Case study of the Cantatech and TOSItech distance learning projects.
Type of content
This qualitative case study of the Cantatech and TOSItech (Canterbury Technology and Top Of the South Island Technology) audio-graphic distance learning projects provides description of when, why and how both projects came into being. It also provides discussion of the issues and impacts connected to this particular use of information communications technology in rural New Zealand secondary schools. The study explores which elements were key to the design, to the operation, and to the continuation of the projects. Data were collected using a range of qualitative methods, including questionnaires and follow-up interviews with a range of participants from both projects, and employs reference to various relevant documents and literature. Cantatech began in 1994 as CASAtech (Canterbury Area Schools Association Technology group). The name was later changed to Cantatech when membership was extended beyond just Area Schools to include other rural schools in the Canterbury district. The initial project was followed closely by TOSItech which began a year later in 1995. The inclusion of both projects in this study allows a little more insight into the innovation process: there are many ways in which the pattern for development was shared, but focusing on differences helps to suggest why Cantatech continues to operate almost a decade later while TOSItech ceased to exist in half of that time. The study may be of interest in particular to those involved in catering to the educational needs of secondary students in isolated rural areas. It also has strong links to the field of distance education, to the use of ICT in education, and to the study of educational change and innovation.