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Notebooks For Science, Maths & Technology Students

Ministry of Education launches Notebook Valley Project in Partnership with Compaq, Renaissance, Microsoft, TelstraSaturn and The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand.

Wellington, June 26, 2001- Compaq leads Digital Opportunity partners, Renaissance Microsoft, TelstraSaturn, and The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand together with the Ministry of Education to launch the "Notebook Valley Project".

The project, one of the Governments "Digital Opportunities" initiatives, provides notebook computers to Year 12 and 13 Senior Science, Maths and Technology Students and Teachers in four Hutt Valley schools and provides access to: * 200 individually assigned notebook computers * Good quality connections to the Internet both at school and in the students homes * State of the art software * Professional development and student training * Development of online e-learning communities to support the sharing of knowledge and resources * Creation of curriculum-related content to support learning outcomes in Maths, Science and Technology * Backup support and networking opportunities The technology solution is ready to role out to four Hutt Valley schools - Wainuiomata, Parkway, Taita and Naenae and the implementation will be completed over the next few weeks.

The Notebook Valley initiative has three key objectives in making these facilities available; to improve student achievement, provide access to a tool for learning, create and support a learning environment, as well as to increase the participation rates of students in senior science, maths and technology studies.

An example of an online study activity to be undertaken by some of the Notebook Valley students is an investigation into a data collection process in which methane levels are measured in Antarctica by a Scott Base technician, then received and analysed by a group of Otago University scientists.

The results will be made available to the students via the Notebook Valley website so that students can discuss and analyse the data for themselves. They will also be able to make contact with Scott Base and scientists via the Web to discuss their findings.

The business partners and the government have a shared vision for a country in which New Zealanders are seen as innovators to the world. A key part of innovation is having access to and the ability to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

"Compaq is proud to see the Notebook Valley project come to fruition. With the project now in place we can provide support to students to enhance their learning and also provide them with the opportunity to introduce their families to the Internet," said Russell Hewitt, Managing Director Compaq Computer New Zealand.

"Our focus is on making it as easy as possible for teachers and students to use the technology in a way that effectively delivers curriculum resources to students, no matter where they are. That's where the key focus is, helping students access information and skills they need to work in the 21st Century," said Viv Hall-Ramsay, Sales Manager, Education Solutions, Renaissance Ltd.

"Team working and relating schoolwork to the world outside school are increasingly important ingredients in education, and Microsoft is pleased to be part of this initiative that enables teaching and learning to take place in different places, at different times and in different ways outside the normal school day," said Ross Peat, Sales and Marketing Director, Microsoft New Zealand. "The Notebook Valley Project is all about smart and fun learning which will equip students with life skills as portable information technology become fundamental in the work place."

"The Notebook Valley project enhances TelstraSaturn's already large commitment to the New Zealand convergent industry. We are deploying state of the art broadband services to New Zealand which enables us to provide best of breed Internet connections, back-up support and networking opportunities to this project," said TelstraSaturn's General Manager Business Development, David Plummer.

"The consortium has put together a powerful set of tools that extend the reach of both teachers and students. This significantly lowers the barrier to a digital learning environment for the four schools and we look forward to working with them as they develop their learning programmes" said David Copeland, Chairman The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand.

Photos of today's launch are available from Pamela Bonney, Public Relations Manager, Compaq Computer New Zealand.


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