BECTA (the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) and the British Film Institution (BFI) have released a 91-page report into their six-month-long research project on the use of Apple's digital video technologies in UK education.

Schools in the research each received an iMac G3 500MHz with 128MB of RAM, 20GB drive, CD/RW with iMovie 2, ten QuickTime Pro software licences and a Canon MV 400i DV camera. The lead teacher also received one day's training in DV use. The pilot project ran from October 2001 to March 2002. Apple and Canon donated the equipment.

The researchers were collecting evidence on how using digital video in the classroom impacted on pupil's engagement with learning, and their behaviour at school.

Cross curriculum "Evidence from the pilot shows that the integration of DV into teaching and learning has the potential to enhance learning across the curriculum," the report claims.

Using the technology in school can refresh estranged pupil's interest in learning, the report says, "providing greater access to the curriculum".

Because of the short duration of the study, BECTA could not enumerate the effects of new learning processes on pupil attainment.

Anecdotal evidence suggests such technology "stimulates and supports the development of skills such as problem solving, negotiation, thinking, reasoning and risk-taking", the report explains.

"One teacher pointed out that DV seems to ‘cross social boundaries and class barriers’," the report said.

However, school IT managers were concerned that integrating Macs into existing PC-based school networks could present challenges. The report counters: "New networking solutions from Mac OS X may offer some solutions for this."