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Teachers, students to benefit from ICT programme

10 November 2004 Media Statement

Teachers, students to benefit from ICT programme

Thousands more students and teachers will get a boost to their ICT skills when they join up to an $11 million nationwide information communications technology (ICT) professional development programme, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"By the end of this year 20 clusters of 136 schools will join the 63 clusters already involved in a three-year programme of professional development. About 1180 schools have been or are still involved in the programme which began in 1999.

“This programme is aimed at lifting teachers' ICT skills and improving educational achievement for their students as teachers become more familiar with an e-learning environment. It’s a major investment by the government, worth $11 million in the next financial year,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The Labour-led government is intent on building an innovative and dynamic economy and is investing heavily in ICT in education with this goal in mind. Ensuring our teachers and their students are equipped to be life-long learners is a top priority for our work in education, and e-learning plays an important role in this.

"We are also investing significantly in nationally-coordinated professional development programmes like this because research tells us that high quality teaching makes a big difference to students' educational achievement.

“The clusters have linked their ICT goals with each school’s long-term goals and plans for improved student achievement. This will ensure that the programmes benefit the specific educational needs of students in each school community.”

The clusters of schools represent a range of geographical and socio-economic locations throughout the country. Each cluster will have $120,000 available each year for the duration of the three-year programme to support ICT professional development activities.

The programme aims to:
- Increase teachers, principals, students and school communities understanding of the educational benefits of ICT;
- Increase the capability of teachers and principals to use ICT for their own professional learning and to facilitate improvements in students’ learning and achievement;
- Strengthen professional learning communities and increased collaboration within and across schools;
- Develop a rich resource of expertise, experience and materials in effective ICT use at a national and local level.

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