Griffith University has honoured St Hilda’s School principal Peter Crawley, one of the pioneers of using computers and tablets in the classroom, with an honorary doctorate for services to education.

Mr Crawleyis one of sevenrecipients of the title of Doctor of the University, which he received on Saturday in the culmination of week-long graduation ceremonies attend by almost 5000 students.

While computers and education are so ingrained in schools and teaching institutions today it was Mr Crawley who opened the eyes of technology giants Microsoft and Toshiba to their potential in classrooms in the early 90s.

His use of notebook computers at Trinity Grammar was ground-breaking and Microsoft produced a distributed a film documenting how computers could be used in teaching environments

He also spoke at conferences around the world letting educators know how they could integrate computers. His passion for using technology in schools led to apersonal letter from Bill Gates thanking him for showing Microsoft staff and educators worldwide what could be achieved.

He was also invited to address the Toshiba board in Japan on the potential usage of computers in education.

St Hilda’s first male principal

Mr Crawley has been a pioneer in other areas. He was appointed the first male principal at St Hilda’s in more than 100 years. While at the private Gold Coast girls school he again was at the forefront of using technology in the classroom, this time introducing iPads.

The school became one of the first in the world to adopt the iPad as a student-owned device for learning. This innovation helped regain valuable desk and classroom space with five computer labs decommissioned as a result.

He also set a challenge to reduce printing by more than 1 million pages, which was achieved.

Under his leadership St Hilda’s has published more than 85 free courses to iTunes U with one course having more than 50,000 enrolments

Mr Crawley who retires this year as principal of St Hilda’s is one of seven people to receive Honorary Doctorates from Griffith University at graduation ceremonies to be held in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

He waspresented with his Doctor of the University on Saturday17.

Others to receive honorary doctorates at the 2016 graduation ceremonies include:

  • Julieanne Alroe–BrisbaneBrisbane Airport Corporation CEO
  • John Kirby–Village Roadshow executive and cinema industry stalwart
  • Annabelle Chaplain–Chair of Queensland Airports and chair of KDR Gold Coast, the operator of the Gold Coast light rail
  • Chief Justice Catherine Holmes–First female Chief Justice of Queensland and founding member of the Women’s Legal Service
  • Judge Brendan Butler–Former chairman of the Criminal Justice Commission, and the Crime and Misconduct Commission
  • Libby Shakespeare–Former health industry senior executive