1. DORA, THE MOBILE LEARNING CENTRE IN CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
Dora, the high-tech mobile learning centre was purchased from Alexandra, where it had operated as a school bus since 1985. Dora was reinvented as a mobile digital learning centre in 2011 after the Christchurch earthquakes, to support the ‘Stepping Up’ classes in Christchurch. Dora went on to become an authorised mobile ICDL testing facility in 2012 complete with accredited testers. Dora currently resides on the West Coast of the South Island where it is fully utilised by community groups and schools. With Dora as a fully functioning independent mobile learning and testing centre, ICDL training and testing can be provided to any region.
DORA spent Term 1 supporting the students and staff of Westland High School following a fire in the school that took out the internet hub and administration block. We were able to park DORA at a temporary site in the community where the middle school used her as break out space for students, administration site for the staff and a WiFi hotspot delivering the internet to the classroom.
As the school community was able to go back to their site, DORA followed and continued in the role, offering an internet ‘safety net’ while the school internet was restructured and re-built. DORA was a great asset to the school, a calm place for students and staff in small groups to get away from the classroom and focus on their work.
DORA was great for those students who were suffering anxiety after the fire, fears of not making it through the year and achieving their credits – the stress and trauma of losing their school, it all mattered to the students and they approached DORA as a haven, something about that bus!
DORA is currently at Klondyke Corner in Arthur's Pass helping out the Comms and IT teams. It is amazing to see the background work that takes place to make the event happen. Many, many volunteers putting in hours of work. DORA is providing a fabulous working space for those who are tracking competitors in the mountains and on the rivers.
"DORA has spent today (and will tomorrow) playing with 75 tech ex
kids from all over the Coast - aged 10 -12. They've played with drones,
and time lapse photography, the steam train at Shantytown - so they've
been in several centuries.
Jason Blair from West Coast Tech Education Trust has apparently
taken loads of footage -he's tagged her in twitter, Facebook, the kids
have uploaded stuff to YouTube. The Mayor of Greymouth got on and had a
play. It's been brilliant!
Sarah did a 1.5 hour workshop with these kids around security and
safety online -all engaged, all interacted. The used the sites the kids
are using and she walked them through the risks. It is tally exciting!
This is the 7th Kids IT Conference on the Coast 75 kids from schools
everywhere. 2020 must have a presence next year. They
loved our stuff!
DORA is presently sitting up at Shantytown with time lapse cameras
attached to every window. We wanted to see whether her panels were all
clean and in order - Drone!"