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Funding for interactive teaching resources

21 October 2004

Funding for interactive teaching resources

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced new funding to develop more digital and interactive curriculum materials for teachers to use in the classroom with students.

"Next year the government is committing an additional $600,000 to develop more of these materials known as digital learning objects. The new learning objects will focus on New Zealand’s unique culture and history," Trevor Mallard said.

Digital learning objects are interactive resources that can be used by children and teachers to make their work come alive. They are purpose-built for teachers to use in the classroom with students, and may include text, images, audio, video and animation.

"These kinds of resources increase teachers’ opportunities to use information communications technology (ICT) as a professional tool to assist students’ learning. As a government we are focusing on developing ICT as an area of economic growth potential, so it's important our young people become skilled in using ICT as early as possible.

"These digital learning objects are a great addition in the classroom and can really help to engage children in the subject they are learning about," Trevor Mallard said.

An example of a digital learning object is one that generates a sequence of interactive scenarios about geological formations. On the computer, students explore underground to learn about rock structures. They collect rock samples, click on them and match these with original locations or uses. They can explore, for example, a limestone cave or a volcano.

The specialised curriculum materials will extend the learning objects available through New Zealand’s partnership with The Le@rning Federation project, an Australasian venture. New Zealand has already contributed $6.8 million to this partnership.

The latest digital learning objects will be in the curriculum areas currently not provided through the federation, such as the social sciences, the arts and technology.

Trevor Mallard made the announcement when presenting the awards at the Netguide Schools Web Challenge 2004 ceremony.

ENDS

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