As 2014 draws to a close, it's now more than a full year since the first schools started using N4L’s (Network for Learning) Managed Network to help fast track their digital learning plans in New Zealand.
Of the early adopters, West Auckland’s Massey Primary was the first school to get its government-funded Managed Network connection, providing staff and students with access to faster internet with no data caps, web filtering and security services.
Deputy Principal Mali Allen 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,” Allen adds.
“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,” he adds.
"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.”
N4L CEO John Hanna also commends 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," he adds.
Hanna says 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.