Children learn valuable technology skills as well as understand future pathways they otherwise might not encounter\nVivian Chandra recalls her recent experience at Manurewa Intermediate, where she was running OMGTech\u2019s Unplugged workshop for children, alongside volunteers from Microsoft.\n\u201cUsing nothing but whiteboards and paper, we transformed the kids into wet-ware computers,\u201d says Chandra, a technology advisor who is also a CTO for OMGTech!\n\u201cWe were teaching all about peripherals, inputs, outputs, GPU and CPU all without needing a single piece of digital technology.\u201d\nBut for Chandra, what stood out was when \u201ca year seven girl, who previously had issues engaging with maths class, asked for additional resources to take home to keep on going!\u201d\n\u201cYou don\u2019t really know tech, until you\u2019ve explained it to a kid who\u2019s never played with it before,\u201d says Chandra.\nIt is this experience that is prompting her to call on her ICT colleagues - CIOs, CTOs, and other leaders of technology companies - to ensure Kiwi children, especially those coming from underserved communities, will have these types of experiences with technology.\nVivian Chandra speaks about 'Breaking stereotypes - an insider view of women in tech' at the 2017 NZ TechWeek.\nChandra says they can start by joining the OMGTech! Launches its in-school workshops.\n\u201cOMGTech! Is looking for partners that want to sign up to take part and join the likes of Spark, Microsoft, and Xero who have already committed to the initiative,\u201d says Chandra, who was also head of ICT at Amnesty International NZ for 10 years.\nVivian Chandra at an OMGTech! workshop\nThe workshops cover a range of technology topics such as robotics, electronics, 3D printing and coding,she says. \u201cWe aim to create New Zealand\u2019s first generation of digital natives to become tech leaders in creating and deploying technologies we can\u2019t even imagine yet.\u201d \nShe says OMGTech! trialed the programme last week, holding workshops in five Auckland schools giving hands-on future technology workshops. \nThe schools include Pt England Primary School, Manurewa Intermediate, Bailey Road School, Reremoana School and Te Kura M?ori o Waatea.\nMicrosoft provided 21 volunteers for the day, and the group talked to over 400 children in one day, says Chandra.\nShe says OMG will officially launch the programme during Hour of Code week, December 4 to 10, with workshops being offered in schools around the country. \n\u201cOMGTech! wants to help enable our tamariki to be creators with technology not just consumers of technology,\u201d says OMGTech! co-founder Zoe Timbrell.\nBut cost is a major factor for a number of schools that would like to participate in their workshops, says Timbrell. \u201cAccess to future technologies can be expensive and out of reach for many so being able to bring our workshops directly into schools allows us to reach a much larger group of kids.\n\u201cUnderstanding how it all works will be a fundamental requirement to participation in society in the future. It's important to become a digital citizen not just from a job creation point of view but from a societal one. Our kids will be using technology to shape their world in the future.\u201d\nZoe Timbrell\nOMGTech! wants to help enable our tamariki to be creators with technology not just consumers of technology\nTimbrell says by partnering with major technology companies, OMGTech! is able to deliver its programmes directly into schools. \n\u201cThis allows the children to spend time with, and hear stories, from people who are working in the technology sector. The lessons are designed by OMGTech! and the company volunteers work with groups of students in school to deliver them,\u201d she says.\n\u201cParticipating children learn valuable technology skills as well as understanding future pathways they otherwise might not encounter.\u201d\nMark Beder, chief operating officer at Spark, says the workshops are a great fit with Spark\u2019s volunteer programme. \u201cSpark people love technology and sharing that passion and we're looking forward to having our people help deliver these workshops.\u201d \n\u201cThe technology sector is our third largest export sector and the creative technology sector is growing fast as well with the film, music and game design industries all flourishing,\u201d says Vaughan Rowsell, co-Founder of OMGTech!\nVend CEO Vaughan Rowsell.\nIf New Zealand is to become a world leader in technology, we need to ensure all our kids have equity of access and our teachers have the right support to help deliver on that vision\n\u201cThese industries are creating the jobs of the future,\u201d says Rowsell. \u201cThey have a strong role to play in helping to upskill the next generation and this programme allows them to work directly with schools to inspire the next generation.\u201d \nVaughan, who is also the founder of Vend,and vice chair of the New Zealand High Tech Trust, says, \u201cIt is important that we ensure every Kiwi kid has access to future technologieshellip; We need to ensure that we are focusing on getting digital education to into our underserved communities.\u201d\n\u201cIf New Zealand is to become a world leader in technology, we need to ensure all our kids have equity of access and our teachers have the right support to help deliver on that vision,\u201d he concludes.\n\nNo caption\nSend news tips and comments to email@example.com\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter:@divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nJoin us on Facebook.