A few months ago we invited principals of NZ schools to part in a survey relating to technology use in their school. More than 700 people responded, providing us with some incredibly useful information we are now using to help us explore new ways N4L may be able to help schools address their technology needs.

A full Summary of Findings of the N4L Technology in Schools Survey is available in Pond but we’ve also put together a snapshot of the findings:

  • The adoption of technology in NZ schools is increasing. In general teachers, students and parents are all adjusting well to the use of devices. Where difficulties were reported, the most common scenarios were parents struggling with the cost of technology, or not understanding the need for it in the classroom.
  • Improved student learning and engagement, improved access to information, and a more streamlined approach to learning between home and the classroom were the most commonly identified benefits of technology use at school.
  • The most prominent difficulties faced by schools when it comes to technology use are costs, lack of technical knowledge and expertise, lack of time, and lack of pedagogy around integrating technology so that it becomes an effective learning tool not just another distraction.
  • With regard to access to devices, older students are more likely to have their own device than their younger counterparts. Similarly, student-owned BYOD programmes were more popular in secondary schools while school-owned one-to-one-device programmes were more popular in primary schools. Factors such as school location or decile rating, student ethnicity or socio-economic status had little impact on whether or not students had access to devices, however they did affect the type of access.
  • More that half the responding schools either have network management and monitoring in place, or plan to introduce it. For those not doing so, budget constraints, lack of time and lack of technical knowledge were the main reasons given.
  • Phone services remain critical to the large majority of schools, and it is still the most commonly used method of communication. Almost 30% of schools are completely happy with their existing solution however for those who would like to see an improvement the most desired changes were cost reduction and greater support for softphones.

On behalf of all the N4L team, a big thank you to everyone who participated!