Rangiora New Life School connected to fibre broadband early 2015, and Principal Stephen Walters says it’s revolutionised the way the school operates.
“Something as simple as an instant internet connection has unlocked unlimited opportunity for our students. At any one time, we can have up to 550 students and staff accessing online learning resources– and there’s virtually no buffer or waiting.
“We’ve gone from saying ‘sorry we can’t’ to ‘let’s see if we can’. We’re able to seamlessly stream classes for students that we can’t physically offer. That access can be very important to some students and their families. For example, we have a student enrolled in NCEA Level 2 French who connects via video to a French teacher in Southland along with other students from across the South Island. The same goes for a student enrolled in Te Reo – that cultural connection was very important to her family.
“We have about 20 students in the same boat, who are no longer restricted by our curriculum – we can cater for almost anything. It’s now not a problem those students being the only one in the class.
“It’s instant and the connection and learning experience is seamless.”
It’s not only learning resources students can easily access due to the light-speed fibre broadband connection, parents can now easily access and track their child’s progress at school.
“Our learning portals means teachers can quickly upload videos, artwork and school work for parents to login to see and provide real-time feedback on. Parents no longer need to wait until end of term reports are sent out – dinner table conversations can now be about what happened that day or week – not what happened a month or two ago.
“It’s now not a problem for our teachers to upload hundreds of files at a time.
“It also means children who are away from school sick can keep up to date with what’s happening in the classroom – no one is left behind.”