and learning with technology in an era of budget cuts.

He urged staff at those institutions to share solutions to these challenges with each other.?? "Perhaps the principals can have some lunch-time chats with staff to hear what they are doing with ICT and what new technologies they need…maybe you can benchmark yourself against a similar best practice institution…perhaps you can appoint a lead technology integration person in each department.?? Whatever you do, get creative and innovative and bring your staff forward to become leading edge institutions," the Minister said.

Administrators were also encouraged to create strategic plans for their individual institutions.?? "As the Ministry seeks to work with you to enhance and advance innovation, and create new learning environments, you have to play your part in setting a vision for your institutions and creating a dynamic strategic plan to guide you forward," Mr. Jones advised.

Fifteen computers were presented to the BCC, 10 to Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, 10 to the SJPP and five to the Hospitality Institute, while one server each was given to Erdiston and the SJPP.

The CKLN is a multilateral project supported by the Organisation of American States, the World Bank, the European Union and the Canadian International

Development Agency. It was launched by the Caribbean Community and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States in 2004.

The project is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Caribbean countries, by using information and communication technologies to connect the Caribbean to the global pool of knowledge, developing human resources and facilitating greater regional integration.??

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