Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gong for computer junk, e-literacy pioneer

Digital literacy and e-waste campaigner Laurence Zwimpfer has been made a member of the NZ Order of Merit Wellington for services to information technology.
The Queen's Birthday honour went to the Wellingtonian for services to information techology.
His 45-year career in the IT industry includes 15 years as chairman of the Computer Access NZ, a trust that reconditions computers no longer needed by business for a new life in schools or underpriviliged homes. And since 2000 he has been the driving force behind the Computers in Homes digital literacy programme.
Mr Zwimpfer's is also responsible for establishing eDay, an annual collection of (often toxic) electronic equipment waste, which has been running since 2006.
As well as running his own consultancy, Zwimpfer Communications, he is a fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers, a fellow of InternetNZ and a fellow of the New Zealand Computer Society.
He is a past trustee of the National Library, and a former information and communications commissioner for Unesco.
Last week the government re-committed to Computers in Homes, which helps 1000 families through three-year funding granted in the 2010 budget.
“Principals keep telling us about how the programme breaks down a barrier between many parents and their schools. Parents are often uncomfortable coming into schools, but after 10 weeks of regular visits for Computers in Homes training, they are willing to engage much more closely with their children’s learning and even more importantly start to model learning for their children,” Mr Zwimpfer said.