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Canterbury students benefit from videoconferencing

Canterbury students benefit from videoconferencing

Cantatech, a cluster of 13 rural Canterbury schools, is to receive $620,000 over three years to enhance students' education through extended video conferencing facilities, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

Cantatech, a cluster of 13 rural Canterbury schools, is to receive $620,000 over three years to enhance students' education through extended video conferencing facilities, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"This government believes in access and quality for everyone in education. Video conferencing links like this ensure rural students can tap into the same educational opportunities as students from urban areas," Trevor Mallard said.

The group, led by Oxford Area School, will receive funding from the Collaborative Innovations Fund for a project designed to overcome isolation and distance barriers by extending their broadband telecommunications capability and enhancing video conferencing facilities.

The Collaborative Innovations Fund provides an annual sum of $1 million to support consortiums of schools or early childhood education services that want to develop new styles of teaching and learning that improve student achievement.

"For too long schools and early childhood services have tried to go it alone rather than form alliances with others. It's excellent to see these schools and their professionals providing new opportunities for their students by working more closely with one another," Trevor Mallard said.

The Cantatech programme was established in 1994 and has already been successful in delivering previously unobtainable courses to students and teachers and in developing relationships between rural schools.

"The support of the Collaborative Innovations Fund to projects like this and ongoing initiatives like Project Probe, the government's roll out of high speed internet access, are helping schools to build an education system that equips New Zealanders with 21st century skills and breaks down traditional learning barriers," Trevor Mallard said.

The schools involved in Cantatech are: Akaroa Area School, Amuri Area School, Cheviot Area School, Oxford Area School, Hurunui College, Twizel Area School, Darfield High School, Mount Hutt College, McKenzie College, Ellesmere College, Rangiora New Life School, Tuatapere Community College and Westland High School.

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