Here at GCSN we bring digital equity about by bridging the digital divide through the education sector.
Our aim is to support students and their whanau to have access to technology in the home environment to support their studies, interests and communication with teachers that they may not have had otherwise. It also aligns with our approach to the SDG's and Goal 4 of Quality Education.
What is Digital Equity and why is it important for our students?
Digital equity is where all students, regardless of location, position in society or income of the family have equal access to digital technologies and the opportunities this access can bring.
Digital equity works in three ways,
Provides digital skills to students and whānau
Improved online accessibility
Empowers students and whānau with equal education opportunities
Access to digital technology expands the world of students and their whānau. With this access students can work at home on school work, are able to engage with online learning tools and games. Easily connect with classmates and communicate with teachers on school work and projects. Students can also look up areas of interest, that maybe outside of school work, but can help show them jobs and careers or develop skills that are valuable to their lives.
Digital equity doesn't leave anyone behind. It brings equality to all and gives every person the same opportunity.
How is GCSN supporting digital equity in Christchurch?
Through our work with PubCharity, Rātā Foundation, Todd Foundation, MoE, N4L, Chorus,Cyclone, DIAA and TechMate, GCSN has been able to bring digital equity to Haeata Campus. In this video members of the school community discuss what digital equity has meant to them and their students.
During October, Te Papa in Wellington hosted NetHui with Arnika Macphail of GSCN being able to attend.
NetHui (meeting about the internet) is organised by InternetNZ. It's a meeting space held over two days allowing people to discuss all things internet. This year the focus was on safety, inclusion and wellbeing on the open Internet with Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern was a Keynote speaker. Listen to her talk here.
Arnika felt privileged to be able to attend this event. The Digital Inclusion Forum on Wednesday stood out for her, as it had an evaluation stream including the evaluation of ConnectED Haeata and the impact it has had on the community.
“It was great to see and hear the positive reactions around what GCSN are doing to support Digital Equity in the education sector” Arnika Macphail
GCSN are very happy to announce that ConnectED Aranui will be launched in the coming months.
This gives all students who attend a school which has more than 10 students living in the ConnectED zone access to the free, N4L managed, unlimited wiFi for education use in their home and community. This means that alongside ConnectED Haeata's 360 students who have access to this connectivity, another 600 students living within this zone will also have the opportunity to become ConnectED.
To add to this, in partnership with MoE, DIAA, TechMate, Haeata and the Aranui Community, GCSN are launching the ePassport Digital License program for ConnectED community members. Whānau with a student who lives within the ConnectED zone and attends a school which has more than 10 students living in the zone will be able to attend these sessions and qualify for a free refurbished Surface Pro.