OMGTech! Welcomes $40 million in New Tech Education Funding
OMGTech! is excited about the newly announced investment package of around $40 million aimed at enhancing digital fluency among our young people.
Minister of Education Nikki Kaye has announced the funding, to be spread over three years, and OMGTech! is looking forward to supporting teachers on their tech journey, says co-founder Zoe Timbrell.
“OMGTech! wants to help enable our tamariki to be creators with technologies not just consumers of technology,” says Zoe.
The new funding will mean compulsory Digital Technologies from Years 1 to 10 by 2020 and new NCEA credits developed for Years 11 to 13.
OMGTech! aims to help New Zealand’s first generation of digital natives become tech leaders of the future, not just as consumers of technology but as world class leaders in creating and deploying technologies we can’t even imagine yet.
Co-Founder of OMGTech! Vaughan Rowsell says, “New Zealand’s opportunity over the next ten years is to position itself as an innovation nation. The world is rapidly becoming a different place driven by technology and if we want to be seen as a world leader, then this starts with ensuring every child in New Zealand gets a world class digital technologies education”.
Vaughan, who is also the Founder of Vend, & Vice Chair of the New Zealand High Tech Trust, says parents and whānau should embrace this change to the curriculum. “Some parents may be concerned about the change but we encourage them to think about the future of work.”
The World Economic Forum report predicts 65% of jobs our primary-aged kids will have as adults, do not exist today. It is absolutely essential that we deeply embed digital technologies at every level of education.
The technology sector is our third largest export sector and the creative technology sector is growing fast as well with the film, music and game design industries all flourishing. These industries are creating the jobs of the future.
Digital Inclusion is a real focus of OMGTech!. For this to be a successful change, we need to ensure all our kids have equity of access and our teachers have the right support to help deliver that. “This will be more challenging in some communities but we have already seen some great work in some of our underserved communities including Manaiakalani, and OMGTech!’s pilot with the Otara Principals Cluster,” says Vaughan.
Zoe agrees, saying it is great to see businesses taking a lead in this space. “We’re thrilled to have corporate New Zealand supporting digital inclusion in education and to see initiatives like Spark’s Jump programme, which hopes to deliver low-cost broadband to the 40,000 households in New Zealand that currently don’t have a connection.”
OMGTech! has also been working alongside practitioners to help create lessons that fit into existing classroom activities while delivering the knowledge and skills required for the new digital technologies curricula.
“We look forward to continuing this work with educators to ensure other important stuff doesn't need to drop out for technology to fit it in,” says Zoe.
We give ALL Kiwi kids access to the technologies that will shape their futures! Making sure all our kids are creators of technology not consumers. We have hundreds of industry volunteers who work as role models and inspiration to these kids and our various workshops span the length and breadth of Aotearoa. We can be anywhere, just like technology.