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Virtual Learning Network Community annual meeting

Virtual Learning Network Community annual meeting

24 April 2012

The Virtual Learning Network Community (VLNC) held its AGM in Wellington on 3 April 2012.

Minister of Education Hekia Parata at the VLNC annual general meeting in Wellington on 3 April.

The Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata, joined the meeting to discuss government initiatives, such as the fibre roll out and how it will help schools transition to digital learning environments, to improve outcomes for learners.

The Virtual Learning Network (VLN), He kōtuinga ako ā-ipurangi, is an interactive resource provided by the Ministry of Education for all New Zealand educators.  It supports the work of the Māori Medium Kura Network and the VLN Community (VLNC), promoting the concept of classrooms without walls, where learners and educators have the flexibility to connect with each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ministry of Education logo

Easy-to-use database lets schools know when they will get fibre

18 April 2012

Schools can now easily find out when they will be connected to fibre via the Government’s ultra-fast broadband initiative.

School Connection  is a searchable database showing individual schools when they are likely to get connected to fibre. The database presents information in an easy-to-access format and will be updated regularly with the latest connection timeframes.

With the majority of New Zealand schools set to get ultra-fast broadband connections over the next few years, the Ministry is helping prepare schools for fibre with this new database tool which will help schools with their ICT planning.

All schools will have access to ultra-fast broadband, either through fibre, or through other technologies to create modern 21st century learning environments. 

Over the next five years, 97.7% of schools will receive ultra-fast broadband connections enabling speeds of up to 100 Mbps through Government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband. The remaining 2.3% of schools, which are in the most remote locations, will receive a high-speed wireless or satellite connection.

By June 2012 it is expected approximately 740 school fibre connections will be completed.

For further information email ufb.schools@minedu.govt.nz

Ministry of Education logo

Final Rural Broadband Initiative contracts awarded

18 April 2012

The Government has announced the final providers for the Rural Broadband Initiative.
 
The Government has selected Chorus and Network Tasman for the final Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) contracts. One hundred and ninety three rural schools are covered under these contracts. Inspire.net, Gisborne.net, Chorus, and Araneo have been selected to connect 57 remote schools to faster broadband.
 
To read more, see the Ministry of Economic Development's website communications section .

Ministry of Education logo

Next 90 schools to receive SNUP

05 April 2012

The Government has announced the next 90 schools to receive SNUP upgrades, April 2012.

A full list of the next 90 schools to receive a SNUP upgrade is available to download at the bottom of the  Overview of the School Network Upgrade Project  page

MInistry of Education logo

The Network for Learning

02 April 2012

The Network for Learning will be available for schools from mid-2013.

From mid-2013 schools with fibre connections will be able to progressively sign up to the Network for Learning (N4L), available as an online network for schools. Read more about The Network for Learning in the Education Gazette .

Ministry of Education

Changes to Microsoft New Zealand School Agreement

14 March 2012

The Ministry of Education has negotiated a new licensing program for 2012.

The Microsoft New Zealand School Agreement has been in place for two years - 2010 and 2011. For the third year (2012), the Ministry of Education has negotiated a new licensing program enabling greater use and deployment of Microsoft technology in schools.

This new program is called the Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES). The EES agreement is based on a faculty and student calculation which means there is no longer need to report a desktop count.

Email notification will be sent out to each school explaining the changes in March 2012. Acceptance will be via an electronic form.

Please visit http://www.moe.dsv.co.nz  for more information about the changes to the Microsoft New Zealand School Agreement.

Ministry of Education

More ultra-fast broadband connections announced

07 March 2012

The next group of schools to be connected to ultra-fast broadband (UFB) fibre by Chorus has been announced.

From 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013:

  • 502 urban schools, under the UFB initiative 
  • 191 rural schools, under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI)

will be connected to fibre.

Further information about the rollout, and the lists of schools in each of these initiatives can be downloaded from the How and when will schools be connected page of the Ministry of Education website. 

The Ministry of Education will send these schools information packs about the connection process. Schools can also contact the Ultra-fast Broadband Helpline on 0800 22 55 42 or email ufb.schools@minedu.govt.nz for additional support.

