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New Magazine Gives Teens Inspiration

New Magazine Gives Teens Inspiration

From left to right: Martha Milford and Samantha Pukeroa from Clover Park Middle School with Hon. David Cunliffe Minister of Information Technology and Garth Biggs, Executive Director of the HiGrowth Project.

Getting New Zealand kids inspired by the digital age is the aim of a unique teen magazine launched last week by IDG Communications, New Zealand’s largest technology publisher. In a joint venture with the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry's HiGrowth Project, actv8 was delivered free to 102,000 Year 9 & 10 students (13-15 year olds) at secondary schools across New Zealand.

Students at Clover Park School in Otara – who appear in the first issue of the magazine – presented a copy of actv8 to the Minister of Information Technology, David Cunliffe, at the school’s Computer Clubhouse. “The idea is that you’re teaching all kids that it’s cool to work with computers,” says Minister Cunliffe. “So you’re not just helping yourselves; you’re helping other kids all round New Zealand to get into the digital age.”

The response from schools to date has been overwhelming according to actv8 editor, Sara Goessi, "I have been working full time to respond to requests for more copies and process the hundreds of competition entries each day." Teachers have also been full of praise for actv8. A typical response came from teacher Ata Rua of Te Kura Maori-a-Rohe o Waiohau in Whakatane who wrote,"This is a wonderful magazine packed with information aimed to inspire our future generations. I like it how the language used is language that teenagers use and understand and how it is packed with competitions."

HiGrowth's Executive Director, Garth Biggs, says actv8 is a highly innovative way to stimulate the sizeable local talent pool that will be required to grow the industry in the future. "actv8 is about real people doing amazing things with technology. It focuses on technology that interests teens, like mobile phones and digital music, while demonstrating how others are using it in their careers, to build businesses or, like the All Blacks, to gain an edge in sport."
He says, "It is not just computer programmers and electronics engineers that we need but marketers, sales people, lawyers and accountants that are technology savvy enough to build productive and profitable New Zealand ICT companies."

Sara Goessi, the editor of actv8, says it is informing and educating teens at a critical decision making point in their lives.

“Year 9 & 10 students are making study choices and forming opinions and visions about their future. Turning teenagers on to technology will have a significant impact on their lives and careers, particularly if parents can also be exposed to the exciting and highly rewarding opportunities that exist.

“actv8 is not some stodgy, geek mag - it looks and feels like a teen magazine but it covers the application of ICT across sport, fashion, design, music and the latest innovations,” she says.

“Distributing it free, through schools, will mean that even those kids that can’t afford to pay the cover price will still have the opportunity to discover technology and what it can mean to their future.”

Hi Growth’s Executive Director, Garth Biggs is delighted actv8 is going to get into the hands of the very people the ICT industry needs.

“It is a well recognised fact that technology is a major part of New Zealand’s future direction but ICT companies just can’t get enough skilled workers. If we don’t start actively educating students and promoting ICT as an exciting career option now, we won’t be able to meet the projected 30,000 additional employees the industry will need in years to come,” said Mr Biggs.

actv8 will also be on selected newsstands this week with a cover price of $4.95.


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