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OMGTech! Launches New School Workshops

OMGTech! Launches new in-school workshops in partnership with leading technology companies

OMGTech! is excited to announce its new programme delivering award winning workshops directly into schools with the support of our partners.

OMGTech! trialed the new initiative last week delivering workshops in five Auckland schools giving hands-on future technology workshops to over 400 children in one day.

The schools include Pt England Primary School, Manurewa Intermediate, Bailey Road School, Reremoana School and Te Kura Māori o Waatea and OMGTech! partner Microsoft provided 21 volunteers for the day as part of its volunteering programme.

The initiative will officially launch during Hour of Code week, December 4th - 10th, with workshops being offered in schools around the country. OMGTech! Is looking for partners that want to sign up to take part and join the likes of Spark, Microsoft, and Xero who have already committed to the initiative.

OMGTech! co-founder Zoe Timbrell says cost is a major factor for a number of schools.

“Access to future technologies can be expensive and out of reach for many so being able to bring our workshops directly into schools allows us to reach a much larger group of kids,” says Zoe.

“OMGTech! wants to help enable our tamariki to be creators with technology not just consumers of technology,” says Zoe. “Understanding how it all works will be a fundamental requirement to participation in society in the future. It's important to become a digital citizen not just from a job creation point of view but from a societal one.

Our kids will be using technology to shape their world in the future.”

By partnering with major technology companies, such as Spark and Microsoft, OMGTech! taps into their existing volunteer programmes, so OMGTech! is able to deliver its programmes directly into schools. This allows the children to spend time with, and hear stories from, people who are working in the technology sector.

The lessons are designed by OMGTech! and the company volunteers work with groups of students in school to deliver them. Participating children learn valuable technology skills as well as understanding future pathways they otherwise might not encounter.

Mark Beder, Chief Operating officer of Spark says, “Exciting children about the possibilities and opportunities that technology brings and building towards future job skills are the key reasons we're involved with OMGTech!”

Mark says there is a great fit with the Spark volunteer programme.

“Spark people love technology and sharing that passion and we're looking forward to having our people help deliver these workshops.”

The workshops cover a range of technology topics such as robotics, electronics, 3D printing and coding, and aim to help New Zealand’s first generation of digital natives become tech leaders in creating and deploying technologies we can’t even imagine yet.

Co-Founder of OMGTech! Vaughan Rowsell says, “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. They have a strong role to play in helping to upskill the next generation and this programme allows them to work directly with schools to inspire the next generation.”

Vaughan, who is also the Founder of Vend,and Vice Chair of the New Zealand High Tech Trust, says, “It is important that we ensure every Kiwi kid has access to future technologies. We need to ensure that we are focusing on getting digital education to into our underserved communities.”

Digital inclusion and equity of access is a real focus for OMGTech! If New Zealand is to become a world leader in technology we need to ensure all our kids have equity of access and our teachers have the right support to help deliver on that vision.

OMGTech! is currently looking for other companies that are interested in joining the programme alongside our existing partners and encourages anyone that is interested to reach out. School that are interested in hosting
an OMGTech! workshop in 2018 they are encouraged to sign up on the OMGTech! website.


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