Building digital confidence and Internet awareness
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
Te Mana o Kupe Charitable Trust was established in December 2013 to help improve educational outcomes through the use of digital technology in a cluster of decile one schools in Porirua East. It provides whānau with the opportunity to buy their children chromebooks through an affordable weekly payment arrangement. Students from years 4-8 in the participating schools can take their chromebooks home, bridging the home/school learning relationship. This led to online safety becoming a concern.
Early in 2020 the Trust received an InternetNZ grant, along with a donation from a sponsor, to develop a programme of online safety and wellbeing workshops for whānau.
Local parents were empowered to become programme facilitators, learning how to present to small groups so that parents participating could learn from someone they trust. The facilitators developed content themselves and used lived experience and shared community values to make it engaging for parents who came along, so they could start to feel more confident in navigating issues of online safety with their whānau.
One participant said “I liked the personal touch. I think sometimes ICT people have the terminology but I prefer the personal touch.”
Another participant talked about the intergenerational benefits of the knowledge and confidence gained. “One of the other things that has happened is that my parents (there are three generations in our household) learned a lot about how wifi works. They get to see what their grandchildren are doing online.”
The facilitators and participants in the workshops were from the socio-economically stressed area of Porirua East and from Pasifika backgrounds. The activity was designed to meet their needs, particularly given the leadership provided by the facilitators from the community. These workshops support the Chromebooks in homes programme to promote digital inclusion, building confidence, skills and trust. The small scale, high-trust, tailored approach to learning provides a powerful model that we hope will continue to develop and become an example others can learn from.
Each year InternetNZ uses profits from the sale of .nz domain names to give out community funding. We provide funding for community-led initiatives that extend the availability, use, and benefit of the Internet in Aotearoa.
This initiative was the recipient of collaborative funding in 2020.