Ministry of Education logo

Christchurch schools to get ultra-fast broadband

07 March 2012

The next group of schools to be connected to ultra-fast broadband (UFB) fibre has been announced.

Information and Communications Technology Minister Amy Adams announced that Enable will connect 11 more schools in Christchurch to UFB by July 2012. 

The Ministry of Education will provide these schools with information packs to guide them through the connection process. Schools can also contact the ultra-fast broadband helpline on 0800 22 55 42 for additional support.

For more information read the press release on the Beehive site .

Ministry of Education logo

Network for Learning services survey

23 February 2012

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback from schools to help inform the design and implementation of the Network for Learning.

The Ministry is looking for a wide cross-section of New Zealand schools to take part in a technical survey, to provide a snapshot of how schools currently use their network and hardware infrastructure. Schools taking part will have an on-site inspection of their ICT infrastructure involving an audit of relevant cabling and switching equipment, other hardware, and the capacity of internal networks. The principal or ICT manager will also be interviewed about future ICT planning. Findings from individual audits will be supplied to each school (in confidence) to inform their planning.

Schools are invited to register their interest by Friday 23rd March. Surveys will take place from March through to August 2012.

Register from the Ministry of Education: Network for Learning page . You can find the survey link on the right handside on the Ministry's page, or go direct to the Network services survey .

Notices will also be featured in the Education Gazette.

Enabling e-Learning logo

Enabling e-Learning webinars

22 February 2012

Register now for free webinars, available in the Enabling e-Learning community.

Webinars for Term One

Webinar: How to use Enabling e-Learning communities/VLN Groups
A short introduction to VLN Groups for new members, with a focus on Enabling e-Learning
24 Feb 2012.

What does online professional learning look like for learners and leaders?
A short seminar on ways of engaging in the Enabling e-Learning communities to support leading and learning online
28 Feb 2012.

When ultra-fast broadband comes to you, where to start? - with Douglas Harré
A session with Douglas Harré about ultra-fast broadband and your school
22 Mar 2012.

Digital resources and content for Māori learners
Suzie Vesper and Janelle Riki share Digistore resources to help support Māori learners.
29 Mar 2012.

Teacher and students

e-Learning professional development for schools

04 January 2012

From 2012, the selection of schools for e-learning-related professional learning and development, funded by the Ministry of Education, will be managed by Regional Ministry offices.

Regional offices will work collaboratively with professional learning providers to identify priority groups. More information »

Students at laptops

150 new schools confirmed for SNUP

21 December 2011

The Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, has confirmed the next 150 schools to receive government-subsidised internal network upgrades, in readiness for ultra-fast broadband.
 
For an overview of SNUP, view the Ministry of Education's website
 
Ms Parata says that, to keep pace with the fibre rollout, schools will be selected for SNUP in smaller groups more frequently and that the next group of schools to be upgraded is expected to be announced in early 2012.

ICT in Schools Report

New report on ICT in schools released

20 December 2011

The report outlines several major findings of the 2011 ICT in Schools survey...

A new report released today by the 2020 Communications Trust reveals that while most schools are ready and eagerly awaiting the roll-out of the government’s ultra-fast broadband initiative, principals believe they will need help in making full use of the network capabilities. Specifically this includes further professional development for teachers, upgrades to existing information and communication technologies (ICTs), and better technical support.

Students continue to have good access to ICTs at school. There is now an average of one computer for every three students with network access in most classrooms. Over half of all classrooms are now equipped with a data projector and nearly one-third with an interactive whiteboard. Most principals report that the internet is having a significant impact on teaching and learning but bandwidth constraints and data caps are constraining usage.

“It appears that the deployment of school internal infrastructure is largely in good shape and the deployment of ultra-fast broadband is coming just in time to remove the internet bottleneck,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, spokesperson for the 2020 Communications Trust.

The relatively high penetration of computers and networks in New Zealand schools has been achieved at a significant cost. On average, schools are spending around 11 percent of their operating grants on ICT, compared with 10% two years ago. This represents an annual spend by schools of $105M from a total operating grant of nearly $1B.

