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Teachers take the lead with ICT


Media Release - 11 October 2001


Teachers take the lead with ICT
- The Learning Centre Trust Report 2001

A new ICT report released today by The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand suggests that the big investment by the Ministry of Education in teacher professional development during the last three years is starting to pay off.

The report – available online at http://www.learningcentretrust.org.nz/activities.htm -
indicates that almost all school principals (95%) now use email at least weekly. Some 81% of primary and 90% secondary school principals are using email at least once a day. Usage of the Internet by teachers has also shown a dramatic leap over the last two years. The percentage of schools with 25% or more of their teaching staff using the Internet on a weekly basis has jumped by 20 percentage points since 1999 (45% to 64% in primary schools and 49% to 75% in secondary schools).

A growing number of teachers now have access to computers in their homes as well as at school. Some three-quarters of all schools reported that over 50% of their teachers have access to a home computer. On the other hand, student access to computers in their homes remains relatively low with only 20% schools reporting that 50% or more students have access to a computer at home.

"The focus for the last decade for most schools has been on ICT access; purchasing computers, setting up local area networks, connecting to the Internet and skills development for staff” said Laurence Zwimpfer, a member of the Learning Centre Trust Board. “This report indicates that schools are indeed well down the path in providing access to ICT. I believe a new priority has now emerged - to ensure that every student has access to computers and the Internet in their home.”

New Zealand schools compare favourably with their counterparts in the United Kingdom. Only seven schools in the sample of 400 (less than 2%) do not have an Internet connection while the latest United Kingdom survey indicates that some 12% of primary schools still have no Internet connection. New Zealand schools are also more wired than those in the UK, providing more opportunities to use ICT in curriculum delivery. Most New Zealand secondary schools (95%) and a rapidly growing number of primary schools (74%) have some or all of their classrooms networked. While the results for secondary schools in the UK are similar (97%), New Zealand primary schools are well ahead of similar schools in the UK (52%).

The ratio of computers to students in primary schools has improved from one in 11 in 1999 to one in 10. This represents a further 4000 computers available to assist student learning.

The increase in usage of Te Kete Ipurangi (www.tki.org.nz), the Ministry of Education's bilingual web portal+ community, developed and managed by the Learning Centre Trust, has been dramatic, with around 80% of all schools reporting regular use (up from around 20% in 1999). Schools have also accepted the web as a useful communications tool, with nearly two thirds of all secondary schools and one third of primary schools having their own home page. However, most schools are still working out how to make best use of web publishing to enhance student learning.

Principals’ awareness of recycled computer schemes has continued to grow. Some 60% of primary principals and 70% of secondary principals were aware of the Ministry supported Computer Access New Zealand scheme (up from 40% and 58%, respectively in 1999). The number of schools that have purchased recycled computers has also increased significantly (7% primary and 20% secondary, up from 1% and 4% in 1999, respectively).

A complete copy of The Learning Centre Trust Report 2001 is available as a downloadable file from The Learning Centre Trust’s website at http://www.learningcentretrust.org.nz/activities.htm

A printed summary version will be distributed to every school during Term 4.

"The report provides really useful benchmarking information that is of great value to the education sector," said David Copeland, Chairman of the Learning Centre Trust. "The Trust is grateful to corporate sponsors asnet Technologies Ltd, BCL, Compaq and Microsoft as well as Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Education for their support of this research activity. The Trust was keen to ensure that this important longitudinal study, initiated by the Telecom Education Foundation in 1993 and supported by the ITAG group, did continue.”

“The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand is pleased to be able to sponsor this initiative and to continue to bring quality information to the education sector.”

For further details – contact:

Paula Tikiku-Collins Laurence Zwimpfer
The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand Telephone 025 306 737
Telephone 04-382 6500 Email: zwimpfer@xtra.co.nz
Email: admin@learningcentretrust.org.nz

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