Network for Learning (N4L) has announced more than 50% of New Zealand schools are equipped with N4L’s internet services.
Nearly 1,300 schools with more than 400,000 students and 28,000 are now using the government-funded N4L Managed Network, with it’s uncapped data, web filtering and network security services.
N4L began rolling out the Managed Network in schools just over a year ago, and John Hanna, N4L CEO, says he is pleased the company’s progress to date.
“We are very proud to be helping bring about transformative change in education by ensuring every child attending school can get access to reliable internet and digital learning opportunities no matter where they live in New Zealand.
“Our team is out visiting schools from all corners of the country on a daily basis and we are encouraged and impressed with the strong appetite for digital learning,” he says.
Hanna along with Nikki Kaye, associate minister of education, are visiting South Auckland’s Pukekohe Intermediate school to mark the occasion, as this is the school that tipped the rollout past the halfway mark.
Pukekohe Intermediate principal, Gary Sweeney, says he is looking forward to beginning the year using N4L’s Managed Network.
“There is no question that our teachers and students will be taking their use of digital tools and programmes to a new level this year - and the quality of internet they’ll need to do this will increase as a result.
“I want students to achieve outstanding results with all they do and this year I look forward to online programmes providing more individualised learning and inspiration for their creativity.
"This is really important in the Intermediate school years, when teachers need to build a classroom culture allowing for more personalised learning to develop as their students become more independent and move closer to their secondary years,” says Sweeny.
A report released in October 2014 found that more than 75% of schools are noticing an impact on student achievement as a result of using digital technologies in classrooms.
N4L says all schools will be able to connect to the Managed Network by the end of 2016. Schools currently connected can be seen on N4L’s interactive map.
In addition to building the Managed Network, N4L has developed a digital learning hub called Pond, which 4,000-plus teachers from nearly 1,200 schools are now using to find learning resources and share classroom practices with their peers.
Pond can be accessed by every school staff member with any internet connection, and there will be a number of new programmes introduced this year to help teachers create and share their lesson plans.