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Web-based learning helps rural schools

11 March 2005

Web-based learning helps rural schools

The seventh Digital Opportunities project was launched today at Opoutere school near whangamata.


A project that will enable seven small rural schools in the Thames/Coromandel area to work together using a web-based learning environment was launched today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

"This exciting new initiative, called the Kopu project, will allow schools to share learning experiences using a range of online technologies including interactive whiteboards, shared computer programs and video conferencing," Trevor Mallard said.

"The schools will work together using a web-based learning environment named KnowledgeNet.

"The three-year project will begin this year in Parawai, Maramarua and Opoutere Schools, and will grow to include another four schools in 2006-07.

"Teachers will be involved in producing learning resources that will be shared electronically between the schools, and they will be able to participate in collaborative planning and professional development using the technology, without leaving their own school.

"Students will also use the internet to research and develop interactive online learning activities called Microquests, which will be placed on KnowledgeNet for other schools in the cluster to access and use.

"The project will be coordinated by Wayne Howes, who is also the facilitator of the Ministry of Education's Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) professional development programme being run in the schools concurrent to the Kopu project," Trevor Mallard said

The Kopu project is one of the Ministry of Education's Digital Opportunities projects, which are joint government, schools and business initiatives. They aim to support the innovative use of ICT to support specific student learning needs, and provide enhanced learning opportunities.

For more information visit the Digital Opportunities website www.digiops.org.nz


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