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Funding builds digital access in Christchurch

27 Jun 2014

Christchurch students are to receive better access to digital learning through a $200,000 project funded by the Government.

The project, run by the non-profit organisation the Greater Christchurch Schools Network (GCSN), aims to provide every student aged nine and over from the 30 participating schools with access to online learning, both at school and 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,” Nikki Kaye, Associate Education Minister, 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.”

Further features of the initiative include secure internet access to all local students’ homes to allow both students and parents to access learning programmes, support for teachers to track student achievement and personalise learning more effectively, and information and support around cyber safety.

Parents will benefit from the purchase or lease of digital devices through a bulk procurement arrangement, which will offer a more affordable option than standard retail prices. A Trust will investigate and support the various funding options.

Five secondary schools and 25 primary schools have been selected by the GCSN to participate in the project. These schools are representative of low-income communities. The secondary schools are Hillmorton High School, Hornby High School, Linwood College, Mairehau High School and Aranui High School, all of which work collaboratively with local primary schools.

“We have been encouraging schools to collaborate with each other and their communities to develop strategies which will lift student achievement,” 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.”