Engaging strongly with technology is becoming fundamental to being a successful and active participant in our society. It is critical that every school-aged child achieves well academically, and this aspiration requires using technology for learning both at home and at school. Students’ learning can be compromised because of the lack of internet connectivity in their homes.Over 40% of Aranui residents do not have internet in their homes, making this one of the least connected areas nationally.
ConnectED Haeata is a collaboration to provide free WiFi to over 360 Haeata students. This has been made possible by the combined effort of the project team including GCSN, Chorus, Network 4 Learning, Haeata, the Ministry of Education and Cyclone. The technical solution consists of 66 WiFi AccessPoints secured to telephone poles in a mapped area in the heart of Aranui, reaching 190 homes.
In providing this fully funded WiFi access these students have the opportunity to:
- reinforce their learning at school in the home environment;
- take full advantage of all the opportunities for learning that are available through the Internet; and
- enhance their future career and education prospects.
Families / whānau / aiga have the opportunity to:
- engage with and support their children’s learning;
- build their own confidence and expertise in using IT;
- develop their understanding of the huge potential of the Internet; and
- use the Internet for their social and financial benefit.
With the support of GCSN funding whānau engagement roles have been established. This includes a team fluent in English, te reo Māori and Samoan, as well as a technical support role. The Whānau Connect Team are responsible for connecting with the community. This is achieved through
- Home visits
- Community events
- Online updates
- Phone calls
The Whānau Connect team are also available at Haeata for three hours daily for technical or community support in regards to the project. The ConnectED booklet has been printed in English and describes the solution for the end user. There are plans in place to develop this in te reo Māori andSamoan.
GCSN has been supported by funding from the Rātā and Todd Foundations to provide project management support. Ministry of Education funding supports the delivery of PLD for all kaiako at Haeata.
"Arnika is project managing a multi-corporate rollout of a WiFi project (ConnectED) in East Christchurch. The combination of her IT knowledge and background with her skill in connecting people together for a common cause means the project advances on time and with rigorous checks along the way. Since she has become involved, we have made huge progress - there is no one better for this role."
Andy Kai Fong, Principal, Haeata Community Campus
The Project Manager and SLT from Haeata have also worked with vendors to ensure systems were in place for device purchase. More information about this can be found here www.haeata.school.nz/connected
The ConnectED Solution is currently in its 4th phase.
- Needs assessed and community decided on
- Engagement with school
- Funding sought
- Project team established
- Area for solution defined
- Technical solution planned and implemented
- Testing of technical solution
- Engagement with school and community
- On-boarding process established
- Testing solution established
- Media engagement
- Materials developed
- Whānau engagement team established
- Technical Launch
- Communication with each ākonga and whānau via email
- Media engagement
- www.haeata.school.nz/connected live
- Communication with each whānau via phone call and/or house visit
- Materials for whānau developed including on-boarding, and testing
- Teacher PLD
It is important this solution is not seen as a competitive model for our NZ ISPs. To ensure transparency the following access is managed for ākonga. The main factors that make this non-competitive are
- The WiFi is filtered through Network 4 Learning and has the same permissions accessible at Haeata.
- Students can only authenticate on the network using their @haeata.school.nz username and password
- Every ākonga can have a maximum of 2 devices on the network at one time
ConnectED Haeata is part of a Ministry of Education pilot program for Equitable Digital Access. It will be evaluated though the Equitable DigitalAccess Evaluation Framework.