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Rural schools benefit from mobile learning centre

09 Oct 14

New Zealand's most remote communities are to benefit from the Mobile Learning Centre, a high tech vehicle that will travel throughout New Zealand over two years to share technology with over 100, 000 Kiwis.

An extension of Noel Leeming's Open Learning Centres, the initiative will focus on low decile schools in geographically isolated communities. The aim is to reach up to 160 communities in two years, including the elderly and local groups in addition to schools.

"Our mobile learning initiative will bring technology into communities throughout the country, giving families who might not otherwise have the chance to see and use leading edge technology," Daniel Albertsen, National Open Learning Centre Manager, says.

"It really gives you an insight into the limitless potential of technology.”

The Mobile Learning Centre has the latest technology, and offers a learning site as well as providing resources that can be used in the classroom. Within the Centre there are booths and pods that enable listening and learning, in addition to an activity area with cameras and tablets where digital content can be created.

The Centre also has programmes that introduce the technology into the student's learning environment. Schools can roll out immersive learning experiences over multiple platforms, including the ability to use educational apps they already possess.

Albertsen says that Noel Leeming is grateful for the support from partners Microsoft, Acer, 2 Degrees, HP, Fairfax, The Radio Bureau, TVNZ, Flybuys and FCB that have helped to create the Mobile Learning Centre.

During the first year of operation, the Mobile Learning Centre aims to reach approximately 64, 000 people in the North Island, travelling to the South Island in the second year to reach a further 40, 000 people.

“Technology is becoming an essential part of our daily lives and it’s important that all New Zealanders have access to the learning possibilities it brings – the Mobile Learning centre will be equipped to do this in easy and fun ways,” Albertsen says.