From Friday last week, students at Haeata Community Campus, a school nestled in Aranui where an estimated 40 per cent of households are living without a suitable home internet connection, will be able to access The Network for Learning’s (N4L) Managed Network from home.

The “ConnectED” pilot is being officially launched today during a ceremony at Haeata Community Campus to celebrate the 360 students across 190 homes that now have the option to continue their learning outside of school hours via the government-funded Managed Network.

The ConnectED project team is led by the Greater Christchurch Community Schools Network (GCSN), and sees N4L partnering with Haeata Community Campus, Chorus, and the Ministry of Education to give students free wifi access to the same safe (filtered), uncapped internet they get at school via the Managed Network. The school’s internet use policies and N4L’s web filtering will apply to all students accessing the Managed Network from home.

“We know that learning for students and adults occurs at times not just restricted to school hours, so having that access is really important for everyone in our community, not just those who can afford it,” says Andy Kai Fong, Principal, Haeata Community Campus.

This is the second pilot where N4L is partnering with Chorus, the Ministry of Education, the community and a school to deliver wireless access into student homes for learning.

These pilots are led by community trusts based in Christchurch and Lower Hutt, and involve different technology and partnership models. N4L’s role is to get students up and running with the same safe (filtered) internet experience that they get at school via the Managed Network.

“This is all about extending the tried and trusted N4L Managed Network service beyond the school gates and to the homes of students, so they can learn wherever they live,” says N4L chief executive Larrie Moore.

As a key partner for the Ministry of Education’s ‘equitable digital access for students’ programme, N4L is exploring ways to bridge the digital divide for students living without a suitable home internet connection, so they can carry on their learning at home.

Moving from connected schools to connected learners is part of N4L’s long-term strategy, and these pilots seek to inform the next steps of this programme, to help inform opportunities for a way forward.

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