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Update from ITPNZ

Paul Matthews. 29 November 2019, 5:48 pm
Update from ITPNZ

Here's a quick weekly update from ITP CEO Paul Matthews

This week the National Board of ITP came together in a combined Board and Planning meeting, confirming the work programme for 2020. We're also really pleased to announce that the Board re-elected ITP President Mike Dennehy and Deputy President Anthony Dowling for 2020.

Next week is the Tahi Rua Toru Tech National Finals, being celebrated with a combined expo and finals event at TSB Arena in Wellington on Thursday afternoon. Come along and support the next generation! There are some truly amazing stories including the school who used their prize-money from last year to generate thousands of dollars and donate it to Ronald McDonald House.

And speaking of digital tech in schools, now's the time for you to check with your local school whether they're ready for the new curriculum next year. There are lots of resources available including a Readiness Tool they can use to find out.

ITP President and Deputy President re-elected 

This week was Board Meeting week, with meetings of the ITP National Board plus both subsidiary companies. The ITP Board Meeting was the main review and planning meeting of the year, with an brief annual review of the overall Strategic Plan and consideration of the work programme for next year.

We have another really full year next year, with the main ITx Conference (announcement of dates soon), 123Tech, a whole bunch of member-oriented projects and services, some core systems and process reviews, and more. We'll outline that in more detail later.

The Board also elects the President and Deputy President for the following year, and it's great to see that Mike Dennehy has been re-appointed as ITP President, and Anthony Dowling re-appointed as Deputy President, for 2020.

Congratulations Mike and Ants - looking forward to working with you over the coming year.

Tahi Rua Toru Tech National Finals next week! 

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 4.45.08 PM.pngThe Tahi Rua Toru Tech national finals are next week and excitement is well and truly building!! If you're in Wellington, head along to the 123Tech expo and finals event.

Partnering with the Ministry of Education, the IT Industry through ITPNZ created the Tahi Rua Toru Tech challenge in schools. This is the national finals event and industry expo and will be awesome. 

With thousands of students from hundreds of classrooms across New Zealand taking part, teams of 3-4 use digital technologies to solve a problem in their local school or community. Teams in each region took part in Regional Finals in October with winners going on to compete at the National Finals.

The finals event is Thursday 5th December and opens to the public at 2pm, with the celebration - hosted by TV's Suzy Cato - happening at 3pm.

The expo features both hands-on and demonstration tech and will be a heap of fun for young and old.

If you can't get along, check out the 123Tech Facebook page - the finals will be live-streamed from 3pm. 

More info and registration

An amazing story 

Here's a 123Tech-related story that I really have to share with our community. If you'd prefer to listen to it rather than read, I talk about it on my New Technology RNZ segment this week as well (about 9 mins in).

One of the most awesome things about 123Tech is the stories that are starting to emerge. My favourite at the moment is about a team from Arahoe School in Auckland, the Arahoe Coders, who were one of the winners of the Challenge last year.

These are primary school kids up to Year 6, so under 11 basically. They won their category last year, which was awesome.

However they didn't stop there.

The team used their prizemoney to buy a 3D Printer for the school, then set about printing personalised keyrings and sold them to friends and families as a fundraiser. At $5 each they designed, printed and sold 479 keyrings around their community, each with the owners name and design.

So from the 3D Printer bought with their original prizemoney they raised $2395 over the last few months, and just this week donated the lot to Ronald McDonald House at Auckland Hospital, along with a 3D Printed plaque of course!

I mean, how amazing is that? It's mind-blowing really - the entrepreneurial spirit combined with digital tech making a real and genuine difference. And this is just one story - we're hearing about amazing kids using the challenge to make a real difference every day.

And really, that's what we love about Digital Technologies overall of course - tech empowers people to do amazing things; in business, in communities, and to make a difference like these school students have.

Do your bit: The new Digital Tech curriculum in 2020 

As you may have heard, the new Digital Technologies curriculum changes become compulsory for all NZ schools and kura at each of years 1-10 from next year, plus optional at years 11-13.

The Education Ministry is doing heaps to promote the changes, but schools are really busy places and sometimes the message doesn't get through as well as it could. 

As members of the tech community, if you have kids I strongly suggest checking with their schools to see whether they're aware of the changes and have put in place plans to integrate the new content from next year. If you're on a Board of Trustees this is even more essential as it's now a core part of the curriculum and something ERO will be checking.

There's a really good self-review tool and heaps of other resources as part of the broader Digital Readiness website. Schools can use it to confidentially check whether they really are set to go with the new content, and help get them going.

More info here

Industry Transformation Plan workshops

We enjoyed hosting the Industry Transformation Plan workshop in Wellington this week, and had members attend the Auckland session as well.

It's really important that the profession has a strong voice in the development of the plan as it could well focus Government and other efforts over the next few years. ITPNZ is working alongside MBIE, NZTech and others focusing on the skills and education components, but the implication is far broader.

The Industry Transformation Plan is intended to set out an agreed long-term vision for the digital technologies sector, and a joint government-industry action plan for how to achieve this vision.

Six workshops are being run around the country in late November - early December, to gather input on what the long-term vision for the digital technologies sector should look like, and to understand what the major challenges and opportunities faced by the sector are, to inform the development of an action plan.

These sessions will be an opportunity to provide your perspectives and input to the development of this long term plan for the digital technologies sector. Graeme Muller from NZTech will also provide an update on NZTech's recent activities.

The remaining sessions are:

  • Dunedin: Monday 2 December, 1 - 5pm, SIGNAL ICT Graduate School, Level 2, 123 Vogel St.
  • Christchurch: Wednesday 4 December, 1 - 5pm, ChristchurchNZ, Level 3, 101 Cashel St.
  • Tauranga: 9 December, 1 - 5pm, Basestation, 148 Durham St.
  • Hamilton: Tuesday 10 December, 8.30am - 12.30pm, CultivateIT, L2 Wintec House.  

If you want to attend please RSVP to Aimee.Allardice@mbie.govt.nz

New Technology on RNZ

And lastly, this week I talked with Kathryn Ryan about the TIN200 report, Tahi Rua Toru Tech national finals, plus the UFB project coming to a close on my RNZ New Technology slot. 

You can listen to the podcast here


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