A new study finds that principals across New Zealand have increased confidence implementing their school’s digital learning strategy since connecting to N4L’s Managed Network.

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

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

Almost all respondents (97%) are satisfied with N4L and 91% say the Crown company understands the education sector well or very well.

N4L CEO John Hanna credits the survey’s positive responses to the company’s school-centric approach, which involves being heavily engaged with the education sector: “Being present and actively listening to the challenges facing schools, and then feeding this information back into our program 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 Mr Hanna.

He also says the company’s proactive approach to support services, with a particular emphasis on developing training materials to assist schools on how to get the most from the N4L’s technology and services, is another important measure contributing to the high satisfaction levels among schools.

Harrisville School Principal Kris Burden participated in the survey and says: “For us, the Managed Network means the internet and connected devices are at long-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 690,000 teachers and students from 2220 schools are connected to the Managed Network, with 90% of all schools expected to be connected by the end of the year.

The results of the NZCER report are published in Pond and can be found here.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Julie Landry, N4L Communications, 09 222 0142 or julie.landry@n4l.co.nz


About Network for Learning (N4L)
N4L (Network for Learning) 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 especially 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 our young people, digitally empowering their education for a future-ready, world-ready Aotearoa New Zealand.

Awards for the N4L Managed Network

The Managed Network has been recognised by several award ceremonies this year, winning an ANZIA Award (Australia and New Zealand Internet Award) in the Access & Digital Skills category. The Managed Network was also named as a finalist in the Hi-Tech Awards (public sector category) and in the AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards (government category).