$1.6 Million to the Canterbury Education Sector

The Canterbury Community Trust is pleased to announce it has approved donations to the Canterbury education sector of over $1.6million.
“We have been impressed with the many applicants who are making huge in-roads to get on board with 21st century learning principles and collaborate with other schools, communities and businesses for more positive outcomes for children,” says Trust chairperson, Mrs Tracey Chambers.

Many of the applicants, across all strata’s of education, that is, early childhood, school and adult learning; applied for information technology support, including the purchase of I-pads, computers and technical support for classrooms. The Trust also saw a rise in applications from schools still requiring support post earthquake, along with its “business as usual” requests.

“There has been much research done over the past few years on the importance of schools aligning themselves with the global trends of 21st learning – that is a move away from an on-size-fits-all type of learning. Current and emerging technologies play an important enabling role in creating new learning opportunities for both teachers and student,” says Mrs Chambers.
“In particular, the Trust is committed through its funding, to setting up an even playing field where children from lower decile schools have the same opportunities to embrace technology as those in higher decile,” she says..

The Greater Christchurch Schools Network (GCSN) received funding from this round from the Trust to the tune of $100,000.

“It will take fundamental changes, a collaborative nature and money to ensure all our Canterbury schools have the opportunity to embed a sustainable ICT strategy for their pupils – to achieve this we are going to see the rise of more cluster groups amongst schools, which is something we as an organization wholeheartedly support.”

“The GCSN is a fantastic example of bringing people together to provide great outcomes for our pupils and teachers and a legacy for the future,” she says.
The GCSN was created in 2006 but did not gain real traction until fibre optic cables had been laid across Christchurch in 2008.

Carol Moffatt of GCSN says that the project was created to build shared learning communities amongst schools by promoting and enabling teaching and learning in a collaborative environment, providing both students and teachers with a wide range of learning opportunities which are not currently available.

The focus of the current programme is on the capability development of teachers being introduced to the opportunities created through high speed fibre connection to their schools.

The connection or proposed connections to 114 Christchurch schools are in place, and most schools are linked to the ICTPD cluster.

“This project is a unique collaboration of schools, community groups and businesses for the benefit of all students. We were impressed that many of their programmes provide access for students to online learning opportunities that complement their school-based studies,” says Mrs Chambers.

“We are committed to funding organisations that embrace diversity and innovative and collaborative thinking – our young people need to be given a solid platform of knowledge, skills and values to spring-board their success in a world that is continually changing and increasingly complex.”

The Trust approved funding to 126 applicants from across the education sector in Canterbury.