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Quick ITP update and upcoming events

Paul Matthews, ITP Chief Executive. 14 December 2020, 4:07 pm
Quick ITP update and upcoming events

What an exciting week we've just had, with the 123Tech digital challenge national finals event broadcast live to schools, industry folks, students and the public across New Zealand.

We were excited to recognise the national winners during the event, from Arahoe School, Auroa School and Palmerston North Girls High School, while also celebrating regional success from across New Zealand. We were also pleased to recognise recently retired teacher Margot Phillipps for her massive contribution over many years.

And just a heads-up - we're taking ITx on the road next year, with Innovation Day and related events happening across all 8 of our home cities, plus potentially one or two other places as well. 2021 is going to be a great year!



ITP recognises award-winning school students across New Zealand

Wow, what an amazing finals celebration for 123Tech, NZ's digital challenge in schools, last Thursday.


For those who don't know, Tahi Rua Toru Tech (123Tech) is the nationwide in-school challenge, run by IT Professionals NZ and delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Digital Tech Teachers Aotearoa, plus a bunch of awesome companies like Datacom and NZSE. 

Previously we've held an in-person finals event in Wellington, however this year we opted for an online-only format. So far this has been watched by over 6,000 people across the various platforms, plus lots of schools had classes and assemblies and watched it live as well. 

Suzy Cato was our MC and was wonderful as always, plus our larger than life 123Tech champion (or "mascot"? For lack of a better word!) Digital Dan was roaming around NZ and awarding some of our winners live.

The finals event had 19 different live or pre-recorded video segments over the hour-long event, including pre-recorded virtual tours of tech companies across NZ, finalist videos, live crossings to Digital Dan heading towards a school to build suspense, and winners announced and awarded live across the different categories.

My favourite thing was being able to have our team travel to Auroa School, a rural school up by Mt Taranaki, and announce they'd won live on air. They were able to fully participate as judging was virtual (previously the 2.5 - 3 hour trip each way to the closest regional finals/judging event would have excluded them).

In their words, nothing like that had ever happened at their little school - nobody outside the area had really even come to visit before, let alone to announce on a live broadcast that they'd won a national title. During the build-up live crosses, the teacher had said to the students "maybe they're coming here?" and the students responded with "yeah, right - nobody's coming to Auroa!"). Then we did :).

I guess in some respects this is one of the silver linings of the pandemic - more inclusiveness and equality for all students in all schools to participate in NZ's digital challenge, regardless of where they are in New Zealand. 

It's been a tough year for everyone, no one less than schools, and it's great to be able to finish on such a high note. 

The 2020 national winners were:

Click the links above to see their live presentations (on Facebook).

You can watch the whole finals event on the 123Tech website or Facebook.



Digital Tech Teacher honoured

margot.jpgWe were also really excited to be able to recognise recently retired teacher Margot Phillipps for a massive amount of work she has done over the years, with the 2020 Ali Chivers Teacher Influence Award. 

Margot, along with ITP Honorary Fellow Gordon Grimsey, were the authors of the authoritative report into the Technology Achievement Standards back in 2008/2009. This report found that none of the 18 generic Technology Achievement Standards were appropriate to assess either Computer Science or end-user computing at the secondary school level

It was a direct result of that ITP (then called NZCS) report, peer-reviewed by professors and industry leaders and following significant advocacy activity, that we ended up with Digital Technologies-specific Achievement Standards - plus now the whole subject area itself.

So her work literally led to what we now know as Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko in all schools across New Zealand.

However this wasn't the only thing she was recognised for. Margot has helped countless schools and teachers get started with Digital Tech, plus spearheaded NZ's involvement in the International Olympiad in Informatics, was a co-founder of the PC4G (Programming Challenge for Girls) now running in many countries, and led NZ's involvement in the Bebras Challenge (another international programming contest) - plus so much more.

She's not someone who seeks the limelight but has been a true force to be reckoned with and an inspiration to many. It was great being able to recognise her efforts over many years.

Here's Margot being surprised with her award :).



Heads-up: ITx 2021 is going on the road 

As you may know, sadly and as a result of the pandemic, ITx 2020 was moved back 6 months to May 2021. The plan at that stage was to continue to hold ITx as a full 3-day conference in TSB Arena in Wellington.

ITx is special this/next year, as it's also a celebration of 60 years of tech innovation in New Zealand (including the 60th anniversary of ITP itself).

We've been talking closely with our members and while our membership clearly wants to see ITx continue through the pandemic (subject to levels etc), there is some concern about larger gatherings and travel. We've listened, and we've decided to make some changes.

While we'll still be holding ITx 2021 in Wellington, we've made the decision to change the format considerably and take it on the road! In fact you'll be seeing ITx 2021 Innovation Day events all across NZ in mid-2021, with full-day events in the larger centres and smaller half-day or similar events across all of the rest of our main cities.

