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Kaz Akbar

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					 Kaz Akbar: From Training the
Future Wizards of Technology to
Well-rounded Private Montessori
           Schools
A top the list of all the things the public school
system was hard-pressed to provide in the
past, up-to-date teaching in technology was
glaring earlier in the decade. Keeping up with
changing equipment demands and necessary
teacher training has been a rearguard action
the past several years in the schools, a flailing
effort to stay abreast of a computerized society
that keeps whizzing ahead.
Kaz Akbar, former school teacher in the Greater
Toronto Area is among those who started his
own summer camps and after-school programs
to address the need. In the late 1990's, Kaz
Akbar left the public school system where he
also taught computers to become director of
MindTech Schools, which combine academic
and technology learning.
Kaz Akbar set up a full-day Montessori
program by day and then camps at all times
regular schools are on holiday, including
Christmas, March break and the summer, in
addition to after-school and weekend programs
throughout the year. Kaz Akbar developed his
ideas for MindTech while observing the
challenges of teaching technology in the public
school system.
"You've got a huge generation gap in the
teaching staff," Akbar observes. "There's a
whole new surge of teachers coming into the
system who are very enthusiastic about using
the technology and you've got an older
generation of teachers that are almost phobic
about it."
Kaz Akbar notes that sectors ranging from
robotics, telecommunications and space travel
to Internet use, graphics and animation are
being transformed and are becoming so
increasingly expensive to afford that kids are
going to have a struggle to pick up the required
basic skills during their school years or
through the public education system.
"We know that the kids are starving for this kind
of learning," says Akbar, whose MindTech
incorporates a full-day Montessori school during
the academic year for families who want it, along
with after-school programs and summer camp.
"The whole idea is really to get them started in
the summer and then continue with the after-
school program," he adds. "Those children that
attend our regular day school will benefit
tremendously throughout the year."
Now, with three locations in Markham, Ontario,
MindTech offers summer day camp on a week-
by-week basis, with such activities as sports,
nature walks and music lessons added to the
academic and technology learning. Programs
are half and full days, for kids from pre-school
ages to 12.
Kaz Akbar insured that as kids progressed to
using some of the more sophisticated
multimedia courseware, programs included
such areas as biomedical technologies, space
technologies,     flight   technologies    and
simulators,     computer-aided      publishing,
electronic communications, graphics and
animation and Web page design. "Both in areas
of Montessori and Technology, the kids are
teaching a lot of the curriculum to themselves
and we find they are really able to handle the
material," says Akbar.
Summer camp may not be a phrase that
immediately conjures up robotics and
computer-aided design in the minds of most
parents. But Kaz Akbar found that kids actually
have as much fun learning about these as they
do kicking a ball. Enhancing the educational
development of their kids makes the fun
particularly valuable to the parents.
THANK YOU

				
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posted:11/12/2010
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Description: Kaz Akbar set up a full-day Montessori program & camps at all times regular schools are on holiday, including Christmas, March break and the summer, in addition to after-school and weekend programs throughout the year. Kaz Akbar developed his ideas for MindTech while observing the challenges of teaching technology in the public school system.