It is now more than a full year since the first schools started using Network for Learning’s Managed Network to help fast track their digital learning plans.
More than 40 schools across the country have been using N4L’s services for more than a year. West Auckland’s Massey Primary was the first school to get its government-funded Managed Network connection, which provides staff and students with access to fast and predictable internet with no data caps, web filtering and security services.
Mali Allen, Massey Primary deputy principal, says they’ve been able to fast-track their digital learning plans by 18 months because they now have internet that works ‘when and how we need it’.
“Network for Learning came along and it’s made a massive change to how we work,” says Allen. “We’ve introduced more digital devices in the classroom and students have taken more interest and control in their learning. During the past year we’ve noticed how using the devices has made their learning become more personalised, and as a teacher this means we are able to build better relationships with your students.”
Principal Bruce Barnes notes using the connected devices has opened up new learning opportunities for his students, especially those who had been struggling with their learning.
“A couple of our students were not settled in their learning and the devices are a visual presentation for them that is really engaging - something they can use, can focus on and easily succeed at,” says Barnes. By enabling them to be successful, they can think, ‘yes I can learn; I have control of my learning - and away I go.’ Research told us that using digital technologies would open up learning opportunities but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And this is what we are seeing at Massey.”
John Hanna, N4L CEO, says “it is wonderful to see the new learning opportunities teachers and students have been exploring over the past year while using the Managed Network. N4L is proud to support schools and teachers on their digital learning journey - helping them make the most of new technologies for learning and innovation in the classroom.”
Nearly 1,200 schools are now benefitting of N4L’s services, which is more than 40% of all New Zealand schools. All schools will be able to connect to the Managed Network by the end of 2016.
An interactive map of all participating N4L schools can be viewed here.
In addition to building the Managed Network, N4L has developed a digital learning hub called Pond, which 2000-plus teachers from more than 700 schools are now using to find learning resources and share classroom practices with their peers. Pond can be accessed by every teacher with any internet connection.