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Moving minds with information technology

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

9 January 2008 Media Statement

Moving minds with information technology

Modern communication technologies are not just transforming the world we live in but are a vital part of any world-leading education system, Minister of Education Chris Carter says.

In a speech delivered to the “Moving Minds Conference” in London today, the Minister emphasised the Labour-led government’s continuing commitment to ensuring all young New Zealanders could take advantage of the opportunities provided by digital and web-related technologies.

“Education is a life-long opportunity and we all now know that “one shot” of education is no longer enough,” Chris Carter said.

“Everyone needs to gain the skills for life-long learning, to learn to problem solve, be self-motivated, work with others, be creative and innovative. Above all, effective communication through Information Communication Technologies (ICT) will be essential for all our young people now and in the future.”

Since 2001, the Labour-led government has invested $400 million in ICT projects, including providing principals and teachers with laptop computers, providing broadband to rural schools, development of the Virtual Learning Network where students and teachers can connect with their classrooms 24 hours a day, e-Mentoring for music education where real-time, online tuition is delivered to students over the web and the Digital Conversations website where students are able to video conference with experts from around the world.

The government is addressing the problem of access to technologies for students from poorer homes through the “Computers in Homes” project where families can access computer skills through their local school so that training is provided for parents, thereby making a computer a key resource for the entire family.

Chris Carter said while much had been achieved since Labour was elected, there was more work to be done. New funding streams would be developed to further support and expand the use of ICT in schools.

“ICT is an important part of the government’s vision for the 21st century. The power of education to drive change is as powerful as ever it was. E-learning, in all its forms, will make a substantial contribution to the education of all young New Zealanders now and into the future.”


ENDS

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