Contact Details for CiH Training Centres

As part of our 2015-16 reporting, the Ministry of Education sends a short survey to all schools that have participated in Computers in Homes in 2015-16, asking about the impact of the programme.  To ensure that this request gets to the right person, I am asking all coordinators to supply of list of the schools and training centres that they have supported during 2015-16 with the name and email of the contact person at the school or CTC.

Please use the google sheet (CiH School Contact List) to record this information.



12-month transitions simply not working!

July has been a shocking month for transitioning our families to a permanent internet connection.  We have recorded “NO RESPONSE” from nearly 40% of the 57 families reaching the end of their 12-month subsidised period. We have had a number of families where the Direct Debit form was not sent to 2degrees before the termination date and as a result their internet connection was terminated, even if we had prepaid a further month for the family.  2degrees is being swamped with requests from coordinators to re-connect families after their termination date.

So let’s be clear about our processes (including some new ones):

  1. Families are sent by physical post a letter with a partially completed Direct Debit form and reply paid envelope by around the 10th of the month prior to their service terminating; coordinators receive a .pdf copy of this letter and DD form by email.
  2. Families are expected to return the DD form no later than 10 days before the termination date (this is clearly set out in the letter). Families who do this will receive a full month credit ($65) on their 2degrees account to smooth the transition.
  3. Families who do not meet this requirement will have their internet connection suspended (hopefully, this will serve as a prompt for them to contract Kristina or the local coordinator and submit their DD form before the termination date).
  4. When the DD form is received by 2degrees, the account will be reactivated.
  5. Coordinators sending DD forms directly to 2degrees must record the date sent in the 12-month transition Google Sheet.  A scanned copy of the DD from should be sent to 2degrees by email.
  6. If the DD form is not received by 2degrees BEFORE the termination date, the account will be cancelled.
  7. If the DD form is submitted after the termination date, 2degrees may (at their discretion) agree to reconnect the family, but this will incur a $99 reconnection fee.  Families will not receive the $65 transition credit.
  8. Coordinators must take note of the dates and action summaries recorded by 2degrees in the green shaded columns.  If any information is being added or changes made after the date recorded by 2degrees, then you must negotiate the change directly with 2degrees.  We can not expect them to keep reviewing the google sheet information once the termination date has passed.

Bags for Good Neighbourhood

Congratulations to Computers in Homes team members who have been accepted by The Warehouse (TWL) for their “Bags for Good Neighbourhood” programme.  Most seem to have been accepted for the August 2016 to January 2017 period. We now have a poster to use for the display in each local store; this has been customised for each district and sent to coordinators as a high resolution .pdf.  Our suggestion is that Coordinators take this .pdf to their local TWL store and arrange for it be be printed on good quality paper and then displayed in time for the start of the promotion on 1 August.  To date we are aware of acceptance for the following TWL stores: Blenheim, Motueka, Nelson, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Pukekohe, Paraparaumu, Petone, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Botany and Auckland airport.

If any others have been accepted, please let us know urgently so that a customised poster can be produced and returned to you before 1 August.


Invoicing for birthdate project

Thank you to all the coordinators who have responded positively to our request for adding participant birthdates to the google sheets for the last 3 years (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16).  When adding invoices to Xero, please use Account code 476-1 (Coordinator Fees – Birth Date Project) and project:  Research (not CIH).  Enter your region as usual for the Location tracking code.

UPDATE:  Responding to an inquiry from Emma, this only applies to coordinators with access to our 2020 Xero system, who can enter draft invoices.  Other coordinators should just send me their invoice and we will enter here.

Temporary glitch with 2degrees CIH support portal

3:10pm   Tuesday 12 July.  The 2degrees team has advised that their Faults email for Computers in Homes ( ) is currently down & as a result the 2degrees support team is not receiving any fault reports from CIH . 2degrees has reassured us that their team is working on this to fix ASAP , and they will let us know  when the inbox has been fixed.  They apologise for any inconvenience.

9:30 am Wednesday 13 July.  2degrees has advised that this fault has been fixed.


