Panel 3 | Empowering Schools, Teachers and Students through Technology

Neale Pitches

Neale Pitches

Organisation: South Pacific Press
Role: Executive Chairman
LinkedIn: Neale Pitches
Location: New Zealand

Neale Pitches used an Apple IIe to play the very first version of Pacman, but he soon got bored, as he was more interested in teaching and learning, and how to use technology for engagement and acceleration. He is a former teacher and principal, who also served briefly as an inspector and financial advisor to schools in 1989. He was the founding chief executive of Learning Media from 1993 until 2002, where he led its growth from a $9-million to a $24-million company with a strong export division.

In 2004, Neale co-founded South Pacific Press, which later acquired Lift Education. He led the team that developed CSI Literacy, which has pioneered edtech innovations, such as a world-first digital interface for explicit literacy teaching and collaboration, apps with toolbars for collaborative learning, and ‘multi-touch’ books (developed with Kiwa Media). This year CSI Literacy will launch a custom-built, cloud-based portal for schools around the globe, developed with DigiXL. As well as offering our existing digital products in HTML5 format, our new portal will include a world-first, browser-based online reading and writing series for middle-years students.

Neale has been an exporter since 1992. CSI Literacy is currently sold in New Zealand, the USA, the UK, and Australia, with a smaller presence in Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE.

Lift Education is currently the developer of the Ministry of Education’s instructional series of literacy resources. As part of this series, and in collaboration with Chrometoaster, Lift has developed Connected+, an innovative use of Google Apps. Connected+ is a set of science, technology and literacy materials, available to classrooms as both hard-copy publications and digital assets for student and teacher use. Lift developed the content, commissioned new open-source fonts for education, and designed learning experiences for teachers.

On another front, Lift has also developed resources for adult training, financial literacy and safety. Lift’s school education background provides us with a fresh take in tertiary learning. Following the adage that adults want fun and engagement just as much as children do, our websites, online modules and printed manuals focus on learner’s needs and interests. We strip away the baggage and focus on the outcomes.