Year starts off ultra-fast for Ngahinapouri students
For immediate release
11 February 2013
School year starts off ultra-fast for Ngahinapouri students
The 166 primary school children at Ngahinapouri School, just west of Hamilton, will start out the school year at lightning fast speed.
Students in the country school’s seven classrooms are among the first rural students in the Waikato to experience the power of ultra-fast broadband.
Principal, Wayne Asplin, says, “having an ultra-fast broadband connection opens up more opportunities for both students and teachers. Our children live in a world where high-tech gadgets, smart phones and access to the Internet are an integrated part of the fabric of their lives.
“The funny thing is that they live in this high tech world, but when they come to school, we hand them a pencil! It doesn’t make any sense to them that their school environment should be any different from home.
“Now, in addition to their pencil, we can hand them an iPad, for instance, with an ultra-fast connection that helps them learn their reading and maths skills using fun Internet-based programmes that have a huge, positive impact on their learning.”
Ngahinapouri School is the first among a cluster of four rural schools on the outskirts of Hamilton to be connected by local provider, Lightwire.
Fibre was laid to the school as part of the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative, the objective of which is to give 97.7 percent of schools and 99.9 percent of students ultra-fast broadband at speeds of 100 megabits per second (source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website, http://goo.gl/dFoAO).
Te Pahu, Paterangi and Koromatua schools have also applied for an ultra-fast broadband connection and will be connected by Lightwire later this term.
Lightwire is a Hamilton-based technology company that specialises in providing innovative broadband services. It was spun out of the University of Waikato in 2006 and since then it has been developing wireless-based Internet services and fibre-based Internet services for both urban and rural markets.
Lightwire business development manager Jeremy Barker says, “ultra-fast broadband will change the way teachers teach and children learn. It can be up to 100 times faster than a school’s current Internet connection.
“The major advantage for schools is the ability to have all computers connected to the Internet at once without their server timing out or becoming frustratingly slow. That’s a huge benefit to teachers when they can have confidence in a fast, reliable Internet connection when using it as a learning tool in the classroom.”
Principal Asplin says his school’s year 8 classroom has 28 laptops plus there are other laptops and PCs scattered throughout other classrooms. Plus, each teacher has an iPad for classroom use. With the schools new ultra-fast broadband connection, each computer and smart device can be hooked up to the Internet all at once, without connectivity issues.
“We’ve had terribly frustrating experiences in the past, such as 20 children doing their E-asTTle tests online and halfway through the tests everyone being booted off the system. Our teachers are very excited that those days are now behind us,” he says.
Mr Asplin says the school’s teachers plan on taking advantage of the ultra-fast broadband connection for learning by getting more children using great Internet resources such as IXL for maths and Lexia for reading and writing. Additionally, he expects video clips to be used more often as a teaching and learning tools now that buffering time is no longer an issue.
Schools interested in learning more about the benefits and availability of ultra-fast broadband – both within Hamilton city and in the rural surrounds - can phone Lightwire on 0800 12 13 14.