Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions are below. Check them out and if you don’t find the information you’re looking for, be sure to contact N4L’s Helpdesk for assistance – 0800 LEARNING or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What notice is N4L required to give for changes to the agreement, charges or services?
N4L will provide written notice to each Provider when we make a change to an agreement or charges. This will usually be via an email with links to further information if applicable. Because we are constantly updating Pond, sometimes multiple times a day, we may not notify users of every change but we will notify each Provider of any substantial changes to our services, including Pond.
If we believe that any change to the services that we’re planning is likely to have a material detrimental impact on you we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible before the change occurs.
As a Provider, you can terminate your agreement with us if any of these changes has a material detrimental impact on you, but you’ll need to let us know about this within 10 business days of being told about the change.
Why are publishers required to licence their brand and logo to N4L?
This licenses N4L to display your logo and brand within Pond and to resize the images if and when necessary. It’s sometimes necessary for us to alter the sizing of images as we need to retain a standard layout, especially as Pond fully supports mobiles and tablet devices. The license also allow us to display your brand and logo in presentations and promotional material.
What if the information we post in our Provider profile (or others post about our organisation’s services) becomes out of date? Can we edit it?
Yes, Providers can edit the content they have added to Pond. Providers can also claim ownership of items added by other users, and then edit these. No users can edit the comments or other contributions made by another user.
If anyone can list an item for a Provider’s services, who then ensures the information is correct. As a Provider, can we change it if it’s wrong?
If someone else has listed your organisation, its content or services inside Pond you can claim these. From this point on you can update and manage the information.
How can my organisation register as a Provider in Pond?
You can register as a Provider by following the prompts at www.pond.co.nz.
How many items can Providers add in Pond?
There is no limit to the number of items Providers can add. If you are a large organisation or foresee having a large number of items, please email email@example.com to discuss ways you may structure your presence to make sure you and other users get the maximum benefit.
What does our company get as a Provider in Pond?
Becoming a Provider gives your organisation, and its offerings to schools, a presence inside Pond. Through this presence you have the opportunity to readily engage with the education sector – educators will be able to see your profile and contributions and research more information about your organisation, all in one place. Click here to see all features.
Is Pond accessible on all devices?
Pond is accessible on laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones using modern browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE11+, Opera, Edge). Support for vision-impaired users with screen readers is coming in the near future.
Is Pond independent from N4L’s Managed Network?
How much does it cost to use Pond?
Access to Pond is free for all school users, however there may be a cost to access some of the educational content and services that are listed in Pond.
Pond is also free of charge for organisations registered as Providers . This may change at some stage in the future, and this will be clearly communicated in advance. If pricing is introduced, there will always be a core set of features available for free.
Who can access Pond?
Pond is currently available to school teachers, school administrators and facilitators, and will eventually be accessible by students from those schools that choose to sign up for Pond. Organisations that provide content and services to the education sector can also access Pond by registering as Providers.
Do users require a login to use Pond?
No. While users will need to be signed into Pond to make contributions and participate as part of the Pond community, anyone can carry out searches in Pond without being signed-in. Search results for not-signed-in users will only include items that registered users have made publicly accessible in the Pond catalogue as well as the results from Pond’s “middle” (deep search) search column.
What is a Provider?
A Provider is an organisation or individual that offers content and services to the education sector, and chooses to have a presence in Pond. Any organisation that offers content and services to the education sector can become a Provider in Pond. It should be noted that organisations do not need to offer digital content or services in order to become a Provider in Pond.
What content is available and how much does it cost?
Whilst access to Pond is free for school users there may be a cost to access some of the educational content or services that are listed in Pond. For example, if a school wishes to access commercial online content or services such as LMS / SMS services then costs will apply.
Can users access Pond from home?
Yes, Pond can be accessed from any internet connection.
Can independent schools use Pond?
Independent schools can use Pond in the same manner as any other school in New Zealand, and without cost.
Does Pond offer accessibility tools for languages, hearing impaired and special needs?
Pond supports common accessibility standards and is available in English and Te Reo Maori. N4L will encourage Providers to supply both English and Te Reo versions of their service descriptions whenever possible.
Who is responsible for Pond user policies (e.g. comments, reviews and recommendations)?
N4L wants to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all users. It’s important to note that contributions to Pond can only be made by authenticated users, which means they will be attributable to an identifiable person, resulting in a more positive and encouraging community environment. Pond users have the ability to flag any content as inappropriate, irrelevant or offensive.
Can Providers get sales leads from Pond?
Pond is designed to help educators discover educational content and services to support teaching and learning. They will review and share what they find and discuss their experiences within Pond. All of this information can help Providers learn more about their customers and gain a better understanding of a school’s needs and preferences and how as an organisation they can meet them.
Can Providers post ads inside Pond?
No. However Providers can promote their offerings by listing them in Pond.
