PR: Kaye – Nikki Kaye Inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments and Digital Literacy

Nikki Kaye

MP for Auckland Central

Media Statement

3 April 2012

Inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments and Digital Literacy

Nikki Kaye, MP For Auckland Central, today called for a select committee inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments and Digital Literacy.

“Tomorrow I intend to ask the Education and Science Committee to initiate an inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments and Digital Literacy,” Ms Kaye, the National MP for Auckland Central, said.

“The select committee is evenly split between Government and Opposition MPs. In order for the motion initiating the inquiry to be passed, an Opposition member on the committee must vote in favour of the motion.

“Our Government is investing more than $1 billion in ultra-fast broadband, and has planned another $1 billion investment through the Future Investment Fund to modernise schools.

“Ultra-fast broadband is likely to see a rapid change in our school environments and open up many more opportunities in online learning through the Government’s Network for Learning.

“Some schools are very advanced in adopting new technologies, but for other schools the installation of fibre will bring challenges and previously unavailable opportunities. We need to make sure those schools are well equipped for these challenges and opportunities.

“I can see the benefit of having an inquiry that investigates issues such as the best flexible teaching spaces, how handheld devices can promote more independent learning, new online learning opportunities and other technologies and infrastructure that better support teaching and learning in the 21st Century.

“The advantage in having a split select committee is that any recommendations that emerge from a final report will have been the result of a positive collaborative process, involving political parties right across Parliament.

“I hope that the overall outcome is that we are able to identify possible savings in technology and buildings, develop recommendations regarding optimal learning environments, and identify the skills required for teachers and students to achieve their full potential in the modern world.

“Through the inquiry there would be an opportunity to hear from stakeholders across both the education and technology sectors about how we ensure that New Zealand children can become even more digitally literate.

“Digital literacy is an increasingly important skill in a modern world, and with the right policies and environment, we have an opportunity to help New Zealand school children to become the most digitally literate in the world.”


Authorised by Nikki Kaye MP, 82 College Hill, Freemans Bay, Auckland


Terms of Reference for Education and Science Committee Inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments and Digital Literacy

Purpose of Inquiry

The term learning environment suggests learning happens in a place and space such as a school, a classroom, or a library. However, while much of 21st Century learning takes place in physical locations, in today’s technology driven world, a learning environment can also be virtual, online or remote.

The purpose of this inquiry is to investigate and provide recommendations on the best structures, tools and communities that could better enable students and educators to attain the knowledge and skills, such as digital literacy, that the 21st Century demands of us all.

Terms of Reference

  • Investigate possible options for the best facilities that support teaching and learning in 21st Century schools. In particular, investigate how we can better utilise land for more flexible teaching spaces.
  • Investigate possible changes to the timing of when learning can occur, given the spread of handheld devices.
  • Investigate possible options for the best technological infrastructure that supports teaching and learning in 21st Century schools.
  • Consider how the rollout of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) will affect teaching techniques and processes, and whether additional resources or training may further enhance the positive effect of UFB on teaching and learning outcomes. In particular, investigate the role and efficiency of the Network for Learning.
  • Consider whether current generations of learners more readily adopt new technology, and whether increasing base levels of technological proficiency may promote independent learning.
  • Investigate the opportunities for technology to increase collaboration between neighbouring schools, and between distance learners.


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