Government of New Brunswick
Phase One - Research Project in three school districts

In the spring of 2004, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development implemented an action-based research project to evaluate the impact of providing dedicated notebook computer access to students and teachers to support learning and teaching practices. The two year Dedicated Notebook Research Project involved three Francophone and three Anglophone schools who were selected by a Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Selection Committee comprised of education stakeholders.

The selection committee investigated five areas of consideration:

  1. School Improvement Plan (including Vision Statement and Technology Plan)
  2. School and Project Leadership
  3. Professional Development/Learning Opportunities
  4. Demonstrated Efforts in Partnership, Networking, Communication and Promotion
  5. Experiences, Innovations and Achievements
The Research Schools 2004-2006

The Anglophone schools selected were: Harry Miller Middle School in School District 6;  Grand Manan Community School in School District 10; and Nashwaaksis Middle School in School District 18.

The three Anglophone schools selected schools were monitored by a lead research Dr. Michael Fox from Mount Allison University with assistance of team members from Saint Francis Xavier. The research team submitted three interim reports and their final report in August of 2006 to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The research findings were positive and indicated the dedicated access could result in teachers' promoting pedagogical practices that encouraged students to take more ownership and responsibility for their learning. It was noted that the students in the research classes had many opportunities for project-based and hands-on learning. The dedicated notebook access allowed teachers to use an enriched variety of teaching techniques.


A review of current literature indicates that students who have the opportunity to use 21st century learning and working tools achieve a deeper understanding of complex topics and concepts. They are also more likely to recall information and use it to solve authentic problems. Students who develop the ability to work independently, collaborate with peers and communicate their learning with the tools of modern technology will have mastered the Conference Board of Canada's Essential Workplace Skills. Possessing this valuable set of competencies will place New Brunswick students in a more competitive position in the global knowledge economy.

To learn more about the research results click here.

Phase Two - Expansion to all school districts

Based on research findings and supporting research from other jurisdictions the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development determined in the spring of 2006 to expand the project beyond its research phase to all districts. All districts were asked to select a middle school where the dedicated notebook project could be implemented. The project expanded in the fall of 2006 to include the following Anglophone Sector schools: Sunny Brae Middle School in District 2, Belleisle Regional School and Harry Miller Middle School in District 6, River Valley Middle School in District 8, St Stephen Middle and Grand Manan Community School in District 10, Centreville Community School in District 14, Superior Middle School in District 15, Elenor W. Graham Middle School in District 16, Harold Peterson Middle School in District 17 and Harvey Regional School and Naswaaksis Middle School in District 18.


Phase Three - Notebooks and Professional Development for Teachers

Based on the research findings it was also determined that assuring teachers had access to the technology and school-based pedagogical support would better assure it was included in their instructional approach. In the spring of 2006, all New Brunswick 7,500 teachers were provided with a notebook computer for professional use to enhance instruction. To provide support to educators and districts the technology mentor program was implemented provincially. The primary mandate of a technology mentor program is to provide ongoing support in the integration of 21st century technology coupled with instructional strategies that promote effective teaching, learning and professional growth. The mentors work directly with teachers by; modeling effective practices in the classroom, assisting in the instructional planning process, creating and supporting collaborative project opportunities and promoting the use technology-based communication tools. The technology mentors provide both school-based and district-level professional development opportunities on a regular basis. The instruction provided by the mentors in these varied sessions relates directly to the curriculum delivery and desired teaching methodologies. The technologies available to educators are constantly changing and evolving and the mentors are expected to remain current in their knowledge and applied use in the classroom environment. To assure sharing of resources, knowledge and opportunities provincially and to support the mentors' professional growth the group is managed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development's ELearning Team and meet/communicate regularly.


The research findings supported the recommendation made in the earlier report suggesting teachers would benefit from having a notebook computer for professional use. Sixty-seven percent of participants affirmed that their teaching practices had changed since receiving a laptop. The majority of respondents affirmed that technology was a key aspect of their planning and execution of effective inclusive practices. The most frequently-cited activities included: posting marks; lesson of the day; homework or announcements on-line for parents and students; communicating with and providing support to parents through e-mail; using the laptop as a means for students to demonstrate their work to their peers or parents; completing research on-line for lesson preparation or accessing on-line teaching resources; designing visual lesson presentations and hands-on demonstrations; and linking the use of the laptop with other technologies; such as scanners, digital cameras, and smart boards. In sharing specific applications of technology, participants highlighted a range of benefits associated with the use of their laptop as part of their activities, including increased organization in lesson planning and student progress recording, enhanced student engagement, greater teacher-parent communication, and more frequent collaboration among educators both within and beyond the immediate school context.

"Without the Tech Mentors, the notebook initiative would never have been successful."

Participants described the Technology Mentor program as very well received. Teachers were enthusiastically supportive and appreciative of the services provided by mentors. Many teachers indicated that the initiative would not have had nearly the level of success without the support provided by the mentors, and expressed their belief that this component would be an essential piece of the overall, ongoing initiative.

To learn more about the research results click here.