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Making the most of your connection to the N4L Managed Network

The N4L Managed Network can provide immediate benefits to your school, but there is much more you can do to ensure your staff and students are able to make the most of learning with digital technologies.

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Integrating technology into teaching and learning

To get the full benefits for teaching and learning from the Managed Network, it helps if:

  • schools have a clear vision and curriculum for learning with digital technologies that involves their wider community, whānau, and iwi
  • teachers feel capable and confident to integrate technologies in ways that suit their learners
  • school principals can demonstrate active leadership of e-learning for their school community
  • schools ensure their technologies (infrastructure, hardware, and software) can support online learning on an ongoing basis.

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Enabling e-Learning

Enabling e-Learning is the Ministry of Education’s online "hub" for ICT-related education resources and programmes in New Zealand, bringing together relevant information, resources, and communities. In addition to the material above, related material can be found on:

It is also very important to ensure your school has appropriate internet safety and security measures in place. The Internet safety and security section below and the Digital citizenship and cybersafety section on Enabling e-Learningcan help you review and evaluate your current policies and practices.ezembedIn this video, staff at St Hilda's Collegiate School in Dunedin share their insights into how technology has made a difference to teaching and learning in their school.

More information

By using digital technologies over the N4L Managed Network, students will have access to a wide range of quality teaching and learning resources that can enhance their learning and engagement.Digital technologies:

  • allow students to learn, create, share, and collaborate anywhere, at any time (rather than being tied to a certain place or time)
  • open up a new world of resources for students, providing much more knowledge than any one teacher or school library could hope to
  • enable students to personalise their learning experience (recognising every student's strengths, talents, and needs, building on their identity, language, and culture)
  • help build on students’ prior and current knowledge, needs, and interests (many of today’s students are already used to engaging with digital technologies)
  • encourage greater collaboration between students, teachers, and school leaders around New Zealand and support teachers to engage in blended, personalised professional, and peer collaboration.

All of these factors add up to more students being present to learn in the classroom and beyond, engaged and enjoying learning, and achieving better results. See examples from real schools below.ezembedNayland Primary School staff describe how e-learning is part of everyday learning across the curriculum in every classroom.ezembedThe three schools making up Waimea Campus collaborated to install ultra-fast broadband, purchase services, and share resources. Benefits include the purchasing of e-books, enabling greater anytime access, and an increase in the number of boys reading.

The Government provides funding to help schools provide a safe and secure online environment for students and teachers.N4L offers optional content filtering and firewall services as a core part of their Managed Network package to help schools create a safe online environment for their students.Schools connected to the Managed Network will progressively move off their Ministry funded WatchDog, SchoolZone or Websense services as the N4L content filtering and firewall offerings cover their needs.Some schools may also choose to enhance filtering and firewall measures by purchasing additional services from other providers at their own cost.No content filtering solution or firewall can guarantee full protection. Schools need to consider additional measures such as digital citizenship and cyber-safety programmes.Individual school boards are responsible for ensuring an appropriate level of safety and security is in place for their individual school. The Ministry and Netsafe provide information and resources to support schools to do this.

More information


  • Digital citizenship and cyber-safety in schools
  • NetSafe – information to promote confident, safe, and responsible use of online technologies
  • Schools connected to the N4L Managed Network can call the N4L helpdesk on 0800 LEARNING for more information about N4L filtering and firewall services
  • Schools can also contact the Ministry of Education’s ICT Helpdesk on 0800 225542 for information about Ministry funded content and filtering and Netsafe services


School vision and goals

You can make the most of your N4L Managed Network connection by making sure your school has a vision and goals that support learning with digital technologies.Ideally, school leaders, the Board of Trustees, teachers, students, and the wider community (including whānau and iwi) will be a part of your planning process. However, effective leadership is critical to implement effective e-learning practice in your school.ezembedDr Cheryl Doig, director of Think Beyond Limited, talks about the importance of having a shared language and understanding of what e-learning is before integrating it into the school vision.

e-Learning Planning Framework

Many schools have started the planning process by conducting a whole school review to inform a strategic plan using the e-Learning Planning Framework.The framework provides schools and teachers with:

  • a self-review tool for schools to gather evidence about practice
  • a "road map" for building e-learning capability
  • a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of e-learning programmes
  • resources and services to support schools as they build capability.

The eLPF is accessible both as an online tool and as a hardcopy. Decide which is the best tool for your school. Access the eLPF tools »ezembedBrian Price, Principal of Breens Intermediate, describes how they used the e-Learning Planning Framework to develop their strategic planning with a focus on improving literacy levels for their Māori students.ezembede-Learning Planning FrameworkIn this EDtalk, Karen Melhuish of CORE Education explains the elements of the framework, how it can be used, and where you can get support.


Building a modern learning environment

As schools extend use of technology, it may provide the opportunity to redesign classrooms and reconfigure school layout to better support technology use.The Innovative Learning Environment section of the Ministry of Education's website provides information and readings on designing and developing modern learning environments that facilitate a variety of approaches to teaching and learning.The Ministry web section Property contains useful resources for Boards to make property and infrastructure decisions.

