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Ministers support for LEARNZ2000

26 May 2000

Ministers support for LEARNZ2000

Education Minister Trevor Mallard and Conservation Minister Sandra Lee will be showing their support for distance and ICT learning on Monday by participating in a virtual field trip audioconference with schools from throughout the country.

The Ministers will be joined in the Beehive by students from Wellington's Marsden College. They will take part in a lesson about Kiwis that will stem from Rotorua's Rainbow and Fairy Springs. Hugh Robertson the national co-ordinator of the Kiwi Recovery Programme and his 8 year old labrador Olly will also join the Beehive group.

Students from five other schools throughout the country will also have speaking roles in the audioconference and will be able to ask the teacher and the Ministers questions.

Those schools are:

 Duvauchelle Schools (Akaroa)
 Tokoroa Central School
 Christ the King School (Auckland)
 Mt Cook School (Mt Cook)
 The Terrace School (Alexandra)

Other schools are expected to be watching and listening to the field trip although the number cannot be ascertained. More than 100 schools are registered with the LEARNZ site.

LEARNZ runs two three-week virtual field trips a year. The current field trip is based around the Tongariro National Park with teacher Jeff Gunn taking a different lesson each school day from various locations associated with the park and its activities. He is accompanied on the trip by 20 'classroom ambassadors' – soft toys sent on the trip by school children which report back to the children through an internet diary.

Trevor Mallard said LEARNZ showed how modern technology could be used to enhance learning in schools.

ENDS

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