As in previous surveys, there is very little correlation between socio-economic status and student:computer ratios. These have remained largely constant across various school decile rankings.

“We welcome this finding,” said Mr Zwimpfer. “Our Trust is committed to ensuring that every child has equitable access to ICTs, in their schools and their homes. It is pleasing that the socio-economic status of a school does not appear to be limiting this access in any significant way, at least while students are at school. Other findings in the report however suggest that many students do not have access to the internet from their homes and this remains an ongoing concern in terms of providing equitable learning opportunities.”

Other findings in the report:

  • School curriculum areas with the most computer and internet use are Computer Studies, English, Mathematics, and Social Science. 
  • Online education resources appear to have a relatively low level of usage by students; it is not clear whether this is due to a lack of awareness or whether the resources are not perceived to be relevant. 
  • The usage of social software for learning has declined significantly since 2009, although YouTube, Skype, Google Docs, and Flickr remain popular. 
  • 62% of schools provide remote access for parents to school online resources with access to school news being the most used; around one quarter are accessing resources to support their children’s learning. 
  • For the most part schools are satisfied with the internet safety resources provided by NetSafe. 
  • The use of room-based videoconferencing systems has increased to 45% of all secondary schools, compared to 35% in 2009. 
  • Wireless connectivity has increased with half of all schools now providing wireless access across their school, compared to 33 percent in 2009 and 23 percent in 2007. 
  • Schools, especially secondary schools, are starting to permit the use of student-owned portable digital devices at school, but most do not yet permit these devices to connect to the school network. 
  • Schools strongly support bulk purchasing and central procurement of ICT products and services, including software licensing, server infrastructure, technical support, computers, and commodity internet services. 
  • 76% of all schools have an ICT strategic plan and 68% update their plans at least every two years. 
  • Most secondary schools are aware of KAREN and would like to use KAREN for accessing educational resources. 
  • Most schools are either already using cloud computing services or are willing to consider using them for services such as Google mail, student management systems, Google Apps, learning management systems, library management systems, and data backups. 
  • A quarter of all schools are still dumping computers in landfills, slightly fewer than in 2009 (28%); 45% took advantage of the annual eDay programme in 2010 for recycling electronic waste. 

This year’s ICT in Schools survey, carried out for the 2020 Communications Trust by Research New Zealand, was supported by a number of partners from government and business. They included ACTIVBoardNZ, asnet Technologies, Hewlett-Packard New Zealand, InternetNZ, KAREN, Microsoft, the Ministry of Education, Research New Zealand, Telecom New Zealand, and Te Puni Kōkiri.

The 2020 Communications Trust is a registered Charitable Trust established in 1996 to promote digital literacy for all New Zealanders.

Printed copies of the full report are being sent to every school. A copy of the report can also be downloaded from the 2020 Trust’s website .

Yoobee logo

Apple's OS X Lion software is now available

12 December 2011

Apple’s new OS X Lion desktop operating system software is now available...

Apple’s new OS X Lion desktop operating system software is now available to schools registered with Renaissance Education (now named YOOBEE) under the Ministry’s Apple Maintenance Program (AMP) 2010-2012 software agreement. Schools currently registered under the Ministry's AMP Software Agreement will receive an email from YOOBEE outlining the process to obtain OS X Lion.

Update: Yoobee’s software and support contract with the Ministry of Education ended 31 December 2012. 

Enabling e-Learning logo

Enabling e-Learning newsletter

28 October 2011

Nau mai, Haere mai, the first Enabling e-Learning newsletter is out now!

Nau mai, Haere mai, welcome to the first issue of the Enabling e-Learning newsletter.This newsletter replaces the ICT PD Online newsletter you were subscribed to.

The Enabling e-Learning newsletter is aimed at the wider educational audience. It will bring you information, links to resources, and school stories about e-learning from the new Enabling e-Learning web presence.

Read the newsletter online  or subscribe for updates.

Enabling e-Learning logo

e-Learning Planning Framework

06 October 2011

You are invited to provide feedback on the e-Learning Planning Framework.

