Thursday, June 28, 2018

Computers in Homes suspended awaiting funding renewal

This blog is not being updated whilst we await renewal of funding.

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Thank you

Bill Dashfield
20/20 web maestro

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Computers in Homes has a new programme based at Tuhuru Marae.  A class of 6 students beginning with Kaumatua are learning basic computing each Wednesday afternoon.  We're using our laptop pod and our own wifi hotspots to support the class and DORA also drops in to mix things up a little.

Mana whenua has had a busy couple of weeks, welcoming the Governor General and his wife to the West Coast, Waitangi Day preparations and moving around the motu to share the celebrations and events of whanauna in other communities.  We realise that it's difficult for people to drop everything else and come to class on a given time each week and we appreciate the welcome we receive and the commitment people are making to come as often as they can.  We're happy to be there in our space each week and we're happy when people take advantage of that. The next step is to engage the whanau and tamariki as we work with the school and community to raise the masts that will enable whanau in the Arahura and Awatuna communities to get access to good affordable wifi! 
WestREAP and the Computers in Homes team were sad to hear of the fire that devastated Westland High School on the 7th February.  Only days after the school reopened for the year, we feel for staff and students who were looking forward to their year and happy to return to school after a brilliant summer holiday.  Hats off to the staff and Board of the school, the Principal; Trevor Jones.  The way they've kept themselves moving forward, lead the community and the families through a solutions focused journey every day since the fire.  Everyone has worked hard to maintain classes and keep the students together while at the same time clean up and plan the rebuild.  It's a huge task and the whole community is behind them.

We can help;
  • Staff have the use of our computer suite and other quiet spaces in WestREAP to work on their technology based classes and online learning programmes for the students who are working from home.   
  • Students are able to use our spaces for study
  • DORA is parked at the Boys Brigade Hall where she provides internet for the Middle School group using the multiple spaces there.  Teachers are using her for a break-out room to deliver workshops, research and study options for smaller groups in their classes. 
We are walking with you Westland High School.  For parents and whanau of Westland High, come and see us to learn about what the students are doing through online learning and see how you can get involved.

Classes at Hokitika have started with the beginning of the first school term.  The learning suite has had a bit of a change around.  We now have a central table near the open windows - great in this blazing heat! It's also good for a classroom dynamic - people don't have their backs to each other, they can share ideas and activity together and it's easier for the tutor to get the space to offer practical support. 
We now have a pod of laptop computers, or people can bring their own, and if you really want to - there are desktop computers along one wall - so we can cater for multiple basic computing functions.
Our Tuesday morning class is full - we have a waiting list for evening classes, we would prefer a confirmed group of 6 to start evening classes.

We are moving toward an overflow - we can look at beginning a second class on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, and we're seeking out those Computers in Homes families - if you know anyone on the Coast who has young children and doesn't have a computer that all the family can use at home - please give them our contact details; phone us at 03 755 8700.  That's what we're here for!

After a wonderful nine months with DORA, we set sail with her back over the mountain pass to deliver her to Klondike Corner where she would spend four days assisting with the preparation of the Coast to Coast multi-discipline marathon event.  From the West Coast beach at Kumara through the mountains, across rivers and long inland roads to the East Coast beach at Brighton.  In these technological times, competitors have a micro chip somewhere in their kit, cameras placed along the route capture the images as the runners pass through.  All the information is beamed back to a central point at Klondike where organisers and supporters can watch it all unfold on big screens - and in DORA this year.  DORA was used as a Comms vehicle, to support the management teams, health and safety and to provide an office space for the organisers to work.  We were very proud.....comparing her to a similarly set up facility 'the Canterbury SAR vehicle', one organiser said that having experienced both he found DORA to be a lot more reliable, easier to use and far more practical. 
The best news was, that we would not be venturing over to pick her up from her work and take her through to Christchurch - we'd take her back to the West Coast to finish off the first Term and we'd await further instructions about her new location after that

Dora is still here on the West Coast, part of the West Coast team!

Welcome to West Coast Computers in Homes 2016!  Here at WestREAP we have introduced a new trainer to our programme; Sharon Fleming has been teaching Digital Literacy based in Grey mouth for a few years now, based at Karoro Learning Centre, Sharon was the lead tutor for the distance based course.  Her skills and experience are going to be very valuable to us as we get going on our programmes into the rural locations of our region.