Digital Porirua Trust Achievements
This page describes the achievements of the Digital Porirua Trust during its tenure between March 2009 and September 2012.
The growth of community learning environments and digital projects was made possible through receipt of a $400,000 USD Education Grant from Hewlett-Packard, and additional support from Microsoft, the Department of Internal Affairs, Porirua City Council and several dedicated service providers and individuals in the Porirua community.
Hewlett Packard Education Grant
In 2008 Hewlett Packard allocated an education grant to Digital Porirua Trust. The grant of $400,000 USD was made up of approximately $55,000 cash and $345,000-worth of HP products, including servers, desktop and laptop computers and printers.
HP made the decision to focus the entire grant on one deserving community, with a clear goal of effecting considerable change to the way everyone within that community used technology.
“The Digital Porirua Trust received the grant because Porirua could already demonstrate its commitment to becoming a digital city through ICT infrastructure development and community programme initiatives,” says Brent Kendrick, General Manager, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard New Zealand.
“The Digital Porirua Trust’s vision for its community was very compelling for HP, particularly alongside our own commitment to helping New Zealand businesses, communities and individuals grow through the use of HP’s innovative products and services. HP is proud of to be part of a community project of this magnitude.”
Community Access Points
A number of Community Access Points (CAPS), consisting of computers, server and printers, were established in community sites around Porirua.
Programmes were established at these sites using the technology received from Hewlett Packard. Today people from across the broader Porirua community are exploring new digital technology in an environment in which they feel comfortable – at little or no cost.
The goals are:
- To assist with the learning and development of individuals in using technology, and
- To provide after school and homework facilities, as well as school holiday programmes and activities.
Local schools also form an important part of the network, with eight primary schools having received clusters of four to eight computers, called NetPods, offering students and teachers access to latest technology and new learning possibilities.
School NetPods have been allocated to:
The community website http://www.ourporirua.com was developed for local clubs, small businesses, non-profit organisations and special interest groups in the Porirua region to create and manage their own web presence.
The main barriers to using new technologies are: cost, lack of knowledge and understanding, and access to a computer. This project aimed to help Porirua businesses and organisations to break through the entry barrier to establishing an online presence. Each hosted site was allocated 10MB of space. Online resources and web raising workshops were offered to assist each business to build their website.
Technical Support Network
The aim of the Technical Support Network was to consistently deliver reliable, computer technical support, planning and advice to schools, families and non-profit organisations in the Porirua City community in a friendly and cost efficient manner.
The previous Government's Digital Strategy for New Zealand emphasised the necessity for affordable community access to technical support. It outlined the need to provide technical support for those who are disadvantaged, and mentioned the development of community-based technical support services to assist community groups to use digital technologies. The key objectives of the technical support initiative were set up to align with this part of the strategy.
Unfortunately, the community portal set up in 2009 by Digital Porirua Trust did not provide the service hoped for. When Digital Porirua Trust was disestablished in 2012, the portal was adopted by Porirua City Council. In June 2013, the Council decided to close the portal and invited e-Learning Porirua to develop a completely new website initiative.
Wellington based agency FRESCO was asked to develop a new initiative for Our Porirua by building a website with the ability to share content with other websites within the community, using an online platform developed by FRESCO called Flightdec.
e-Learning Porirua took ownership of the initiative and the brand new Our Porirua.com was launched on 14 June 2013 simultaneously with a new site for e-Learning Porirua itself.
Since then, other sites have joined the Porirua Community. Each new website acts as a hub for an online community of many contributing websites. Each website can apply to join a group and is able to share content within that group.
Communities and organisations in New Zealand and overseas are using the Collective Impact model to generate positive social change through getting organisations to work together around a common agenda.
Flightdec’s community building capabilities are ideal in providing online infrastructure and communications support mechanisms. They are currently working with some of the first Collective Impact initiatives in New Zealand.
Providing people with the opportunity to acquire ICT skills was always at the heart of Digital Porirua's philosophy since its inception. People benefiting from the work of the CAPs extend from youth, unemployed, people up-skilling, refugees and retired groups.
Sixteen individual ICT training modules (referred to as Digital Steps) were established and were offered through the Stepping UP programme. The total number of people completing training reflected Digital Porirua Trust’s commitment to "promote, develop and provide blended ICT environments and resources that facilitate, foster and extend teaching and learning to meet individual needs at low or no cost."
Digital Porirua Learning Network
Working with Secondary School representatives, local Community Access Points and the wider Business Community, Digital Porirua sought to further bridge the gap between students leaving Secondary Schools and engaging in further education and to identify new ways to reach individual learners by leveraging the Digital Porirua Learning Network (DPLN). Research identifying barriers and obstacles to individual learning, individual needs, cutting edge ICT tools to aid learning/methods of delivery and opportunities for growth was undertaken. This research, lead the way for piloting, evaluation and full implementation of Moodle on Porirua City Council servers.