Pakuranga College has been named the winner of the first annual Tonne of Technology competition, through New Era and Acer, which highlights the best in Kiwi eLearning.
As a result, $10,000 worth of equipment and support, donated by both companies, will be awarded for students and staff in Q4 2015.
Sponsored by Acer and New Era - a New Zealand provider of network and ICT support and services to schools - the competition highlights that when it comes to harnessing technology for education, Kiwi schools have what it takes.
Pakuranga College’s winning submission illustrated how the appropriate use of technology benefits all students with ‘outcome-based’ eLearning.
“Pakuranga College embeds technology into all facets of student life to enhance teaching and learning programmes and help students become responsible digital citizens,” says Anthony Church, Managing Director, New Era.
“Indeed, Pakuranga College’s focus has been to make technology ‘invisible’ in the school so that students can take advantage of the enhanced benefits of eLearning as an integral component of their normal day-to-day activities.”
According to Allistair Williamson, eLearning Co-ordinator at Pakuranga College, the school is “future-focussed”, applying technology in two key areas.
“The first is asynchronous learning where students can access and complete work at any time and at their own pace,” Williamson adds.
“This gives students the flexibility to thrive in a non-traditional environment. And secondly we encourage students to be producers of information rather than consumers.
“Students play a role in the global online community and we look forward to utilising the generous package offered by Acer and New Era to further these goals.”
For Church, selecting Pakuranga College from amongst the 100 submissions was not an easy task.
“eLearning is alive and well up and down New Zealand,” he adds.
“Outstanding submissions from Aorere College, Mangawhai Beach School, Opaheke School, Baradene College and Rawene Primary, amongst others, provided tough competition for Pakuranga College.
“We were especially encouraged by the fact that geography, primary or secondary or the size of the school made no difference to the quality of eLearning initiatives that had been applied.
“The key point is that it is the people who make the difference. The passion for teaching, the love of knowledge and the ability to transfer that enthusiasm into optimal student outcomes provides a solid foundation for success, regardless of the technology involved.”
The New Era / Acer ‘Tonnes of Technology’ competition ran from April - July 2015 with more than 100 submissions from 70 schools across New Zealand were received.
Judging was carried out by New Era management and submissions were evaluated on how well the school had assimilated technology into the classroom and how the students were benefitting.
The prize, $10,000 worth of equipment and support, will be awarded in Q4 2015 with the exact specifications and contents of the award to be agreed upon by the tech team at Pakuranga College, New Era and Acer.