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Survey provides insight into schools’ technology challenge

New survey provides insight into schools’ technology challenges and plans

AUCKLAND, May 15, 2019 - A new survey released today by The Network for Learning (N4L) reveals schools must navigate increasingly complex technical landscapes when using the internet for learning.

More than 450 schools responded to the Crown company’s survey, which asked schools to rate the range of internet services N4L provides 820,000-plus students and teachers across New Zealand and to comment on their technology plans for the year.

Satisfaction rates remain high, with 97% of schools being either very satisfied or satisfied with the company’s Managed Network service, which provides fast, reliable and safe (filtered) internet services, as well as security services that help protect schools against online threats like malware and phishing scams.

The survey also highlights a number of technology projects schools are planning for this year and identifies the tech trends most likely to impact learning. Schools were also asked to indicate the percentage of students living without home internet access, which varies significantly according to the socioeconomic profile of the school’s community.

“We need to ensure we are consistently providing world-class, safe and secure internet services to schools that “just work” so they can focus on great teaching and learning,” says N4L CEO Larrie Moore.

“We need to understand the journey schools are on with technology. For some schools, this means investing in their wireless networks to cope with the growing number of devices connecting to the internet and the extra bandwidth being consumed. This survey gives us helpful insights so we can be equipped to support schools throughout their journey”.
Some of the survey’s key highlights include:
Security from online threats important - Schools ranked “security from online threats” and “web filtering of inappropriate websites” as the second and third most important N4L service offerings, with number one being providing a reliable internet connection.
Schools using more devices - Almost 40% said they are planning to implement a one-to-one student-to-device ratio, with secondary schools more likely to be planning for this. Further, when asked what technology will have the biggest impact in the next three years, “devices” were mentioned most frequently (112 mentions, or 26%), followed by robotics (14%) and coding (13%).
School wireless networks - Adding more devices to a school’s wireless network can add extra pressure to this infrastructure, with more than half of schools (56%) planning to invest in this area.
Moving to the cloud - 37% are planning to move their records or data from their own servers into a hosted “cloud” environment offsite. This was the second most frequently identified project schools are planning, following their plans to introduce more devices.
Lack of home internet access can be a barrier to learning - Access to home internet varies, with just over half of schools (52%) reporting that 25% or more of their students don’t have internet access at home. There is a notable difference for students living in more deprived areas, with over 85% of decile 1-3 schools reporting 25% more don’t have home internet access. Respondents commented that students without internet access at home are more likely to be left behind or under-served.
The responses to the survey, which ran for two weeks in September 2018, will feed into N4L’s planning as the company develops new programmes and services designed to connect, protect and support schools with smarter and safer internet services.

ENDS

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