School gets up to speed

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Wakatipu High has made a technology break-through with the introduction of two major new initiatives. 

The secondary school has recently installed high-speed internet and launched a pilot e-learning scheme, called “e-xcellerate”, aiming to improve IT access for staff and students. 

Wakatipu High has battled with a sluggish internet connection for years – with principal Steve Hall saying they’ve been operating with a speed that was slower than dial-up internet. 

“On the old system we could have up to 400 devices connected. Our students and our community have got the inclination for e-learning but it hasn’t been able to be supported, whereas now we can,” Hall says. 

The move to upgrade – initiated by the board of trustees – was fast-tracked after the school found out it would receive money to help fund its e-xcellerate pilot. 

Money will come from the Shotover Jet Christmas Spectacular on December 2 and a Shotover Jet Locals’ Day, held this Saturday. 

The e-xcellerate programme will provide one teacher from each department with computer hardware and professional learning to make IT an integral part of classroom learning. 

If it’s successful, it will be rolled out throughout the school in 2014. 

The costs of each project are still being finalised.