You are invited to provide feedback on the development of a New Zealand e-Learning Planning Framework. Consultation is now open to all schools and teachers, until 11 November 2011.

The e-Learning Planning framework will provide a 'road map' to support schools as they build capability to use e-learning effectively. Schools can use the framework as a self-review tool to gather evidence about current practice, plan next steps and access resources and services to support their progress.

The intended audience of the 2011 draft of the e-Learning Planning Framework is English medium primary and secondary schools, which include Māori in English medium schools.

Currently a framework for kura and Māori medium settings is planned as part of another consultation process in 2012. However, feedback on how an e-Learning Planning Framework can best meet the needs of kura and Māori-medium settings is welcomed as a part of the consultation process.

You can participate in the consultation process in the e-Learning Planning Framework group in the Virtual Learning Network.

NZCER logo

New NZCER research project

27 September 2011

NZCER would like to hear from those who work with school-aged learners.

NZCER is beginning a new research project for the Ministry of Education entitled Supporting 21st century teaching and learning for New Zealand students. The project aims to develop a vision for what future learning might look like for New Zealand students and to contribute to educational futures thinking and policy development. Further details about the project can be found on NZCER's website .

Can you contribute to this research?

We would like to hear from principals, teachers, and others who work with school-aged learners (approx 5-18 years old) about their innovative educational practices and ideas for teaching and learning for the 21st century.

From mid-September 2011 we are inviting schools that teach in English-medium, and others who support young people's learning, to contribute their stories of innovative practices and future-focussed thinking through an online submission form , where you can also read more about the kinds of practices we are most interested in hearing about. 

If you have any questions about this research, please contact the project leader: Rachel Bolstad, Senior Researcher, New Zealand Council for Educational Research. rachel.bolstad@nzcer.org.nz , DDI 04 802 1382

Virtual Learning Professional Development

Professional development

20 September 2011

NZ teachers and leaders interested in participating in the next VPLD intake.

The Virtual Professional Learning Development programme (VPLD) team is very keen to hear from NZ teachers, principals, APs and DPs who are interested in participating in the next VPLD intake. The programme begins in February 2012. 

Please use this form to submit your expression of interest.

To discuss participation, for yourself or a colleague, contact Hazel Owen hazel.owen@core-ed.org , Rachel Roberts rachel.roberts@core-ed.org , or Clarrie Yates clarence.yates@core-ed.org .

The VPLD programme is part of the e-Learning Professional Learning and Development (PLD) programme, managed on behalf of the Ministry by Te Toi Tupu, a PLD consortium that comprises CORE Education, Cognition Consulting Education, NZCER, Waikato - Tainui College of Research and Development, and The University of Waikato. 

learn guide protect logo

Copyright Act - NetSafe

12 September 2011

The Copyright Act has been amended. NetSafe provides guidance to schools.

On 1 September 2011 an amendment to the Copyright Act (1994) came into effect – the Copyright (infringing file sharing) Amendment Act. You can read the act in full on The New Zealand Legislation Acts website . The Act provides rights owners with a new method of taking enforcement action against people who infringe their copyright through file sharing – the upload or download of resources that are protected by copyright, specifically via file sharing technologies like peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

Copyright (infringing file sharing) Amendment Act: Advice and guidance for schools 

The Ministry of Education funds NetSafe Incorporated to provide free, independent advice and guidance to New Zealand schools concerning cybersafety issues. Read their advice to schools  on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act. NetSafe will work directly with schools that have concerns or questions about the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Act.  

NZFACT has confirmed that they are not able to officially enter into an agreement with NetSafe on behalf of infringing schools. However, NetSafe can talk to NZFACT about schools on an individual case by case basis.

NetSafe can be contacted directly at 0508NETSAFE (0508 638 723) and queries@netsafe.org.nz .

Digistore.

NZ on Screen resources

23 June 2011

Digistore has worked with NZ On Screen to provide a portal to resources.

Digistore, with NZ On Screen, has provided a portal to a number of NZ On Screen resources relevant to The New Zealand Curriculum. Currently there are 10 NZ On Screen resources indexed from within Digistore, but this number will continue to rise.

e-Learning community discussions

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