Acting Head of TAS
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”
Innovation and Technology Essential in a Changing World
COVID-19 has created a fundamental change in society across the world. The terms social distancing, contact tracing, and self-isolating have intertwined themselves into our daily conversations, and many of the things we take for granted have changed overnight. However, difficult times have often been the catalyst for innovative solutions to problems, and we are currently amid a revolution.
As people began working from home, communication and networking platforms became essential, leading to innovations and uptake of software packages such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Apps such as house party, Google Hangouts, Bunch and Drawful have been developed to allow people to socialise and stay connected during long periods of involuntary isolation at home.
When ventilators were needed, James Dyson committed his company to providing their expertise gained in home appliances to design and produce what the National Health Service required. Many small businesses such as Drifta changed the core function of their business to producing PPE equipment, and large companies such as Asics have used high tech fabrics to develop face masks for use during exercise. Spending more time in front of computer screens has created a demand for ergonomic office furniture, and improved Audio-visual display technology.
As restrictions and lockdowns were imposed, the Australian hospitality industry took a big hit, as did the companies which produce the products they sell. However, the sudden need for large quantities of hand sanitiser created opportunities for businesses such as Four Pillars Gin and Cape Byron Distillery to diversify away from their traditional product lines and move into sanitiser. When restrictions were eased, the hospitality industry was also at the forefront of adopting technology which allowed them to provide traditional service, while minimising risk. QR codes have allowed the purchase and service of food and drinks without human contact and recorded the details of guests in the event future contact tracing will be needed. New software has also been developed to allow remote or self-check in procedures at hotels.
The TAS (Technological and Applied Studies) department at Loreto Normanhurst offers students an opportunity to learn and apply creative problem-solving techniques to complex real world problems. They are engaged with a wide range of innovative thinking whether they study Textiles and Design, Hospitality, Design and Technology, Food Technology, or Information and Software Technology (IST). The skills acquired in these subjects positions our students to be the flexible social innovators of the next decades.
Mr Anthony Horth
Acting Head of TAS