A number of partners have requested use of a Spark Jump modem as a Test Modem, i.e. one that they can use for training and for testing performance in marginal coverage areas. Spark Foundation has approved this use, which is generally limited to one unit per delivery partner. Someone needs to be accountable for the Test Modem and must complete an online Kawa of Care with contact name and address. We suggest that the School field in the Kawa of Care be used to identify this as a Test Modem, as well as a note in the Comments field (column H) of the Spark Jump register. The pre-loaded $10 will expire after 30 days, as for other Spark Jump modems, and partners have the choice of topping up to retain the modem as a test unit, or advising DIAA (firstname.lastname@example.org) that the modem can be reset for re-issue.
Many of our partners will be aware of the Spark Give scheme, whereby Spark staff have the opportunity to make a contribution each pay day to a programme that they would like to support. A large number of staff have selected the Spark Jump programme, with most contributing $5 every fortnight. This means that each month these staff members contribute $10, which is the cost of one Spark Jump voucher. The Spark Foundation matches this contribution and each quarter allocates vouchers to its Spark Jump partners. For the last two quarters, DIAA, as a Spark Foundation partner, has received around 500 $10 Spark Jump vouchers. These in turn are distributed to delivery partners in the regions nominated by Spark staff.
Delivery partners have the discretion to allocate these vouchers to Spark Jump families who they feel could benefit the most. We have received very positive feedback from recipient families who are very grateful for this extra support. $10 might not seem a lot, but when you are facing financial difficulties this can make the difference between retaining the internet or having to let it go.
Partners are expected to account for vouchers that they receive by entering details of recipients in the second tab of their Spark Jump registers. The number of new vouchers entered each quarter is allocated by DIAA in row 3. Partners are expected to record the names of recipients and the number of vouchers allocated to each family.
If you are in a region that has not yet received any vouchers, that means Spark staff have not yet nominated your region, so this might be a good chance to persuade any friends or family who work for Spark to nominate your region for their Spark Give payroll programme.
In the transition to DIAA, we have dropped the ball with respect to the Partner Stepping UP Activity Reports. The reports for Term 2 should have been distributed during the July school holidays. We are remedying this situation and expect to have Term 2 reports to you shortly with Term 3 reports scheduled for the next school holidays (first two weeks of October).
Every month we count how many Spark Jump modems have been issued by each delivery partner and the partner who achieves the greatest number wins a free morning tea for all their staff, funded by the Spark Foundation. In August, four partners were first equal, signing up 11 families each – De Paul House (Auckland), Linwood Library (Christchurch), Masterton Library and Nga Tai o Te Awa (Whanganui). When this occurs, our practice has been to award the morning tea to the partner who hasn’t received a Spark Foundation Morning Tea before, but in this case we have two partners in this situation – De Paul House and Nga Tai o Te Awa. Spark Foundation came to our rescue by agreeing to provide two free morning teas for August. So well done to all four partners – you are really making waves in supporting your communities.
The Leader Board for Spark Jump signups is updated continuously and can be viewed here (tip: scroll to the bottom of the page). The numbers are based on completed Kawa of Care.
Every DIAA Spark Jump delivery partner is assigned a confidential Google sheet for use as a Spark Jump register. This records details of modems assigned to each partner as well as contact details for each participating family. For privacy reasons, access to these registers is restricted to the people directly involved in helping families set up Spark Jump internet connections.
Participants are asked to record their contact details in the online Kawa of Care as part of the set-up process. These details are then transferred by DIAA’s Spark Jump team to the delivery provider’s Spark Jump register.
Our preference is for programme participants to complete the online Kawa of Care before they leave the venue where they have activated their modem. There is then no need for delivery partners to enter any participant details in the Google register; this will be entered the same working day by the DIAA team.
However, some partners prefer that participants complete a paper-based copy of the Kawa of Care, and then use this to enter the details themselves in the online version at a later date. In this case, delivery partners should immediately enter the name of the participant in the Google register (columns B and C) as well as the date the modem was issued (column E) .
The most recent updates to the Kawa of Care have caused some confusion and this has been fixed this morning. A new field was added to record the modem’s broadband number, referred to as the Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN). This is a number used to identify a mobile phone number internationally and normally has New Zealand’s country code at the beginning (e.g. 64 204 123 6119).
We know this has caused some confusion because references on the modem itself and the Skinny website do not use the formal technical name. So we think it is simpler to just refer to this as the Broadband Number and use this number which is printed on the underside of the modem (the 11-digit number, e.g. 0204 123 6119).
Spark Foundation has made this amendment to the Kawa of Care this morning.
The Spark Jump lesson plan (DS31) has been updated in response to two issues raised by delivery partners:
(1) Confusion with passwords. Some people seem to get confused between their email password and their Skinny password. When signing up to Skinny, families will be asked to choose a password (at least 8 characters, one upper case and one numeric). Even though the Skinny username is the family’s email address, we suggest that families choose a new password that meets the criteria above for Skinny passwords. Families should be asked to write this down somewhere so they don’t try using their email password to access their Skinny accounts.
(2) Getting Help. A new section has been added to DS31. This explains that if families have any trouble with their modems, or in accessing their Skinny accounts, they should contact the Skinny Helpdesk on 0800 4SKINNY (0800 475 4669). If they move to a new address, they can update this online themselves (through their Skinny account) or contact the DIAA Helpdesk by emailing email@example.com or phoning 0800 GoDIAA (0800 463 422).