Saturday, 21 January 2017

Welcoming all new students for 2017

At the end of December 2016 WAWT and Computers in Homes Waikato were humbled to have 46 graduates walk away with new knowledge and a laptop after successfully completing their courses.  This year 2017 will see alot more whanau joining our programme beginning with Ngatira Marae hosting up to 30 whanau, Kaumatua and Kuia to join the CiH journey.  What a wonderful way to start the new year.  I have also planned a program to run at Te Whare Kokonga mid February so those who have registered their interest expect to get a reminder call from me soon.  Also planned is a short course at Kirikiriroa Marae so please leave your names with reception.  Due to the mounting interest this course will only be offered to the first 10 enrolments who have paid their contribution fee.  So whanau watch this space as well as listen out on the 9th of February where I hit the airwaves on FreeFM Waikato radio about how courses are going and where the next ones are to be held.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Three CiH Waikato Graduations to end 2016

At the end of November and beginning of December 2016 WAWT celebrated the graduation of 46 whanau and friends at three different locations across the Waikato region.  Whanau who joined the program were inspired and engaging throughout the courses and as a result other providers are now ear marked for courses in 2017. 

Putaruru College is now onboard with other community providers including Schools around the region.  It is humbling that WAWT are also negotiating with Ngatira marae and surrounding Marae to join the digital journey in February 2017.  What a privilege it is to be part of such an awesome opportunity to engage and educate whānau using digital technology to support their children’s future learning. Kia ora.  
Nā to rourou, nā taku rourou, ka ora te iwi,
Through combined collaborations, everyone benefits.

Meri Kirihimete me te tau hou

Monday, 21 November 2016

Three Planned Graduations to end 2016 in the Waikato

Tēnā koutou katoa
He mihi mahana tēnei ki a koutou 
My name is Pania Peta-Herewini and I am the new Manager for Web Access Waikato Trust (WAWT) coordinating the Computers in Homes (CiH) for the Waikato area.
                      
I have a 30 year background in Education beginning with Te Kohanga Reo, to Primary training in Otago, graduating with a Bachelor in Education in 2005 from Otago University.  I then went on to teach in Secondary Schools in Dunedin and the Manawatū area as an HOD for 12 years and moved into Adult Education in 2014. I am also studying towards a Masters in Adult Literacy and Numeracy with AUT.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to manage this position since September of this year and am very excited to be able engage and educate whānau using digital technology to support their children and mokos future learning.

I am now coordinating the first of three graduations around the Waikato region.  The first is to be held at Single Parent Services (SPS) or Link House on the 29th of November where 13 students will graduate, who have committed their time to learning taking away a new found knowledge and a laptop for their commitment to the program.

Ngaruawāhia Community House has been buzzing since the beginning of their two day 3 hour workshops and it has been humbling to see so many turn up on Fridays (in their own time) to practice.  We are to graduate 20 whānau on the 30th of November and more are already ringing up to enroll for the next classes in 2017.

The final of three planned graduations will end with 23 Teen Parents graduating on the 9th of December at He Puawai – Fraser High School Teen Parent Unit (TPU) in Hamilton.  It is a really exciting time for the students as they are looking forward to working with MOODLE, a student management system in 2017 as well as other programs and relevant websites.  It is about being able to engage with learning while looking after their babies or whānau that is important, and CiH is able to make that a reality. There are so many possibilities in delivering to these students and my tutors are looking forward to the challenge

Keep a lookout for the next blog with photos and updates for the remaining year.  Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

CIH Waikato 2015/2016 round finishes on a high!



The 2015/2016 year finished on a high for Web Access Waikato / Computers in Homes rohe managing to graduate a total of 105 families from a number of areas across the Waikato region.

It was awesome to be able to work with new organisations such as Kirikiriroa Marae as well as keeping strong ties with those important agencies such as Single Parent Services and                        Te Whare Kokonga (Melville Community House) who play a pivotal role in providing a number of much needed support services and advocacy to those who need it in the community.

We were also able to run a CIH course at Melville Primary School for the first time which was highly successful and saw 10 happy graduates walk away with their well earnt laptops after completing their 20 hours of computer training at the kura with their Tutor Kaye-Marie McCaskill-Day. The laptops they received were the first roll out of this kind for Web Access Waikato and feedback from the participants since completing the course has been awesome in terms of their portability and being able to access home work sites at the library when students need too. Tau ke whanau!

