Computer skills learnt and then taught

Computers in Homes participant and then trainer, Ross Timpene, at a graduation ceremony.

As the 20/20 Trust’s Computers on Homes programme in its current form ends, we tell the stories of some of the 19,000 participants, and see the outcome of participation for them.

In 2009 Ross Tipene participated in the first Computers in Homes programme in Northland, piloted by Manaia View School . “It provided an opportunity for my whānau to gain access to a computer and to learn basic computer skills” says Ross, who was studying to become a primary school teacher at the time.

Whānau atmosphere, learning at your own pace

He thoroughly enjoyed the CiH experience saying “whānau atmosphere and learning at your own pace” contributed a lot to his enjoyment, along with “it providing whānau with an opportunity to learn and come away with computer competence, the bonus was having your own computer after completing the course.” Ross says he found having his computer “invaluable during my study and aided my learning hugely.”

Now working to upskill whānau

Fast forward to 2015 and Ross appears again. This time Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rawhiti Roa was hosting CiH. In need of a suitable trainer, Ross (by then a qualified teacher) was contracted in the role and went on to create a truly personalised training experience for his CiH class.“I thoroughly enjoyed working with whānau to upskill their own computer skills and giving those with no computer skills more confidence in using a computer”.

He felt he was able to identify with his families as he’d ‘been there and done that’ years prior and remembered that feeling of uncertainty around computers.

A new platform of learning and entertainment

“The programme helps open up a new platform of learning and entertainment for whānau” he says. And of his own journey, “obviously gaining more knowledge from my own computer experiences along the way has helped.”

A common vision for Te Tai Tokerau

Now in 2017, Ross Tipene is an extremely busy man. Whilst he teaches part-time and is on two Boards of Trustees, he also contracts to Taitokerau Education Trust as their Whānau Liaison Officer for their BYOD Equity Initiative. Strategic partners, 20/20 Trust and Taitokerau Education Trust share a common vision for Te Tai Tokerau: “Having the CiH network base along with the other experiences and the role as a parent has helped me to manage and fulfil my role with Taitokerau Education Trust” he says.

We need these programmes to constantly upskill

“There is always a need for programmes such as CiH to help support whānau and communities as the digital world has now become part of society. To use digital technology efficiently and effectively we need to have these programmes to constantly upskill whānau communities. The digital world can change in a heartbeat so whānau need to be able to keep up with the many changes”.

When asked for three words to describe Computers in Homes, Ross felt “whanaungatanga, enjoyment and problem solving” were most apt, although admitted that that was actually four!

More information: Digital Inclusion beyond Computers in Homes

Since 2001, the programme has helped more than 19,000 families build digital skills and confidence, connect to the internet and participate more fully in the digital world.

In May 2016, the government advised that funding of the programme in its present form would not continue after 30 June 2017. New Zealand’s Digital Inclusion Challenge: Beyond Computers in Homes describes how we in the 20/2 Trust have prepared for this transition and our view of the future for digital inclusion in New Zealand. We are continuing our discussions with government and others to secure funding for programmes that increase digital inclusion in digitally disadvantaged communities.

Meanwhile, some delivery partners, with a continuing need for the programme in their local area, intend to carry on and seek other funding.