In a bid to modernise education using ICT, another $200 million is to be ploughed into the New Zealand's schools, over four years.
The aim is to ensure young people have confidence in using ICT tools, says Education Minister Steve Maharey. The project will also provide remote schools with satellite broadband at a subsidised rate including schools in the Chatham Islands and on Pitt Island at a cost of $700,000 over two years. Laptops for all teachers account for the biggest item in this year's action plan budget at a cost of $17.58 million. The programme was announced last week, at Wellington's Brooklyn School. It allowed the ministry to demonstrate the country's first tablet classroom. From now on, all 120 Year 5 and 6 students at the school will use Hewlett-Packard tablet computers and styluses, in place of exercise books, for 80% of their work. Next year, the trial will be extended to all students and, potentially, later to other schools. This could prove to be a major source of revenue for HP. The children say the tablets provide for a quicker method of recording data in real-time, but they would prefer a simple spreadsheet rather than the specially set up.