Some of the most vulnerable students at One Tree Hill College have been given a gift that could make all the difference to their education.
As part of a nationwide programme Variety – The Children’s Charity and The Warehouse have provided the school with 20 laptops.
Principal Nick Coughlan says the devices will be shared between several classrooms, where students have been identified as needing a helping hand.
‘‘The end goal for all our students is to leave with meaningful qualifications so that is NCEA,’’ he says.
‘‘To get them there, they know that right now they need to accelerate their learning.’’ He says technology is an incredible tool for boosting learning outcomes, but many students don’t have access to computers.
‘‘We don’t want some of our students to be sitting in the classroom and have instant access and some sitting right next door and not having access,’’ he says.
‘‘If technology is going to help accelerate their learning then this is just the best gift in the world.’’
Student Tenisi Liuanga, 14, would always prefer to use a computer for all of his school work, but before now it has been hard to get access to one.
The Mt Wellington youngster says using computers makes writing and concen- trating easier while making learning fun.
‘‘It will be a big help for us. In our class sometimes not much focus is happening, but with the laptops everyone will want to pay attention.’’
Resource teacher of learning and behaviour Kimberly White has worked with many of the students, who will directly benefit from the netbooks. Being connected to the internet allows these students to use websites and apps that are targeted to their needs, she says.
‘‘There is a free app where you highlight all the text and it will read it back to you, so if you actually can’t read what it says, you just push a button and it reads it back to you.’’
Learning fun: Lorenzo Toala, and Tenisi Liuanga with two of One Tree Hill College’s new laptops.