If your school is thinking about connecting to the Network for Learning (N4L) Managed Network, this section is for you.
If your school has made the decision to incorporate digital technologies into learning, you will know that, when combined with quality teaching practice, they can provide many opportunities for your school and students.
Crown-owned company Network for Learning (N4L) is progressively rolling out a managed network specifically designed for New Zealand schools to ensure all schools can access a quality connection to make the most of learning with digital technologies.
The N4L Managed Network will connect schools together via a secure data network. The Government is funding schools for an N4L package that includes a quality, fast, connection, with uncapped data, online content filtering, and network security services.
The Government has set up N4L to ensure more equitable internet access for all schools and students, regardless of their location or financial situation. Connecting to the N4L Managed Network is optional, but it is very likely your school will benefit from the government-funded, quality connection.
Almost all schools have now registered their interest in connecting to the N4L Managed Network. If you have any questions about connecting your school, contact N4L on 0800 LEARNING.
The Network for Learning
John Hanna, the chief executive for Network for Learning, provides insight into this initiative for schools in this video clip from EDtalks.
Crown-owned company Network for Learning (N4L) is rolling out a Managed Network designed specifically for New Zealand schools.
The Managed Network connects schools together via a secure data network, offering higher levels of service quality and support than has been available previously. The managed network will also enable schools fast access to the Internet and more predictable connections than most schools are using now.
The network will be run over the best mix of ultra-fast, rural, and remote broadband available in New Zealand.
It will be centrally managed, meaning schools will no longer need to support their own Internet connection, and this will help reduce related ICT complexity and costs. Schools will be funded for an N4L package that includes access to the Managed Network – providing quality fast connections, uncapped data, online content filtering, and network security services.
Access more information about the N4L Managed Network on the N4L website.
N4L is also developing a portal as a hub for digital learning and the foundation of an N4L community. Visit the N4L website to find out more about Pond (the N4L portal).
N4L and the Ministry of Education are working together to ensure schools are well supported to take advantage of the Managed Network and of support for learning with digital technologies.
N4L can provide advice and support regarding company services and the progress of the Managed Network.
The Connected Learning Advisory service provides wider support around strategy and planning for e-learning, support for the use of digital technology for learning, and ICT in schools.
Through 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.
All of these factors add up to more students being present to learn in the classroom and beyond – engaged, enjoying learning, and achieving better results. See examples from real schools below.
Nayland Primary School staff describe how e-learning is part of everyday learning across the curriculum in every classroom.
The 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.
Sarah Kennedy, from Waimea school, describes how new technologies are making a real difference in teaching students with special learning needs.
The Government is committed to ensuring that all students have access to the opportunities provided by digital technologies. Currently, not all schools can access a consistent, high-quality Internet connection. The Government funded N4L Managed Network will ensure there is:
The N4L Managed Network will provide schools with a Ministry funded base connection package. Schools will not be invoiced for this. However, if schools wish to purchase additional products or services from N4L they will be billed accordingly.
The N4L base package offered by the Ministry includes:
The N4L Managed Network will ensure more equitable access to digital technologies for all schools and students, regardless of their location or financial situation. When combined with the state-funded access to fibre, school network upgrades, and a Managed Network with uncapped data by the end of 2016, this provides a sound digital infrastructure for schools and students.
Getting an Internet connection delivered via fibre has a number of advantages over asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL). It should:
Connecting to fibre will allow schools to consider a range of options that were not practical or possible using ADSL, such as:
N4L started connecting the first schools in November 2013, and more than 1000 schools are connected. All schools will be able to connect to the Managed Network by the end of 2016. Almost all schools have now registered their interest in connecting to the N4L Managed Network. If you have any questions about connecting your school, contact N4L on 0800 LEARNING. N4L will then contact you directly and once your school signs an agreement to connect, N4L expects you will generally be on the Managed Network within 6–12 weeks.
Schools involved in the National Education Network (NEN) trial were contacted separately to discuss their options for transition to the Managed Network.