More information

The Ministry of Education’s Enabling e-Learning website is your hub for information on planning for digital learning including:

The following guidance is provided to schools regarding the infrastructure needed to connect to the N4L Managed Network.Schools should provide:

  • all of their own internal network (wired/wireless)
  • their own network directory, which holds details all the users on the network
  • a fibre connection
  • server.


N4L router

Schools do not need to provide a router. This is provided by N4L. There will be two ways that schools can use the N4L-provided router  

  • WAN (Wide Area Network) only
  • WAN + LAN (Local Area Network).


Wide area network (WAN) only

When configured like this, the N4L router will provide a clear demarcation point between the national N4L network and the school’s internal network. All data entering and leaving the school will do so via this device but the school’s internal network will run on entirely separate devices.Schools will need to provide:

  • a firewall
  • a dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server
  • an internal wired network
  • an internal wireless network
  • any servers and associated storage, backup, and UPS required on site.


Combination of wide area network (WAN) and local area network (LAN)

In this case, in addition to the WAN functionality described above, the N4L router will also act as part of the local network. The N4L engineers will configure it to provide/allow local services such as DHCPVLANs, firewall, and static routes.Schools will need to provide:

  • an internal wired network
  • an internal wireless network
  • any servers and associated storage, backup, and UPS required on site.

Throughout the establishment period, schools will continue to have the option to use their existing operations grant to purchase other network services.See the diagram below for a representation of a combination of LAN and WAN networks:ezembed(Image source: LAN WAN scheme, Wikimedia Commons)

Web filtering

N4L have a series of training webinars on web filtering. These are recorded and can be accessed from the Pond for replaying.


Software for learning

The Software for learning section of the Enabling e-Learning website is provides information and support for teachers selecting and planning for the use of tools and technologies to raise student learning outcomes.

e-Learning planning and professional development


  • The e-Learning Planning Framework, is designed to support you, and your school, in assessing and developing e-capability.
  • The Professional learning section has other supporting information and professional development resources.
  • Personalised learning allows students to take control of their own learning. Each akonga (learner) is unique and learns in different ways.


Existing software and devices

The N4L Managed Network will work with your existing digital devices and software to connect students and teachers to the Internet. However, given the quality access and uncapped data provided by the network, your school may want to consider moving to mobile (or 1–1) devices if you have not already done so.The TELA laptops and software provided through the Ministry of Education will be compatible with the N4L Managed Network.

Bring your own device (BYOD)

Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to technology models where students and staff bring a personally-owned device to school for the purpose of learning. These can include mobile devices such as laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, e-book readers, and MP3 players.BYOD/mobile technologies have the potential to expand and enhance interaction in the classroom, enable more real-world activities, improve learning environments, and engage students in new and exciting ways.See the information onAcceptable use policies for guidelines and information to consider before introducing a BYOD policy for students in your school.

Moving to mobile devices

Many schools have preceeded the device, decision-making process by conducting a whole-school review of e-learning to inform a strategic plan using the e-Learning Planning Framework. This helps ensure that decision-making around technologies is driven by learning priorities.Schools should carry out a comprehensive consultation process with their wider school community to ensure the introduction of BYOD/mobile technologies is well understood and the benefits realised. Each school’s vision for their students, which is grounded in the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, will be the driving rationale.Increasingly, many schools are moving away from desktop computers towards mobile devices. This is a natural extension of fast connections enabled via a managed wireless network. Mobile devices are easy to move around, allowing the device to go to the student rather than the student needing to move to the device, and can easily be locked out of sight or taken home at the end of the day.There may be several reasons why you would want to explore these initiatives in your school. An over-arching purpose, however, will be the way in which increased access to a personal device can enable inclusive and more personalised learning pathways, and lifting student achievement through the curriculum.ezembed St Hilda's Collegiate are in their third year of introducing 1–1 laptops. Staff members explain the process they went through to select MacBook Pros as the 1–1 device they are currently using. 

More information


  • Laptops for teachers and principals through the TELA scheme (information about the TELA laptop leasing scheme, TELA support, and research into the impact of laptops for teachers)
  • Software for schools (providing funding for core software packages for schools e.g. operating systems, security and filtering software, e-portfolio tools, and student management systems)
  • Devices and support (information, research and school stories to support schools as they move into mobile technologies for learners)
  • Media gallery (school stories related to technologies in schools)


Tahi for schools

Tahi gives students and teachers access to as many Tahi integrated apps as you want them to use via a single login and password. Tahi identities last throughout a school career, even when they change schools.Tahi works with your school’s SMS to create a single Tahi identity for each student and school staff member, which they use to log in to apps your school has chosen to use Tahi with.

More information


  • Tahi for schools – The N4L website provides up-to-date information on how to sign-up, Apps using Tahi, training resources, and FAQs about Tahi.