USM’s ICT lecture series designed to stimulate

Open to students and general public

PHILIPSBURG – Beginning this month, the University of St. Martin (USM) students as well as members of the general public will be more informed about Information Communication Technology (ICT) once they attend any of the six public lectures on the topic that will be held at USM.

The lecture series entitled "Information Communication Technology (ICT) and me," will begin this month and end in May. These lectures are free of charge and designed to create a more stimulating campus environment at USM in particular and a better informed society in general. 

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"USM students chose this topic because they believe that ICTs have a profound impact on their individual lives and it is changing the way people, especially young people, are interacting and communicating with each other. On a macro level, ICTs are redefining the social cultural and economic scene and empowering people from a social and economic perspective," says lecture series coordinator and USM lecturer Drs. Khalilah Peters.

Peters adds that accompanied with the abovementioned positive influences also come negative influences, such as social problems (e.g. anti-social behavior, lack of privacy, increased gambling, pornography, and cyber bullying etc).

"These Spring Lecture series are set out to explore the issues, opportunities and complexities, surrounding the use of ICTs in St. Maarten. The lecture presentations will cover the influence of ICTs on education, social networking, commerce, and tourism and hospitality trade. They will be given by local professionals versed in the abovementioned fields," Peters further notes.

The first lecture of the series is entitled "ICT and the curriculum" and will be given by Instructional Technology and Distance Education Specialist Tamara Hughes. This lecture is scheduled for February 9, 2011 and will focus on the influence of ICT on education, in general, and in St. Maarten. Emphasis will be put on instructional technology, the state of affairs of IT in our schools, policies regarding IT, Integration of technology in the curriculum, and various challenges as well as solutions.

The second lecture of the series is entitled "ICT in Our Schools" (from the perspectives of educators and school management). This event is slated to be held on February 23, 2011 and will be in a panel discussion format. Educators will discuss different ways they incorporate the use of ICT in the classroom, share best practices, describe the influence of ICT on student learning and debate the issue of mobile phone use in schools.

The lecturers for this event include Mrs. Jose Sommers – Principal at the St. Dominic high school ; Mr. Renate Brison- Spanish teacher at the St. Maarten Academy; Ms. Rita Gumbs- Bourne – teacher at the Oranje School; and Mr. Daniel Berry- IT Teacher at the St. Maarten Vocational School.

The third lecture is entitled "Thou shall not Facebook," and will focus on the influence of social networking sites on our social institutions. This event will be on held on March 16, 2011 and will be in a drama, discussion and presentation format. The lecturer for this event is Mr. Roy Cotton.

"How do I effectively use my Blackberry for school" is the title of the forth lecture which will be presented by Mrs. Carmen Lake-Reyes, Manager Sales & Marketing at the TELEM Group and Eion Gumbs, IT Technician at the TELEM Group. This lecture slated for March 30, 2011 will focus on how can students make optimal use of their Blackberries for school (i.e. Planning , group work , projects etc.).

The fifth lecture of the series entitled "E-commerce, dead or alive in St. Maarten?" will look at e-commerce, its possibilities for SXM,  steps involved in establishing an e-business, legal environment,  Issues and challenges and proposed solutions. The lecturer for this event that will be held on April 6, 2011 is Mr. Emilio Kalmera, Finance Specialist.

The USM "ICT & Me" lecture series come to a close on May 4, 2011 with the lecture entitled ICT’s and Tourism Best Practices. This lecture will be given by Executive Director of the SHTA, Valya Pantophlet and it will focus on the role of ICTs in SXM’s tourism and hospitality industry, how have ICTs influenced the way the Government markets the island and the best practices of SXM’s hospitality businesses.  

"We look forward to seeing USM students and members of the general population attend these informative lectures," Peters stated.

The six lectures of the series are open to the general public and will be held at the USM lecture hall which has a seating capacity for 200 persons. Seats will be available on a first come first serve basis.