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Digital literacy investment for Christchurch

Hon Nikki Kaye

Associate Minister of Education

26 June 2014 Media Statement
Digital literacy investment for Christchurch

Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye today confirmed that a $200,000 project is under way to provide Christchurch students, particularly those in low-decile schools, with better access to digital learning.

“The aim of the programme being run by the Greater Christchurch Schools Network (GCSN) is that every student aged nine and over from participating schools will be able to access online learning both at school and at home,” Ms Kaye says.

The funding provided by the government means that children aged nine and over can access digital devices that have been either leased or purchased by their parents. It will also provide secure internet access to help support students and parents to access learning programmes at home.

“Providing greater access to personal devices along with home connectivity improves student engagement and achievement when combined with quality teaching and leadership in schools,” Ms Kaye says.

“GCSN has already surveyed the schools involved. In addition, this initiative will allow parents to become more involved and engaged with their children's learning.”

GCSN has identified Hillmorton High School, Hornby High School, Linwood College, Mairehau High School and Aranui High School as the five Christchurch secondary schools that will take part in the programme, along with 25 associated primary schools.

“We have been encouraging schools to collaborate with each other and their communities to develop strategies which will lift student achievement,” Ms Kaye says. “This initiative reflects that, and the communities that are strengthened as part of this process have the potential to develop their co-operative work into other areas.

“This funding builds on the government’s investment in learning with digital technologies, which includes creating modern learning environments, school network upgrades, ultrafast broadband, and the establishment of a managed network.”

Notes to editors:

What is GCSN?

The Greater Christchurch Schools Network (GCSN) is a non-profit group that works to create a community of connected schools, teaching professionals and educational resources in the greater Christchurch region. Its focus is on promoting networked learning.

Why have these schools been chosen?

GCSN has identified Hillmorton High School, Hornby High School, Linwood College, Mairehau High School and Aranui High School as having some of the highest numbers of students in low-income communities who do not have access to digital technologies or the internet at home.

Why have only 30 schools been chosen?

The five chosen secondary schools are all working collaboratively with local primary schools. In total, 30 schools in Christchurch will be working with GCSN as part of this project. These areas have been selected as they are representative of low-income communities.

How will devices be funded?

A Trust is being established to investigate and support various funding options. Bulk procurement prices will also support parents to be able to buy or lease digital devices at a more affordable option than standard retail prices.

What will this initiative deliver?

It will ensure that all students aged nine or over can access affordable digital devices, either leased or purchased by their parents.

It will extend secure internet access to all local students’ homes to allow students and parents to access learning programmes at all times.

It will continue to support teachers to track student achievement and personalise learning more effectively, as well as provide greater visibility of students’ learning to their parents.

It will provide support and information for parents and the wider community on cyber safety. This will build on existing work that the Ministry funds through Netsafe.

It will enhance professional development opportunities for principals and teachers so that they more effectively integrate the use of digital technology into their teaching.

© Scoop Media

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