Commencing immediately all new AP forms completed by CIH families must have a termination date, which should be 12 months in the future, i.e. the same date as the start date, but just one year later. To date, the practice has varied with some coordinators preferring to leave the AP open-ended, so that families can catch up on any missed payments. In one way, this makes sense, but we are facing a growing number of families who simply don’t cancel their APs and this creates a real problem when we are unable to (a) contact them to stop their APs and (b) return the overpaid funds.
We now have over 500 families who have overpaid and this is huge job trying to contact them and get them to stop their APs. One Taranaki family holds the record for overpayments – a whopping $1700! This family has continued to pay for more than three years after our subsidised internet connection ended.
We are going to have a blitz on contacting the families who have overpaid, starting with the 21 families who have overpaid by more than $500. I find it hard to think of any family who wouldn’t welcome a $500 cheque for Christmas!
Some of you may have heard about Spark Jump, a new pre-pay internet service for families with school-aged children.The service is being subsidised by the Spark Foundation and being offered through partner organisations. The 2020 Trust is one of these partners along with other organisations that we work closely with – Greater Christchurch Schools Network (in Christchurch), Web Access Waikato (in Waikato),Nga Pumanawa e Waru (in Rotorua).
Spark Jump has some significant benefits:
- it is a pre-pay service, so no contracts or monthly bills;
- it costs $15 for a 30 GB data pack (which expires after 30 days, so must be topped up monthly)
- topups can be made using Skinny vouchers (available at thousands of retailers),or using a debit or credit card;
- it uses the 4G and 4G 700 wireless network, so no wires or UFB wait;
- it can be set up in 10 minutes during a CIH or Stepping UP class.
However it is not a replacement for a fixed line service (DSL or UFB) which offer ‘on account’ packages of around 100GB. The average New Zealand household now uses around 100GB each month, so Jump Start is not intended for people who want to download movies every night! But it is a great fit for families who can not afford our subsidised $10/week 2degrees package.
We are currently developing operational procedures and delivery models. Once these are finalised, we will communicate details to all CIH coordinators and programme delivery partners. In the meantime, please refer any inquiries from individual families to Kristina. Our goal is to establish delivery partners in each region where we have digital literacy programmes; we will prioritise areas where there are specific inquiries/requests. Sue West and Naseem Khan connected the first of these in Auckland last week.
Our new CIH research process is in full swing – a reminder about how important it is to make the contacts requested in the monthly research reminder emails that coordinators receive at the beginning of each month. If you find a family has moved we would still like to try and keep in contact with them (unless they have gone overseas or have explicitly declined to participate in the survey process). The time allowance we have made for you to make contact at each 3-month point is summarised below, so please don’t give up after a single email, text or phone call. We expect that the 12-month survey will require a visit to complete the survey, but the 6-month one can be conducted by phone.
|3 month contact
||Confirm contact details for family and alternates; record children’s names and year levels in research database
|6 month survey
||Phone or face-to-face visit to complete short survey on children’s use of internet at home and at school
|9 month contact
||Contact to reconfirm address and phone details
|12 month survey
||Family visit to complete 12-month follow-up survey
|15 month contact
||Contact to reconfirm family address and phone details
|18 month survey
||Family visit to complete 18-month follow-up survey
A reminder about our processes for the 12-month survey; this is the most critical one – we have allowed 3 hours of time for you to get this completed, which we expect to involve a visit to the family. As discussed in Whangarei you can provide families with a $50 Warehouse voucher by way of appreciation for their time in completing the survey. While there are small numbers, it is probably easiest for you to purchase these vouchers, as you need them and then claim reimbursement when you submit your research invoice.
Bulk-funded CIH partners have a funding provision in their contracts for the time involved in collecting the surveys, but no specific allowance for the vouchers. We expect that there is sufficient flexibility in these contracts to cover the cost of the vouchers.
Hard copies of the new surveys (pre-graduation and 12-month) can be downloaded from the secure area of the CIH website, or accessed online from the following links:
At the Whangarei NCCG Hui in August 2016, we discussed the performance standards for internet connections. Some important amendments were suggested:
- While UFB remains our “first choice” connection in areas where it is available, it is recognised that this mightn’t be the most suitable for families who are highly mobile; a DSL connection can be moved from premises to premises much more easily and is a better solution for families who are unlikely to stay in the same house for 12 months.
- The internet sign-up form needs to be updated so that it can be used for all programme participants and not just families requesting a connection with 2degrees;
- The performance standard for internet connections should be “within 3 weeks of the first payment being received”.
These changes have now been incorporated into Version 2 of the Performance Standard document.
Thank you to the coordinators who have trialed our new online registration form; we have had such positive feedback that we would like to adopt this immediately across the whole programme for 2016-17. So this is now “compulsory” for all registrations. Some coordinators are using this as a practical exercise at the first training session and that is fine with us. Others are using the printed form and then data entering themselves. Clearly the first option will save you a bit of effort and gets everyone off to a good start on their digital learning journey – filling in online forms is definitely a skill we want all CIH families to have. And it can even provide a learning opportunity for participants – one family in Christchurch didn’t know their postcode, so the tutor took the opportunity to get everyone to go to the NZ Postcode site and enter their own addresses to find their postcodes.
