Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

New iPads for Owhata pupils (+video)

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Discovering a Triceratops and Stegosaurus traipsing through their school hall was the highlight for Owhata School pupils who spent the afternoon playing with their newly-delivered iPads.

The school had 93 new ready-to-use iPads delivered yesterday as part of a programme delivered by Nga Pumanawa e Waru. Pupils were able to turn the devices on and start using them immediately with educational apps and the school network already loaded.

Nga Pumanawa e Waru's programme aims to engage with community groups and iwi, gaining involvement in supporting their schools and whanau in children's learning.

Partnerships with Noel Leeming, Vodafone, Apple, Samsung and Hewlett Packard provide schools and the community with discounted rates for devices and access to data networks.

Nga Pumanawa e Waru director of technology Adam Ellis was pleased to be at the school for the handover.

"This is a decile two school which is contributed to by some of Rotorua's poorest communities. The principal and board of trustees have taken what we would call an extremely bold move to move towards one-to-one devices in education.

"What Nga Pumanawa e Waru have been doing is working with Owhata School in the last year to build what learning looks like in a future-focused environment and ensuring teachers are confident using devices."

Pupils Hayley Ellis, 8, and Osharne Roberts, 9, said the iPads were awesome.

"It's so much fun, we get to play games on them... My favourite game is the dinosaur one because you can see the dinosaurs walking around and if you start chasing them they run away.

"As well as seeing them, if you click on one it tells you what kind of dinosaur it is and gives you information about it so it's teaching us stuff too," Hayley said.

"Our teacher is really excited about the iPads too because we only had two and she was begging for more," Osharne said.

Both Hayley and Osharne said they were lucky to get the devices.

"It's really cool having one each, it will be good when we can have more apps to play on too."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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