N4L is excited to announce that OMGTech!, a charitable education initiative getting more Kiwi kids interested in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering & maths), will be using online learning hub Pond to make its educational resources accessible to all New Zealand schools.

Pond will serve as a primary platform for OMGTech! learning resources and ongoing discussions about its programmes among the education community. Every teacher in New Zealand will be able to find OMGTech! resources in Pond, use them to help deliver OMGTech! programmes in their own communities, and connect with other teachers wanting to get involved.

OMGTech! Co-Founder and Nanoscientist Dr Michelle Dickinson – also known as “Nanogirl” – says that Pond is a good fit for the charity’s community approach being used to extend its programme to primary and intermediate students across the country.

“Supporting teachers and volunteers to help them deliver our workshops in their own communities is key to getting more Kiwi kids exposed to the wonders of science and technology,” says Ms Dickinson. “We see Pond as a trusted and valuable online community for teachers, a place where they can go and share the knowledge they’ve learned in our workshops with their peers, access our learning resources, and provide support to other teachers.”

N4L CEO John Hanna says: ”We are excited to be supporting OMGTech! as they embark on their cross-country journey to involve as many young people as possible in their technology learning programmes. The future of today’s young people will involve a lot more of the technology that OMGTech! is bringing to schools and it is fantastic to be a part of their plans to build a supportive community for teachers through Pond.”

Manurewa East Primary was involved in one of the earlier OMGTech! workshops and principal Phil Palfrey says his school is positive about the national programme unveiled today and N4L’s support: “If schools want to increase the uptake and enthusiasm around teaching STEM subjects, then it is really important for their teachers to feel confident around the content they are using and to know they are well-supported. It’s really encouraging to see N4L and OMGTech! working together to bring technology and learning resources to more schools.”

OMGTech! is now in Pond as provider of education services, joining around 400 other organisations registered as “education providers.” More than 11,500 teachers are currently inside Pond, with hundreds of new teachers registering to be part of the community each month. All of Pond’s content is generated by its user community, where it can be tagged, reviewed, bundled with other items, and shared with other registered users.

Schools wanting to access OMGTech! learning resources will be able to source them from www.pond.co.nz.

Pond is a recipient of the 2015 Hi-Tech Award for most innovative initiative and has this month made the shortlist for the United Nations’ World Summit Awards (WSA), held this year in Shenzhen, China at the WSA World Congress.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Julie Landry, N4L Communications, 09 222 0142 or julie.landry@n4l.co.nz

About OMGTech!

OMG Tech! is a not-for-profit education initiative co-founded by Nanoscientist Dr Michelle Dickinson MNZM, and Vend CEO Vaughan Rowsell. OMG Tech! is on a mission to open up the world of future tech to every primary and intermediate school student in New Zealand. They will do this by running a workshop series in communities where students and teachers learn about robotics, 3D printing, coding, science and engineering (un-making real-world technologies).

About Network for Learning (N4L)

N4L (Network for Learning) is a Crown company formed to provide all New Zealand students and teachers equitable access to dynamic digital content for learning and high quality internet services. The aim is to improve educational outcomes by enabling new learning opportunities presented by digital technologies. The company is achieving this by building a Managed Network especially designed for schools and an online learning hub called Pond, which won “Most Innovative Initiative” at the 2015 Hi-Tech awards. Together, these initiatives are about investing in our young people, digitally empowering their education for a future-ready, world-ready Aotearoa New Zealand.