The N4L Managed Network package is fully-funded for state, state-integrated, and partnership schools and will be available at a cost to independent schools. While the vast majority of schools will connect to N4L’s Managed Network via fibre, the remaining remote schools will connect via wireless or satellite technology. Speed and performance for each school will be determined by the type of connection available to that school.
Once connected, all schools will immediately have access to the Government funded Managed Network that offers affordable, safe, predictable, ultra-fast internet connectivity with uncapped data. The impact on individual schools once connected will vary depending on the stage the school is at. Schools that have not previously had access to a fibre connection will notice the most immediate difference. Assuming that the school’s internal network is well maintained and learners have access to web-capable devices, it will be easier to:
Staff at St Hilda's Collegiate School talk about the difference that ultra-fast broadband has made to teaching and learning.
After the school has signed the agreement to be connected to the Managed Network, N4L will be in contact to discuss the specific requirements.
While digital technologies provide many exciting opportunities for teaching and learning, it is important to consider how schools can support all members of their school community to enjoy these opportunities.
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. While many students will be familiar with digital technologies, teachers are critical in supporting students and ensuring learning opportunities are tailored to students' individual needs and interests, improving engagement and achievement.
Once connected, schools can begin to focus on developing the school community's ability to integrate technologies meaningfully into a student-focused curriculum. School leaders have a critical role to play as active leaders for digital learning in the school community and teachers may need support to feel capable and confident to use digital technology to enhance learning.
The Enabling e-Learning website provides information on the many resources offered by the Ministry of Education to support educators to embrace digital learning including:
Staff at St Hilda's Collegiate talk about the difference using technology has made to teaching and learning.
Schools boards will need to consider whether their school should connect to the N4L Managed Network (see the School management considerations section on this page). They will also need to review or establish strategy and development plans (for example, equipment leases and the replacement of old hardware and software), ICT policies such as cyber-safety, BYOD, information security, privacy, and other guidance material. The Ministry of Education and NetSafe have various resources which help schools to do this.
It is important to engage your wider school community, including whānau and iwi, in the development of your e-learning vision and to discuss the impacts of digital learning. Digital technologies can provide greater opportunities to engage with your community online on a regular basis but it may also raise questions for some parents, for instance around cyber-safety. There may also be the opportunity, particularly for schools in rural areas, to become community digital hubs.
The Ministry has developed a process, guidelines, and information to help schools and their boards understand what becoming a community digital hub is all about and what schools need to do, if they wish to consider this option.
Find information about connecting with your community in the Beyond the classroom section of Enabling e-Learning.
School boards will need to consider whether their school should connect to the N4L Managed Network (see the School management considerations section on this page). They will also need to review or establish strategy and development plans (for example, equipment leases and the replacement of old hardware and software), ICT policies such as cyber-safety, BYOD, information security, privacy, and other guidance material. The Ministry of Education and NetSafe have various resources, which help schools to do this.
The following guidance is provided to schools regarding the infrastructure needed to connect to the N4L Managed Network.
Schools should provide:
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
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:
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 DHCP, VLANs, firewall, and static routes.
Schools will need to provide:
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:
N4L have a series of training webinars on web filtering. These are recorded and can be accessed from the Pond for replaying.
Both the Ministry of Education and N4L want to see digital technologies used to enrich learning and lift student achievement.
N4L is a Crown-owned company set up to develop and operate the N4L Managed Network for schools and to provide access to a range of learning resources and services. A joint management group exists to maintain the relationship and ensure the delivery of the N4L Managed Network and other services that meet the needs of schools. The Ministry has not been involved in selecting particular schools to be connected but it supports N4L in the selection process.
N4L provides the technical support to transition across to the Network for Learning.
The Ministry provides a broader range of support to enable schools to make the most of learning with digital technologies, whether or not you are connected to the N4L Managed Network. The Ministry is working to ensure schools are well placed to take advantage of learning with digital technologies by reviewing their strategic planning, school curriculum, and promoting access to Ministry resources like the Enabling e-Learning website.
