Cash prizes for your amazing ideas
There’s been a lot of talk about Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) but what will it really mean? What do you think? Telecom wants to know – and is inviting schools and students to describe what the future will be.
Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka has enjoyed a high-speed internet connection for three years. It’s made an enormous difference to the way the school operates and “got it out of a huge pickle”, says Tim Harper.
“The impact has been amazing,” he said. “We do all the things we did before, of course, but better. The first thing we did was get rid of the email server and sign up to Google Apps for our email. We’ve also been able to install a Wi-Fi network and implement a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ programme – there are about 400 student devices being used on the network. We have two videoconferencing units that are used for everything from scholarship mentoring to dance classes.
“There’s no way we could be doing these kinds of things without a fast broadband connection.”
Spending big on broadband
The Government is spending $1.5 billion on the rollout of New Zealand’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) infrastructure over the next 10 years, with priority initially being placed on businesses, schools and health services. This is also being supported by the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) designed to improve internet coverage in more remote areas of the country.
It’s a major investment in the future that will have a profound impact – as the experience as Mt Aspiring College already shows – and promises to change people’s lives in ways we can only
imagine. But imagine we can and Telecom is launching the ‘Amazing Ideas Search’ schools competition to find out what Kiwi school students think ultra-fast broadband will actually mean.
“The roll-out of UFB is exciting for New Zealanders as we move towards a new generation of connectivity,” said Jason Paris, Telecom’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Understanding what will be
possible in the future is part of the journey, therefore, we’re ask in the next generation of leaders for their thoughts, ideas and dreams.”
Wanted: your ideas for UFB
So, here’s the chance to have your say. The ‘Amazing Ideas Search’ competition will run during Term 3, from July 16 to September 28, 2012. To enter, school students around the country are being invited to come up with innovative, creative, big ideas with the new UFB technology at its core. Ideas can be based on anything around how this technology will change our day-to-day lives, including the way we learn, how our health services are delivered, the way we do business, how we entertain ourselves or even how we look after the environment. Entries are limited to 500 words and three
YouTube links and will be submitted by teachers on behalf of individual students, groups or a whole class. Telecom is encouraging teachers to include this in their Term 3 curriculum, even if it’s an optional homework assignment, so students can learn more about this important government initiative.
There are 10 prizes of $2,000 for the schools that come up with the top 10 ideas, as judged by Telecom. These will be divided evenly, five ideas for Years 1-8 and five ideas for Years 9-13. The winners will be encouraged to spend the cash prize on technology products and services for their school. For students, there’s also the chance to win one of three Samsung tablets. All you need to do is enter to be in the draw for one of these great devices!
Looking forward to a fast future
One school looking forward to hooking up to UFB is Te Hihi School. Principal Kevin Bush anticipates being able to use the faster speed for videoconferencing access.
“It would be great to be able to hook up with a similar age class in another school and do some collaborative learning or challenges, etc. Although this is available whole class to whole class, to be able to do it so that each child or pair of children in a class can work with individuals or pairs in a school elsewhere or even globally would be fantastic. The learning could be around an issue that they could research, interview people affected and video it or video the issue and then mash their respective pieces together and post it online. Kids would get a real buzz out of that and develop a greater depth of interest in what they’re learning about.”
What else could they and rest of New Zealand get a buzz out of? Enter your ideas – and you could be a winner.
© INTERFACE Magazine, June 2012
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