What started out as only an idea to transform a school bus into a mobile learning centre has turned into reality for New Zealand’s 2020 Communications Trust — in the form of DORA, the Internet-connected solar-powered vehicle that enables the nonprofit organisation to take digital learning to virtually any community.
In October, DORA walked home with the top award in the Internet Access & Digital Skills category at the 2012 Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards (ANZIAs).
Established in 1996, the 2020 Communications Trust is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to a variety of digital literacy projects. The Trust’s reach has expanded across New Zealand through a number of highly acclaimed initiatives such as Computers in Homes and Stepping UP, which are supported by partners, including Microsoft.
“We have worked hard to turn DORA from a good idea into a reality,” said Sue Davidson, Computers in Homes Regional Coordinator and Project Manager for DORA. “We started with a 26-year old school bus and now have a high-tech Internet-connected solar-powered mobile learning centre. It’s been like renovating an old house – and has taken just as long! The project would not have been possible without the generous support of our partners, including InternetNZ, Microsoft New Zealand, Meridian and Farmside, as well as the many people who have directly contributed to the fit-out.”
The ANZIAs recognise excellence in businesses, organisations and individuals in the development and use of the Internet in Australia and New Zealand. In giving the award for the DORA project, they acknowledged the Trust’s track record of achieving digital inclusion through innovative programmes and initiatives; the ability of the mobile digital learning centre to respond to the earthquake recovery in Christchurch was of particular interest for the judges.
“Microsoft recognises the efforts of the 2020 Communications Trust to realise its vision of bringing mobile digital learning to New Zealand, and we are glad to have the opportunity to support innovative projects such as DORA. There is a great potential for mobile digital learning centres to contribute to bridging the digital gap, especially in communities in remote locations,” said Paul Muckleston, Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand.
“We have worked hard to turn DORA from a good idea into a reality — starting with a 26-year old school bus, we now have a high-tech Internet-connected solar-powered mobile learning centre.”
– Sue Davidson, Regional Coordinator, Computers in Homes
For more information, please visit www.2020.org.nz