The latest report on the state of ICT in NZ schools (PDF) has recenlty been published.
Since 1993, the IT industry has carried out a survey of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in New Zealand schools every one to two years. These surveys have been undertaken in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and with the support of other government agencies. Since 2005, the Trustees of the 2020 Communications Trust have coordinated the research.
This current survey builds on the information from the previous surveys and covers some of the key developments and issues with ICT in schools policy. These include:
- School ICT infrastructure, including the use of networks, software in use by schools, and ICT related equipment and its teaching applications.
- Internet access and usage.
- ICT planning and funding in schools.
- E-learning developments.
- Professional development for teachers and principals.
- Principals’ attitudes towards the use of ICT in schools.
- ICT in schools and the wider community.
- Use of social software.
This report is particularly timely as many schools in NZ are contemplating the opportunities presented by being connected to high speed broadband networks. Some interesting points from the report in this regard:
- Around one quarter of schools have a fibre broadband connection, although one third of primary schools (29 percent) and secondary schools (38 percent) report that this option is not yet available in their area.
- Three quarters of schools (76 percent) can be described as fully ‘networked’ (all classrooms connected to centralised resources). This year’s results also revealed that one third (34 percent) of all schools are networked wirelessly (that is 100 percent of the school’s classrooms are covered by a wireless network).
- Secondary schools express interest in using cloud computing (43 percent of schools), or server virtualisation (30 percent) in their schools. Primary schools, on the other hand, are more likely to be unsure as to what cloud computing (38 percent), or server virtualisation (62 percent) refers to.
- Awareness of KAREN has increased (Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network) amongst secondary (62 percent, compared to 30 percent in 2007), Māori Medium (33 percent, compared to 16 percent in 2007) and primary schools (22 percent compared to 12 percent in 2007).
All school principals were asked to rate how useful they found high-speed Internet connections in relation to a number of activities in their school. More than four-fifths of all the principals interviewed reported that high-speed Internet was somewhat useful or very useful for all of the ten activities that they were questioned about. The activities for which high-speed Internet received the highest ratings for usefulness included:
- Teacher use of online teaching and learning resources
- Use of the Internet by students for information gathering
- Student access to online learning resources
- Administration efficiencies
Thanks to 2020 Trust for maintaining this survey to provide such valuable longitudinal information about what’s happening with ICT in schools as this sort of data is essential as we plan our way forward.