In fact, if you're in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Dunedin, Palmerston North or Nelson, and possibly one or two other centres, you'll be able to attend an ITx 2021 Innovation Day event in your city!

It's going to be an exciting year. More details about the ITx Innovation Days road-trip will be released early next year. Look forward to seeing you all around NZ in 2021!



ITP Video Library now with closed captions

Those with hearing impairment - as well as those who just prefer to read as well as listen - will be pleased to know that we're now investing in closed captions for all new videos in the ITP Video Library.

This came from a suggested by a member and is a great way we can ensure that ITP is as open and welcoming to the whole community - including those with disabilities. We're investing in human-created (rather than automatic) captioning to improve accuracy, and while adding captions to all videos in the existing library is cost prohibitive, we'll be adding them to all new talks, webinars and presentations.

Generally speaking, the closed captions will appear 1-2 days after the video is uploaded. We're working on speeding this up, however don't want to delay the release of videos while waiting for the captions to be created.

As always, your feedback on these captions is very welcome!



UFB and the Future of Fibre

Live Webinar Connectivity.jpg

Where would we be now without UFB?

Clearly the decisions made about connectivity and fibre a few years back unknowingly prepared New Zealand for the Covid-19 pandemic. With remote technology uptake at an all-time high now, what does the future hold?

Join Chorus' Network Strategy Manager Kurt Rodgers as he talks through the UFB rollout (the good, the bad and the ugly), the massive rise in data consumption, HyperFibre, and the future of connectivity in New Zealand. This is a hugely interesting talk.

ITP members can watch it free here



Get an ITP Industry Mentor

As you may know, ITP re-launched our Mentoring Programme this year as a more stream-lined and free service to members. We have lots of mentors ready to go and if you're keen to be advance your career, we can match you promptly and kick off your mentoring partnership.

What is the ITP Mentoring Programme?

The programme continues to be built around professional development or career-focused mentoring - helping IT professionals set clear career goals and objectives, understand that they have the ability to achieve these, and putting in place a plan to do it.

If you haven't been involved in mentoring before don't be shy - this programme is purpose built for you. The programme has been designed to scale and we see it as a core part of professional growth.

The programme is also completely free for non-student ITP members, as part of our overall goal to help further those in our community. We'll be providing other career guidance for students but mentoring is for those currently practicing.

Once matched, mentees and mentors can expect to meet once a month (for approximately an hour) over the 12-month period. This can be in-person of via a videocall. We provide guidance, resources, career planning templates and more, and you also have access to a mentoring facilitator to help work through any issues you might have along the way.

Now's the right time

It's been a tough year for everyone, but now is the absolute right time to focus on career development and the future. It's also a great time of year - we can get you set up now, meet your mentor before Christmas, then kick things off properly in the new year.

It's easy to get started - just join the mentoring programme online. We ask you a few questions to help match you to the perfect mentor and the whole process only takes around 10-15 minutes.

Find out more or sign up here



Exclusive ITP member offers

We're really excited to have a bunch of new deals and offers available for ITP members, thanks to some of our awesome Corporate Partners. Check them out on the ITP Member Offers page.

This includes huge offers on tech-related courses from Yoobee, NZSE and ITP, plus excellent offers from GoWirelessNZ, EscrowNZ, The IT Psychiatrist, insurance offerings, events and conferences and more.

Check out all of the ITP Member Offers


Offer of the week:


The IT Psychiatrist is an "on demand" tech executive that can help your organisation, or boost your capability, across cost, tools, information and skills.

ITP members and partners exclusively receive 10% Discount on all engagements.

If you're an ITP member or corporate partner, check them out here



Previous webinars - all available free to members

All past webinars are available on the ITP Video Library for members:

  • UFB and the Future of Fibre
  • Down-to-Earth Leadership Skills for Tech Geniuses
  • How technology enabled the health response
  • How Covid is impacting the Gaming Industry
  • Creating a plan for Digital Skills
  • Cybersecurity and the recent attacks
  • Tech legal update - what you need to know
  • An afternoon with Nanogirl
  • Taking kiwi tech to the post-Covid world
  • Tech startups in a post-Covid world
  • The IRD Transformation
  • Digital Government and Covid-19
  • Tech and the Covid-19 recovery
  • Privacy in the days of Covid-19
  • Leading Wellness in uncertain times
  • Meet the ITP Workshop Presenters
  • The data behind Covid19
  • Innovation in tough times: Don't Hunker in the Bunker
  • Covid19: Tech and the Law
  • Cybersecurity from home
  • Clarke Ching on disaster innovation
  • CITPNZ and CTech: The What, How and Why
  • Working Remotely - How to get through

Check out the webinar section here


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