Today Massey Primary is the first school to go live with a connection to Network for Learning’s (N4L) managed network, with staff and students now exploring new ways of learning thanks to their new fast, safe and predictable fibre internet connection.
At an event to mark the first live N4L connection today, Associate Minister of Education Nikki Kaye also announced that 100 schools have signed agreements with N4L to join Massey on the managed network.
In addition, a further 100 schools are being approached by N4L now to get their connections scheduled during the school first term of next year, when at least 200 schools are expected to be on the managed network. By the end of 2014, more than 700 schools are expected to get N4L connections, with all schools being able to connect by 2016.
Massey is using a 100Mbps N4L connection with no data caps, which is about 10x faster than what they were previously getting with their ADSL internet that was capped at 30GB of data per month. Their new N4L connection will enable the school to download and upload data at a rate of 100Mbps, whereas their previous internet connection limited upload speeds to less than 1Mbps.
These faster upload speeds will make it easier for the school to collaborate and publish their own work.
Principal Bruce Barnes has already started planning how his teachers and students will use the more predictable, uncontended speeds offered by N4L.
“Since we’ve received the news in October that we’d be connecting to N4L this year, we’ve fast-tracked our plans to use digital technologies in the classroom and provide training for our teachers,” says Mr Barnes. “The Board of Trustees has also approved the purchase of more devices. All of this will help us create better learning opportunities for our students.”
N4L will be proactively monitoring the network’s performance in real-time to ensure schools have more than enough capacity for teaching and learning. N4L CEO John Hanna says the aim is to ensure every user will have a seamless user experience regardless of the school’s size or physical location.
“We recognise that every school uses the internet differently,” says Mr Hanna, “and our connection packages will be responsive and flexible to the changing nature of how schools use the internet. Teachers and students need the internet to perform all the time and we’ve designed the managed network to ensure schools have more than enough bandwidth at all times.”
Mr Hanna says the reaction from schools has been overwhelmingly positive, with many of the school’s staff voluntarily coming in over the holidays to make the transition before school starts next year: “Several schools have mentioned they’ll be reviewing their plans to use digital technologies in the classroom knowing they’ll be getting their connection in the first term of 2014.”
Wanaka’s Mt Aspiring College and South Canterbury’s Waimate High School are expected to be “live” with N4L connections over the next few days, with at least another 18 schools scheduled to follow suit before the holidays.