Evaluation of Notebook Valley Publications
The Notebook Valley project provided a range of benefits for the teachers, students, and schools. These benefits included: increases in teacher and student knowledge and confidence using ICT; changes in school “ICT culture”; the acquisition of useful ICT software and peripheral ICT equipment; the development of school and departmental intranet systems; and the beginning of more ICT-based teaching schemes for some junior science and mathematics classes.
Author(s): Rachel Bolstad, New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education.
Date Published: August 2005
Notebook Valley was one of 4 Digital Opportunities projects facilitated by the Ministry of Education from 2001 to 2003. The Notebook Valley project aimed to:
enhance the educational achievement of the students and community particularly in mathematics and science; help overcome the barriers of access, ability, and attitude; and work in partnership with all stakeholders (Ministry of Education, 2001, p. 8).
This education-business partnership project involved providing laptop computers, and associated information and communications technologies (ICT) networks and support, to Year 12 and 13 science and mathematics students and their teachers, in 3 low-decile secondary schools, for 2½ years.
This is the final report of the NZCER evaluation, conducted in 2002–2003, of the implementation and impact of the Notebook Valley laptop project for the students, teachers, and stakeholder partners involved. Key themes for the evaluation included:
- the initiation and implementation of the project in the 3 schools, and the role of stakeholders;
- teacher professional development;
- teachers' and students' patterns of access to and use of laptops;
- the impact of the laptops on teaching, learning, and retention;
- identification of the resources, skills, and conditions necessary to enable the effective utilisation of laptops by senior mathematics and science students and their teachers to assist learning; and
- identification of the resources, skills, and conditions necessary to enable sustainability of the project.
In 2002 and 2003, information about the use and impact of the laptops was gathered through beginning- and end-of-year student surveys and student and school staff interviews. Some observations of teacher professional development sessions and classroom laptop use were carried out in 2003. Representatives from stakeholder businesses in the project were also interviewed.
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