What kind of information should Providers add to their profile in Pond?
N4L does not take a prescriptive approach, so it is ultimately up to each Provider to decide how they wish to present themselves. Providers are encouraged to view each other’s profiles and see what information they have added.
What’s the difference between N4L’s Managed Network and Pond?
N4L’s Managed Network provides internet connectivity and a number of optional services to manage online activity. Pond is an online environment that can be accessed using any internet connection. Pond is independent of the Managed Network and users do not need a Managed Network connection to access Pond.
Does N4L guarantee the authenticity of Providers’ listings in Pond?
Providers list their own content and services in Pond and N4L does not moderate these listings. If you believe that any submitted item is of questionable authenticity please report it using the feedback tool within Pond.
How can educators use Pond to connect with their peers?
In Pond you can ‘follow’ other educators and create groups within which you can share items and start discussions. Pond’s ‘Ripples’ feature presents recommendations and news based on events that occur within Pond even if they’re carried out by teachers you haven’t yet met.
Can relief teachers and trainee teachers access Pond too?
Yes, if you’re a:
Relief teacher – register for Pond by choosing any of the schools for which you have an email account or simply select the ‘Unaffiliated Teachers’ school.
Trainee teacher – register for Pond by choosing the institution at which you’re studying.
What model did you use to build Pond? Is there anything else out there like this?
N4L are avid followers of online trends across education, social media, search, collaboration and cataloguing. You will find elements of Pond elsewhere on the web, however the way N4L combines the best parts of existing tools and platforms – with New Zealand’s educators and students front of mind – is unique.
What are the key benefits of using Pond for educators?
Pond provides a safe environment that:
- allows educators to discover content that can be difficult to find
- allows educators to share their ideas more efficiently and effectively
- makes connecting and sharing amongst educators easier
- ensures the most suitable resources can be discovered and used in the most beneficial manner possible
- makes it easier for schools to find and select providers of content and services that meet their specific needs.
- has the potential to significantly enhance the quality of resources being used in schools across the country.
Will the public get access to Pond?
Right now the focus is on educators, and then students. Once all educators and students are able to access to Pond, N4L may consider introducing the environment to a wider community of people involved with a student’s education, such as whanau and community leaders.
When do students get access to Pond?
At this stage, N4L is focussing on building Pond for educators and school administrators and they will be the first school users to access Pond. Once Pond is working well and delivering great outcomes for teachers, students will be given access.
When students do gain access to Pond, what will N4L do to protect them from harmful or objectionable material?
All users in Pond are authenticated and must agree to a set of specific terms and conditions as part of the registration process. Once inside Pond, all users are displayed as their true identity and anyone sharing information does so under their own name.
Any content flagged as inappropriate by other users is removed from display within Pond. It will only be put back up after having been reviewed by N4L. This is part of N4L’s Takedown Policy which allows for the review of and, when required, removal of material by N4L
If a user is seen to breach the agreed terms and conditions N4L has the ability to suspend the user’s account and, in the event of serious or repeat offending, permanently disable the account.
All general internet search is done with the strictest safety levels forced on, and all other search providers return results from educational repositories of information which should not contain any explicit material.
How do I sign into Pond?
To sign into Pond all educators need to have self-registered on the Pond website and had this registration reviewed by their Principal (or someone else acting in this capacity at their school).
As a teacher, do I need the consent of my principal to join Pond?
You’ll need your Principal to review your Pond registration (through N4L’s sign up process) in order to register for a Pond account. Individual educators are asked to agree to Pond’s terms and conditions when they register for Pond and must ensure they have the right to share content in Pond, which may involve speaking to your Principal to clarify the policy around sharing material.
Do I have to use my school email to access Pond after I’ve registered for the first time?
Any time you sign into Pond you will be required to sign in using the email address and password you used to sign up on the Pond website.
What’s the minimum tech specs for using Pond?
Pond supports any modern web browser. In order, our recommendation is to use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge. Pond also works well on modern tablets and smartphones.
I’m a registered teacher but not employed at a school - can I use Pond?
Yes, if you don’t have a relationship with a current school please choose the “Unaffiliated Teachers” school on the registration form. The N4L helpdesk will help process your registration in this case.
I’m a registered teacher but work in early childhood education; can I use Pond?
Pond is currently available to school teachers, school administrators, facilitators and providers of content and services. Students will also be granted access in the future. At this stage N4L has no established plans to extend the Pond community to early childhood educators.
Can non-teaching support staff sign up for Pond?
School administrators and non-teacher support staff are able to access Pond as long as they have their self-registration on the Pond website reviewed by the Principal.
Where can I find the notice period that is required if my organisation wishes to terminate its contract as a Provider in Pond?
The standard notice period is one month and can be found in Pond Terms here. Please note that some optional additional services may have different minimum terms which will be specified in their product descriptions, on the N4L website or the service’s order form.