HUKARERE Girls' COLLEGE IS CHANGING WITH THE TIMES AND HAS
A NUMBER OF KEY PROJECTS UNDERWAY THAT AIM TO MODERNISE LEARNING
AND ACHIEVEMENT AT THE SCHOOL.
Kaiawhina is one such project that came about through discussions
on Teacher ICT professional development and the need for students
to extend their work in ICT. The school worked out that the
best way to help teachers is to give them assistance at the
time it is needed, not a week or month later in a group training
session which does not cater for individual needs. Of course,
it is almost impossible to help teachers at the time they
want help, because the school has only one ICT support person
who is also a full time teacher.
However, it is possible to achieve that just-in-time goal
in another way. Hukarere have started using the ICT curriculum
itself to teach ICT-literate students how to operate a helpdesk
to support teachers in all areas of the school.
The students carry out their normal school activities and
when a teacher needs assistance, a member of the Kaiawhina
team is usually on hand to take ownership of the problem.
This way, teachers get help for what they need and when they
need it. The students get extra tuition in helpdesk techniques
which include people skills, troubleshooting techniques, and
of course, the very necessary skills of explaining to teachers
how things work.
The Kaiawhina project is being monitored by the University
of Otago, as it is a pilot case study which may be of benefit
to other similar schools.
Some of the school programmes are also changing to give students
more responsibility for their learning. In some subjects,
students now choose from a range of options units of study
(or Road Maps) for the year. They elect more subjects than
required, so that they have the flexibility of changing as
their learning develops.
The integration of computers in all classrooms is proceeding
as computers become available. Teachers can now look forward
to their students using computers in all subject areas in
their home classroom.
The current supply of computers at Hukarere is nowhere near
require, but with the help of the Kaiawhina team, and some
new thin client technology, the college is managing to keep
the old machines running.
WiFi, or wireless connectivity,is also available at Hukarere.
This project was initiated to solve the problem of having
desktop computers in areas which had a lack of bench space
and in which cabling and wiring was difficult. It is operational
in the Science laboratory and will soon be running in the
The WiFi system runs on laptops which only require a power
point. The radio system controller links directly into the
school LAN’s (local area networks), giving students
the same facilities as they would on the other school computers.
The Science teacher has reported that this facility has considerably
expanded the resources and that the students are using it
In short, Hukarere is keeping up with the times and ensuring
its pupils are able to ride with confidence on the new knowledge
*This article is an edited version of text supplied by