14 Sep 2015
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HP Rural Schools Competition winners revealed

By Catherine Knowles

Whananaki School has taken out the top prize at the second HP Rural Schools Competition.

As the winner of the national technology competition, the Northland school will receive $10,000 worth of HP technology.

Earlier this year, HP New Zealand teamed up with Rural Women New Zealand to launch the competition and give rural primary schools the chance to win a share of $20,000 worth of HP products and support.

To enter, schools were asked to submit an entry explaining why they needed new technology and how it would benefit the students.

Shaun Tepania, Whananaki School principal, says he is thrilled to be able to provide new technology for his growing school.

"We have had a significant roll increase and have doubled the size of our school since last year.

“Now we will be able to provide devices that support and engage all children's learning and our staff will have opportunities to develop e-learning throughout their class programmes.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our school and community. We would like to thank HP and Rural Woman for creating a competition that gives rural schools that extra support," he says.

Anika Read, a year eight student at the school and one of the students who helped create the school’s winning entry, says she is excited about the opportunities new technology can bring.

"We’ll get our work done faster, independently and working collaboratively in groups,” she says.

Whananaki School’s entry was one of more than 80 creative video submissions from rural schools across the country.

Judges, including a Rural Women New Zealand representative, narrowed down the entries to five winning schools.

An HP representative visited Whananaki School in August to interview the principal, meet with students and understand the technology needs of the school.

Victoria Mahan, HP category manager, says the second year of the competition has reinforced the hunger for technology by students and teachers alike.

“It’s exciting to see how enthusiastically these young students respond to using technology to really enhance their learning,” she says.

“Now with the roll out of ultra-fast broadband, schools are building their IT capability and latching on to technology in the classroom - it’s really encouraging.

“In this ever-increasing digital world it is imperative that all students are given the best tools to learn and excel. If they don’t have this they run the real risk of getting left behind at school and when they enter the workforce,” says Mahan.

Rural Women NZ education spokesperson, Kerry Maw, says, “We are delighted to be part of this initiative.

“It’s going to be interesting to watch some of these schools gain confidence and opportunities through new technology products and the increased learning opportunities that come with them.”

The other winning schools are as follows:

  • Waimata School, Waihi (second)
  • Otamarakau School, Bay of Plenty (third)
  • Weedons School, Christchurch (fourth equal)
  • Toko School, Taranaki (fourth equal)

Watch the winning entries on YouTube here.

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