Demand-side study released

The Commerce Commission has today released the second of three issues papers relating to the uptake of high speed broadband ahead of a public conference in February 2012. The paper is in two parts and examines the potential demand for high speed broadband from the education and health sectors   I was one of those interviewed for the education paper by the author, Ernie Newman, and am impressed with what he's done to bring together a broad range of perspectives and thinking to deliver a concise and clear view for a way forward.    Key conclusions reached in the education … Continue reading Demand-side study released

Schools need faster broadband

I always look forward to the publication of the 2020 Trust's report on ICT in schools, and this year's edition focuses attention on the issue of broadband in schools. This is extremely relevant at the moment as the government embarks on its roll-out of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) across the country, and the Ministry of Education presses on with its Network for Learning (N4L). This year's report 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 … Continue reading Schools need faster broadband

A national infrastructure plan

The government has just released the second edition of it's national infrastructure plan which sets out a vision that, by 2030, New Zealand's infrastructure is resilient, coordinated and contributes to economic growth and increased quality of life. This is the second National Infrastructure Plan to be released by the Government. The first Plan was released in April 2010. Publication of the 2011 Plan follows consultation with the National Infrastructure Advisory Board and a series of regional infrastructure workshops facilitated by the National Infrastructure Unit. The document is interesting to me for two reasons; I'd regard it is a very useful … Continue reading A national infrastructure plan

NetHui reflections

[youtube NetHui 2011 is over for this year, but the excitement generated by it continues in the Twitterstream and in blogposts etc. Standout presentation for me was from Lawrence Lessig, founding board member of Creative Commons, and a professor of law at Harvard Law School. His presentation demonstrates the brilliance of a  message that is profound, but made accessible through the captivating use of powerpoint. Part one of his message is embedded above, click here for part 2 and part 3. I had the privilege of interviewing Lawrence during the conference for a couple of EdTalks videos, and these … Continue reading NetHui reflections

Education and the internet

I'm currently attending the NetHui event in Auckland, attended by around 400 participants from across a variety of government and business sectors – all of whom are gathered to discuss ideas relating to the impact of the internet in our lives now and in the future. There's a lively programme of discussion and presentations, organised around the following themes: Access and Diversity Digital Citizenship Globalisation, the Internet and the Law Government and Openness Innovation and Emerging Issues Education Douglas Harre and I are leading the education stream today, with five sessions exploring particular issues relevant to education across all sectors … Continue reading Education and the internet

The promise of UFB

There’s a great deal of talk around the country now that the government has finally announced the providers for the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) in New Zealand.  In the wake of this announcement there have been all sorts of speculation about what this will mean, from those who believe it is a waste of tax payers money at one end, to those who make bolder claims about revolutionising education and enhancing learning outcomes at the other. Now while I believe strongly that we could do with a revolution in our education system, and that in 20 years I hope … Continue reading The promise of UFB

Shaping our future together

Last week I was in Sydney, attending the K-12 National Congress for Technology in Education. A major discussion point at the congress was the impact of ultra-fast broadband, and the ways in which schools need to be thinking about how they prepare themselves to be able to take advantage of this when it arrives at their door. The Congress coincided with the switching on of the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) at the first site on mainland Australia in Armidale in NSW. In her speech at that event Prime Minister Julia Gillard claimed that “switching on the NBN on mainland … Continue reading Shaping our future together


An article in this morning’s Herald titled “Hate your work? Then bring your own PC” comes as a timely reminder of one of the big issues schools will face in the coming few years – the provision an support of computer equipment for staff and students. I see this as the convergence of two key drivers: the increasing cost to schools of providing students with access to up-to-date computers, and of maintaining these and the software installed on them; and the increasing personalisation of all things in education, including the choice of where, when and with what students (and teachers) … Continue reading BYOC

Connecting Communities

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been pre-occupied with events here in Christchurch, and participation in various groups and projects aimed at providing assistance to schools here in the wake of the earthquake. This has involved everything from working at a local level to make online resources available, and provide support for teachers developing online courses, through to advocating for the fibre connections to schools, discussions around the development of an NEN and the future development of the VLN! On Monday I attended a hui in Ashburton in support of the work of the Cantatech and Westnet clusters as … Continue reading Connecting Communities

When disaster strikes

A number of years ago I had the misfortune to be caught in a heavy rain shower on my way to work. Not only did the water penetrate the raincoat I was wearing, leaving me totally saturated, but it also ‘drowned’ my laptop, leading to problems occurring when I tried to start it up, resulting in the hard drive being completely unusable and nothing able to be retrieved from it. Fortunately I worked in an organisation that allowed me to send daily backups of my laptop across the network to be stored on the server. Within a few hours I … Continue reading When disaster strikes