The Government has committed $211 million until 2020-21 to establish the N4L Managed Network and fund schools’ connectivity to it. Therefore, connection costs for the N4L Managed Network are fully funded for state, state-integrated, and partnership schools. This means there is no set up cost to connect to the N4L Managed Network, and your monthly bill for your N4L package will be funded by the Government, through the Ministry of Education.
State, state-integrated, and partnership schools will be funded for a package that includes access to the N4L Managed Network, providing fast connections, uncapped data, online content filtering, and network security services. The Managed Network will be available at a cost to independent schools.
If you have any questions about connecting your school, contact N4L on 0800 LEARNING.
Schools may wish to review their current strategic plan and curriculum in terms of how digital technologies are used for learning. Discussion, review, and planning with Boards of Trustees and staff can begin. This might involve a review of e-learning capability. Schools can seek assistance with this from the Connected Learning Advisory service.
The N4L Managed Network will provide schools with secure and safe access to the Internet. With the use of new digital technologies, each school needs to make decisions about how to develop and manage their cyber-safety policy, security maintenance, and how to provide an education programme on cyber-safety and security for its students, staff, and community.
The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and NetSafe have various resources to help schools do this:
The NetSafe Kit helps schools to address student cyber-safety and support digital citizenship through a comprehensive cyber-safety programme based on three core components:
Following expert consultation, the NetSafe Kit details seven steps required to produce a cyber-safe learning environment.
OWLS is a new NetSafe online resource to help teachers teach Internet privacy issues to primary and intermediate school students.
Since June 2013, the Ministry has offered schools a wireless network (WiFi) option via the School Network Upgrade Project (SNUP). As schools adopt mobile technologies and implement bring your own device (BYOD) policies, WiFi networks are essential to support the integration of learning with digital technologies.
The Ministry of Health recently affirmed its position that exposure to radioactive fields from WiFi equipment in schools does not pose a health risk to staff or students in the area where it is used.
The health and safety of children in our schools is critical and the Ministry will continue to work with the Ministry of Health to monitor New Zealand standards, international standards and credible research on WiFi and radio frequency electromagnetic fields, as it becomes available.
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.
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) 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 BYOD/mobile technologies page for guidelines and information to consider before introducing a BYOD policy for students in your school.
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.
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.
While each school makes different choices regarding the best way to adapt its infrastructure and technologies to its local curriculum and community, there are some decisions that you might consider as you prepare to connect to N4L Managed Network.
Principal, Jane Danielson shares the thinking that went into planning their technological infrastructure at Hingaia Penninsula School.
Increasingly schools are moving away from desktop computers towards more mobile (or 1-1) devices. This is a natural extension of fast connections enabled via a managed wireless network. Mobile devices are easy to move around, allow the device to go to the learner rather than the learner needing to move to the device, and can easily be locked out of sight at the end of the day or go home with the learner.
Systems manager, Alistair Montgomerie describes the infrastructure set up at St Hilda's Collegiate School. It enables all students and staff to use the Internet as part of their 1-1 laptops programme. He explains their wireless network upgrade, and why they needed ultra-fast broadband.
For many schools, having a fibre connection will be a step towards increasing the number of portable devices. Your internal managed wireless network makes it easier to support large numbers of mobile users. The management interface will allow you to make changes to all of your wireless access points at once, broadcast multiple wireless local area network (staff, student, guest, and so on), and to monitor usage patterns. Managed equipment is capable of greater density of users in any one space.
Moving to cloud-based services has many advantages for schools. Once connected, schools may wish to maximise the benefits of the network to use such services. As long as your connection can support them, you can investigate using some services to the cloud before you get a fibre connection.
This is always important, but particularly if you are delaying the replacement of an ageing server until you have a fibre connection to allow more cloud-based services. Make sure that data on your server is well backed up (on and off site) so that you can recover it quickly if the hardware fails.
Join these groups to participate in discussions with other teachers/educators about the content here, or that is relevant for you.
e-Learning: Professional Learning
e-Learning: Beyond the classroom
Using the e-Learning Planning Frameworks
Connected Learning Advisory in the VLN
Connecting to the N4L Managed Network