Connected Learning – opportunity to provide feedback

I expect that coordinators will recall the presentation by Marina Dixon from the Ministry of Education at our recent hui in Wellington.  She showed us a sample of the “Connected Learning” resources the Ministry has been developing.  These have now been published and can be accessed online .   The resources are aimed at helping teachers make the most of digital technologies in everyday teaching and learning. The main audience for these resources is primary school teachers who are relatively new to the use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning.   Marina has invited feedback from CiH Coordinators on the four pilot resources:

  • ‘Me and my students’ – this tool introduces teachers to a student inquiry approach which supports 21st century skills such as student agency and demonstrates, through video, how digital tools can be used to support the skills of student inquiry.
  • ‘Start me up’ – this is a series of quick and easy online, interactive learning modules for classroom teachers who are new to, and less confident in, using digital technologies to support teaching and learning.
  • ‘Show me around’ – this is a ‘virtual tour’ or interactive video showcase of innovative teaching and learning practices supported by digital technologies in a school which is advanced in its use of technologies to support learning.
  • Connecting me’ – this is a quick search tool which makes it easier for teachers, principals and parents to find relevant Government-provided information from multiple websites which supports the integration of technologies with learning.

How you can help:

During the pilot phase, the Ministry is keen to seek feedback on these resources from groups like the 2020 Computers in Homes team who liaise with parents and caregivers around the use of digital technologies.   Feedback could cover topics such as:

  • how useful you think these resources will be for the intended audience
  • any comments on content, design or technical aspects
  • ideas as to how we can make these resources better targeted to the intended audience, and/or
  • ideas as to what resources we can create in the future to add to the Connected Learning Resources set.

Please send any feedback on the Connected Learning Resources to Marina by 31 August 2016.

New CIH Family Agreement from 1 July 2016

All families participating in Computers in Homes from 1 July 2016 are required to complete a newFamily Agreement 1 (July 2016).  The new form deletes some components of the old agreement and adds a new requirement about information sharing with Government agencies (last bullet point).  We are legally required under the Privacy Act to obtain the explicit approval of participating families to permit us to inform government agencies the names of families who have participated in Computers in Homes.  Families need to be reassured that this information is solely for research and evaluation purposes; the results of any analysis carried out using this information will not identify individual families; the data will always be reported in such a way that individual families can not be identified.

New Registration Form for CIH Families

As from today (1 July 2016) all coordinators are required to use a new  FamilyRegistrationForm when registering families.  This is required to capture some additional information about participating families, including date of birth and children’s names and birth dates.  We have an online version of this sign-up form in the secure area of the CIH website (Coordinator Resources):

Coordinators are required to transfer the data from the registration form to the online form and this will populate our google sheets.

This is the first step in a new integrated approach to data capture, where CIH family data is entered in one place only, something many of you have been asking for, for some time.  This is a work in progress, so there might need to be some manual back office updating before everything is working as we need it, but we have to start somewhere.

It has already been suggested that maybe families could enter the data themselves as part of their first class.  This is a possibility (assuming they have the confidence to do this) but the forms would still need to be completed manually some time before the start of the first class, as they are also used to help schedule classes at a time that suits everyone.

Anyway, let’s give it a go and we can improve our processes as we move forward.

Chris T has raised some points below and I have included my comments by way of a response:

Chris:  Actually, I’ve had another look at this form and think there’s some other things missing.  There’s no provision for providing contact details for prospective participants.

My response:  There is provision for a physical address and a phone number.  What other contact details would you expect, given that it is highly likely applicants would not already have an email address, or if they did, no computer to access their email.

Chris: There’s no “features and benefits” for prospective participants.  For example:  They are entitled to a computer, subsidised internet connection and tech support.  

My response:   I guess this could be added, but I would have expected this to be explained at the parent information evening or through other communications.  The registration form is really just intended as a registration of interest and to help trainers plan a suitable training time.

Chris: You could also cut down on space by replacing the table under the question “what time suits? and put Morning/Afternoon/Evening on one line and Days of the week on the next line.

My response:  This becomes a problem when “Tuesday Morning”, “Wednesday Afternoon” and “Thursday Evening” all suit.