2016/2017 is already shaping up to be another busy round with another 100 families being supported thanks to CIH so watch this space!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Four Graduations in the Waikato

Computers in Homes Waikato had four very different graduations, three of which were within days of each other. Each group chose a very different menu for the kai but they all celebrated with a beautiful chocolate cake from the Cheesecake shop.

A big congratulations to our St Pius School graduates. This was the first time that Computers in Homes Waikato had worked with St Pius. The school was open and welcoming, even encouraging families from other schools to participate in their programme.

The second graduation was Link House. Computers in Homes Waikato has worked with Link House for several years now delivering this programme. Link House work with single parent families in the Waikato community and running the programme through this organisation allows us to reach families from across the community. 

The third graduation was with Insoll Avenue School. It was great to go back Insoll after several years. The students made all the graduates feel special with the graduation clebraation being held during a school assembly.

And finally we had a wonderful time with the 11 students enrolled in the programme at Te Whanau Putahi. Computers in Homes Waikato would like to thank Selva Gopal for all her hard work getting the programme to Te Whanau Putahi, organising a great space and supporting us while we were teaching. We will miss your input but wish you all the best in your new job!

Monday, 6 April 2015

First graduations for Computers in Homes Waikato for 2015

Computers in Homes Waikato has recently celebrated two graduations. Meremere School just put their second lot of students through the programme with Karen Thompson returning as their passionate and committed trainer. This was a small group but they showed real commitment to the programme. 

The second graduation was held in Ngaruawahia at the local Community House. Computers in Homes Waikato was contacted by a young mother in Ngaruawahia, Elysia, who had heard about the programme. She was very keen to see this programme delivered in her community as she knew of many families who would benefit from participating in Computers in Homes.

As a result of the contact from Elysia, the Regional Coordinator (Holly Snape) spoke to the community house in Ngaruawahia. They have strong links into the community and were very keen to make this programme available locally. Fifteen local families graduated from Computers in Homes in Ngaruawahia. Computers in Homes Waikato would like to thank the Ngaruawahia Community House for the use of their facilities and to thank Elysia for being a strong voice for her community.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Parental education essential for children's safety

As children are heading to school to start the 2015 school year, there is added pressure on families to provide children with the tablets, laptops and various other digital equipment. Our world is changing and it is changing fast. Digital literacy is becoming an expectation and as children are being given this digital education through their schools (and sometimes through their peers), often the caregivers are left behind.

Many schools now require a tablet as a part of their standard stationary list as children are learning to engage with a wide variety of digital tools to prepare them for a life of ever changing digital technology. Allowing all children the opportunity to explore these devices - to learn their 'intuitive logic' - provides them with the skills and confidence to explore not only the devices they have but to explore new forms of digital technology as they emerge. I would suggest that if children do not have this access, they may be at a significant disadvantage in the future. Finding ways to improve access to these kinds of technologies and the education to effectively utilise the devices is an important step in reducing the digital divide. While the cost of this technology is still prohibitive for some families, I feel there is an greater threat for families - and that is the lack of information caregivers have to monitor and regulate the information their children access and divulge.

Social media has become a ubiquitous part of the lives of young people. It is in this forum they will share their dreams, fears, anxieties, frustrations and photos. They may support their friends through facebook 'likes' and tweet shares and bully (or be bullied by) their enemies through venomous posts and uploading unwanted pictures. They may 'meet' strangers who have an unhealthy interest in young people and meet scammers looking for ways to make money. They may use the internet to find solutions to homework, to learn about their favorite animal or how to become an astronaut, or they may stumble across online gambling, pornography or a grooming sexual predator who is asking for photo uploads, or worse still, to meet in person. This new technology opens up the world to our children, for good and for bad, and the consequences are profound.


 
Our caregivers need the skills and the confidence to navigate these digital tools to ensure their children are safe. They need to know about the kinds of software available to block unsavory sites and they need to know how to check the history of internet searches. Providing families with the tools to keep their children internet safe while they learn and engage with such an exciting technology is the key to developing a healthy, digitally literate community. Computers in Homes is one step in this journey for families. We work alongside 100 Waikato families, providing them with the skills, the experience and the confidence to use digital technology. We offer stepping up classes to continue this education. But as more and more children now required to engage with digital technology and funds to provide training to families is limited, we fear many more families will not have the information and the skills they need to keep their children safe. It is time we looked more broadly for solutions for these families to ensure every family has what they need to minimise the risks and maximise the outstanding potential that this digital world can offer.