education.govt.nz

Survey highlights satisfaction with N4L Managed Network

Issue: Volume 94, Number 22

Posted: 7 December 2015
Reference #: 1H9cyY

More than 350 schools responded to a survey asking principals for their thoughts on using the new, Government-funded managed network, which in addition to uncapped and fast internet running at consistent speeds, provides schools with web safety and security services, as well as proactive support.

Prepared by the New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER), the survey found that 94 per cent of respondents feel more confident in implementing their digital strategy as a result of being connected to the N4L Managed Network and 71 per cent increased their use of digital technology within the first six months of connecting. Survey participants have included a mixture of urban and rural schools from across New Zealand, which have been using the Managed Network for six months or longer.

Almost all respondents (97 per cent) are satisfied with N4L, and 91 per cent say the Crown company and the Ministry of Education, responsible for the ongoing rollout, has demonstrated great understanding of the needs of schools.

N4L CEO John Hanna says that from the outset, the goal has been to engage heavily with education stakeholders, to ensure schools are getting solutions tailored to their needs.

“Being present and actively listening to the challenges facing schools, and then feeding this information back into our programme has been key to ensuring schools get a service that best fits their needs and that they are happy with.”

N4L’s staff includes four educators and many highly skilled technology specialists, with every employee spending time at schools throughout their tenure.

“Whether they are a technology engineer, helpdesk operator, project manager or developer, all of our staff spend time in schools and share a mutual passion for making a difference to our country’s young people,” says John.

He says that N4L and the Ministry of Education recognised from the start that a proactive approach to support, with a particular emphasis on developing training materials to assist schools in getting the most out of N4L’s technology, is also contributing to high reported levels of satisfaction with the service.

Harrisville School principal Kris Burden participated in the survey and says: “For us, the Managed Network means the internet and connected devices are at last a real part of our school life and we no longer need to worry about the network going down every time the class next door goes online.”

“This has led to more of our teachers and students using e-learning in their class programmes. Our staff are building their confidence in using these programmes and exploring new learning opportunities for their students.”

Principals responding to the survey also highlighted their desire for more professional learning and training programmes to support teachers and help them understand possible uses for their classrooms.

When the managed network rollout is completed next year, it is expected more than 800,000 people will be using it. To date, more than 735,000 teachers and students from 2,305 schools are connected to the Managed Network. N4L and the Ministry of Education have recently achieved their target of a 90 per cent connection rate to the service by the end of the year.

The results of the NZCER report are published in Pond and can be found here: http://bit.ly/1Y2R9dV(external link)

Contact the Ministry’s Connected Learning Advisory service on 0800 700 400, or go to www.connectedlearning.org.nz(external link) for free, unbiased, expert advice on how to get the best out of your N4L Managed Network connection and other essential digital learning information.

About Network For Learning (N4L)

N4L is a Crown company formed to provide all New Zealand students and teachers equitable access to high-quality internet services and dynamic digital content for learning. The aim is to improve educational outcomes by enabling new learning opportunities presented by digital technologies and the government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband (UFB). The company is achieving this by building a managed network designed for schools and an online learning hub called Pond, which won the 2015 Hi-Tech Award for most innovative initiative. Together, these initiatives are about investing in young people, digitally empowering their education for a future-ready, world-ready Aotearoa New Zealand.

N4L help desk: 0800 LEARNING (532 764). Email: support@n4l.co.nz

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:37 pm, 7 December 2015

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