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Students Now Learning With Broadband

Wed, 26 Jan 2005

More Than 55% Of New Zealand Students Now Learning With Broadband

More than 435,000 students will begin the new term next week with broadband technology.

More than 1100 New Zealand schools are now connected with Telecom’s broadband, enabling more than 55% of New Zealand’s primary and secondary students to take advantage of the learning opportunities provided by the Internet.

Of the schools, more than 350 are using Telecom’s SchoolZone service, an award-winning IT network service that provides schools with fast and secure access to the Internet. Launched in July 2003, Telecom SchoolZone is being used to link schools and students across New Zealand, and has introduced video conferencing to learning.

Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung said SchoolZone and broadband are generally opening up a whole new world for students.

“Teachers and students are embracing the learning opportunities broadband offers, using the Internet and video conferencing to help bring learning to life.

“Students have taken virtual fieldtrips through places such as Te Papa, and they’re interacting with their contemporaries all over the world with SchoolZone’s video conferencing.

“The technology meant students from around New Zealand had the rare opportunity to learn about the work of Lord of the Rings’ special effects expert Richard Taylor’s Lord of the Rings’ from the man himself, and more recently a group of students spoke with Phil Goff while he was in Antarctica.”

Ms Gattung says broadband is breaking down the barriers of location, size and teaching resource.

“When broadband is delivered through SchoolZone, schools can use the Internet without worrying about security, excessive bills and keeping up with the latest technology capability, she said.

SchoolZone links clusters of schools around the country to each other to share skills and resources. OtagoNet, Northland’s FarNet and CoroNet in the Thames Valley-Coromandel area are examples of these networks.

Schools can expand their curricula by allowing students across these networks to study subjects which aren’t taught at their school through video conferencing.

They can set up their own websites and staff and students can have their own email accounts and homepages.

Ms Gattung said one of the greatest things about the technology is that it ’s the students themselves who are finding new and innovative ways to use it.

“The type of learning offered by broadband is the shape of education in the future – and it’s happening right here in New Zealand,” Ms Gattung said.

ENDS

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