Laptop Learning Launches Hutt Students Into Cyberspace
Education Minister Trevor Mallard, officially launched the 'Notebook Valley Project' at Te Papa today, and with it Hutt
Valley students were rocketed into cyberspace.
Students from Wainuiomata and Parkway Colleges were the first of 200 students and teachers from four Hutt Valley high
schools to receive laptop computers today, at the launch of a co-operative venture between business and government.
The Digital Opportunity Projects are focussed on providing students with opportunities to enhance learning of science
and maths subjects utilising the wealth of resources of the internet. Senior students from Taita College and Naenae
College will also receive notebooks.
"This is part of a two year trial to assess the effectiveness of this technology in enhancing the teaching and learning
of science and mathematics at senior levels," Trevor Mallard said.
"Students will be given home internet connections so that they can continue their work at home, remotely accessing the
school network and resources developed by their teachers.”
"It is one of four projects in a Government-Business joint venture that covers a range of technologies and Internet
delivery systems in a variety of school situations.
“The projects are the result of a partnership between the education and business sectors. It is imperative that we as a
community work together to provide opportunities for our children to learn the key skills they need to be able to
succeed in the new knowledge based world," Trevor Mallard said.
During the Te Papa launch event, students and staff used the notebooks to demonstrate the new world of possibilities the
technology will bring to the classroom. Students contacted scientists at Scott Base and used the Internet to investigate
DNA, wave motion, and various maths applications.
The four Digital Opportunity Projects are part of the Ministry of Education’s overall Information Communication
Technology strategy. Compaq has led this project and supplied hardware and technology plus know-how. Renaissance is
providing specialist education software - RM Smart Tools and infrastructure, training and technical support. Te Kete
Ipurangi, the Ministry’s bilingual online Learning Centre which is administered by the Learning Centre Trust is
providing professional and curriculum support to the project. Te Kete Ipurangi is also working in collaboration with
both teachers and students to develop an online learning environment, which will enable them to co-operatively produce
online resources for each other. They will also be able to access an online library of quality assured resources from
their own personal laptop workspace, and in effect, take the library home with them.
TelstraSaturn has given broadband internet access to the students and schools through their Paradise.net Internet
service provider (ISP). Microsoft NZ is providing software for the Notebooks and servers for the network.
The Notebook Valley Project is one of the four core initiatives of the Digital Opportunity Project, itself a key tenant
of the Government’s ICT policy.