Lap­top as­sis­tance

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE CAWLEY

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.’’

also

Photo: ROSE CAWLEY

Learn­ing fun: Lorenzo Toala, and Tenisi Li­uanga with two of One Tree Hill Col­lege’s new lap­tops.

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