Five Bay of Plenty Schools are set for a digital upgrade this Friday, with the addition of $40,000 worth of iPads and Chromebooks donated from Variety - The Children's Charity.

Lorraine Taylor, chief executive of the charity, will be travelling to the Bay on Friday to present 76 devices to Greerton Village School, Arataki School, Gate Pa School, Te Wharekura O Mauao and Merivale School with digital devices.

"We reached out to decile 1 to 2 schools in the region and invited them all to make application to receive digital devices... what they were trying to achieve with their ICT [information computer technology]," Ms Taylor said.

She said Greerton Village planned to have a Wi-Fi update plan, to increase the capacity and be able to accommodate more devices, Merivale wanted to supply 1:1 devices for students, but a growing roll was making it harder to achieve.


Te Wharekura O Mauao were developing a programme where senior students could get connected, whose families would possibly struggle to afford a Chromebook.

She said every quarter the charity, with help from The Warehouse, did a road show to certain regions.

"We haven't yet been to the Tauranga and Rotorua region, and they could certainly do with some extra support," she said.

Ms Taylor said it was also a good way for the local Warehouse stores to see how their fundraising for Variety went.

"It's to provide digital access, so the kids don't miss out. It means we're helping to bridge that digital divide."

Gate Pa principal Richard Inder said their senior and junior schools were already equipped with digital classrooms, and this would allow a third for the middle students.

Arataki School principal Shelley Blakey said she was excited about the possibilities the 20 new devices would open up for the students.

"It will open some doors and allow us to try different things in education to be innovative and creative," she said.

Greerton Village School's IT leader Walter Annear said the donation meant the school could get children connected into the digital age and digital learning.

"It's just fantastic," he said.

"It means more kids getting on digital devices, more time on their learning... and just means they have more access to technology."

He said it was great Variety had targeted low decile schools.

"Often these kids haven't got direct [digital] access at home.

"We're really entering a technological age. Technology is the foundation of learning. It's everywhere. It empowers us even more."