But perhaps the biggest advantage for coordinators is that information loaded through the online form will be used to populate your Google Sheets, saving you even further work!
For the two or three coordinators who have already made a start populating the 2016-17 google sheets with family names, please now re-enter the data into the online form (you can access this from the secure area of the CiH website).
Please make sure you are using the new registration forms (also in the secure area of the CiH website), so that you are capturing details about participants’ children at the time of registration.
I have added a new column (AY) in the 2016-17 Google Sheets for coordinators to record that they have received and are holding a signed copy of the family agreement form. This is a simple pull-down (YES/NO) menu. I would expect this to be completed by the end of the first week of training. This is required to meet the new reporting requirements of our CIH contract.
There appears to be some confusion about the correct email address for reporting CIH family faults to 2degrees. The correct email is: email@example.com
At least one coordinator has been using firstname.lastname@example.org , which has been going nowhere, resulting in lots of unnecessary stress. It is not clear at this stage how the incorrect email has crept into our system; I am sure the coordinator didn’t make it up! So if anyone is aware where this error is in our documentation, please let us know urgently so that it can be corrected.
And while we are on the subject of the fault reporting process, this is a good opportunity to remind everyone how this works. Sonia (2degrees) took the time to document this for a new member of the team recently and the points she made are worth repeating:
- The CiH support team at 2degrees does not take phone calls from coordinators through the Helpdesk. All communications regarding new CIH connections or progress in establishing a connection MUST be sent to email@example.com. Eddie and Sonia provide us with a very responsive and professional service when this email is used.
- Any emails sent to 2degrees staff personal email addresses will be rejected. The value of using the common “cihsupport” email is that it can be dealt with by whoever is on duty at the time, whereas personal emails could sit unattended for weeks if the individual is away on leave or sick.
- Coordinators must allow at least 24 hours for a reply to any email to the 2degrees team, we cannot expect them to just drop what they are currently doing. However, that said, I know that most replies come within the same working day, so coordinators need to be patient if it takes a bit longer.
- Faults are dealt with by a different team and this can take from 48 to 72 hours depending on the faults team’s workload, so again coordinators need to be patient.
- To log a fault coordinators MUST follow the procedures we have agreed with 2degrees. This involves logging the fault by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org . Neither the 2degrees CIH provisioning team nor the 2degrees staff on the public Helpdesk have access to the Cportal emails, so it is just wastign everyone’s time to try and use these channels to inquire about progres sin clearing faults. Coordinators must always us the Cportal email.
- Coordinators must monitor their emails for replies whenever messages have been sent to the provisioning team of the faults team. 2degrees report that on many occasions they have to re-send replies simply because a coordinator has not read their emails.
- Coordinators are also responsible for the accuracy of information supplied to 2degrees when signing up new families. Recently, one coordinator used the wrong town when requesting a new connection and this resulted in lots of wasted effort and frustration for both 2degrees and the coordinator concerned. We are human and unlike computers (yeah right!) we do make mistakes, but it can save a lot of stress to get things right the first time.
- Any coordinators who are unhappy about the support they are receiving from 2degrees (for any reason) must raise this with their Area Manager (for Auckland), their Relationship Manager (for the Bay of Plenty/ East Coast) or the national support team (Di, Kristina, Laurence Z). There is also an opportunity to raise and persistent ongoing issues at our regular Computers in Homes hui.
Coordinators might be wondering about the scope of the “2020 relationship role” that has been offered to regional coordinators. By way of context, we are offering three types of contracts for 2016-17:
OPTION A: 2020 Regional Coordinator (with regional relationship responsibilities for all 2020 programmes). We would expect that you would be the first point of contact for all current programmes within your region; you would of course receive support from specialist teams for each of the 2020 programmes. This is a 12-month contract.
OPTION B: Computers in Homes Regional Coordinator (with regional responsibilities for just the CIH programme). This is a 6-month contract.
OPTION C: Computers in Homes Delivery Partner. This is a 12-month contract and only applies in regions where an Area Manager or 2020 Relationships Manager has been appointed (currently only Auckland and the Bay of Plenty/ East Coast).
Our objective with Option A is to secure a firm “2020 Trust” presence in the regions where our digital literacy programmes are delivered, especially in regions where we do not have organisational partners (as opposed to independent contractors). Our goal for 2016-17 is to identify organisations delivering services to “at-risk” and “under-served” communities. These organisations may be operating in the education, health or employment sectors; our objective is to establish a relationship with these organisations and encourage them to embed digital literacy programmes with their current services. We acknowledge our REAP partners as exemplary models for this type of whanau-based community engagement.
We would expect our 2020 Regional Coordinators to take responsibility for promoting all 2020 programmes within their communities, especially Computers in Homes, Stepping UP and KiwiSkills. They will have specific responsibility:
- for delivering Computers in Homes to the assigned number of families;
- for initiating Stepping UP programmes in libraries;
- for identifying KiwiSkills delivery partners.
This differs from Options B and C which just focus on Computers in Homes.