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Pakihikura tauira have cracked the code for completing their course requirements while creating a high quality website free of charge for a local charity.

The Level 4 National Certificate in Computing tauira, all female and all aged between 30-50, advertised their services as web designers on a local Ōpōtiki Community Facebook page aimed at cash-strapped local businesses.

The idea came about after their kaiako Sidney Thompson thought their talents were better used helping people in their community rather than creating a fictitious website as part of their course curriculum.

Nine businesses replied to the advertisement but the group chose the Ōpōtiki SPCA who until then did not have a website and instead used Facebook to engage with the public.

The group had to learn aspects of Javascript, Adobe Illustrator and how to modify the high-resolution images throughout the website using Photoshop.

They also had to learn the intricacies of web hosting and the ongoing maintenance of the site.

“The best thing about all of this was the students had to work together a lot more because the web site contains 17 html pages which had to be broken up.” 

“Different students were working on multiple parts of the website and one couldn’t move on until the other had finished a logo or made a letterhead for them, things like that – so everyone was relying on someone else for them to complete the website.”

Sidney said the group’s efforts were praised by the SPCA and other organisations in and around Ōpōtiki were keen to use their services.

Despite the internet now saturating most peoples’ lives, Sidney said the options for websites for small businesses and charitable organisations in remote places like Ōpōtiki were limited because of cost.

“The website design that we did had a value of about $1300. The graphic work alone is about $700 and the web hosting, which is sponsored as well, has a value of $150. You can see how it adds up for a small business around here.”

He said a few of the tauira had expressed interest in continuing designing websites for local businesses.

“It’s a great way to build their cv and that’s what this project has done for them.” 

“This project has truly empowered the students of the Computing Level 4 programme and it has really got them in touch with some high-profile community members and that’s been really helpful for them as well. It has worked out quite well.”


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Published On: 22 Nov, 2016.

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