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N4L First Schools and 2014 Rollout Plans ... Discuss if you'd like

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By Andy Schick

As many of you may have seen, we've just released some details around the N4L managed network rollout.  Specifically, how we are figuring out which schools to connect in 2013 & how we are tackling 2014 etc.  There've been a few questions coming in privately ... but in my view it's better these conversations be public where possible to help out others with the same types of questions etc.

So, if you've got any questions - let's hear them!

2013 schools

We are going to be connecting 20+ schools this year. These schools are spread across multiple demographics to make sure we get as much learning as possible.  We can input this learning into our processes/procedures etc in preparation for the 2014 rollout.  

These schools are:
Massey Primary School, Mt Aspiring College, Waimate High School, Bream Bay College Ruakaka; Māngere Central School Auckland; Hukanui School Hamilton; Morrinsville College; Rotorua Intermediate; Selwyn School Rotorua; Stratford Primary School; Frimley School Hastings; St Peter’s College Palmerston North; Cannons Creek School Porirua; Heretaunga College Upper Hutt; Churton Park School Wellington; Springlands School Blenheim; Grovetown School Marlborough; Oamaru Intermediate; Omokoroa School; Bayfield High School Dunedin; and Otatara School. 

Given we are utilizing school's relationships with their IT support companies next year, we are also looking to work with a a small number of IT support companies to transition a limited number of their schools to the managed network in 2013. This just helps us develop and refine our programme and understand a bit more how the relationship between ourselves and IT companies around the country might work. We don't yet have any agreements/contracts in place for this, but it is something we are working on.

More details here ... http://www.n4l.co.nz/managednetwork/2013firstschools/

2014 rollout

The way we are tacking the selection of 2014 schools from the philosophical place of "how do we make the biggest impact to the largest number of schools in the shortest amount of time, while still maintaining a level of balance".  This means that we will predominately be approaching schools with an offer to jump on the managed network of either have a contract with a N4L-approved  IT support company that looks after their network, or has the ability in-house to managed their transition to the managed network themselves.  To determine this, we are asking schools to fill in a questionnaire.  

The way we ensure balance is by manually adding schools that maybe don't meet this criteria; but are low decile, have a high percentage of priority learners and/or have a low roll size.  

We are currently seeking proposals from IT support providers via a public tender process (published on GETS), to form a panel of suppliers to assist us with transitioning schools. By utilising a panel, we will gain efficiencies by using people who will become familiar with the process and the requirements of schools. We hope to have this panel in place in Jan, 2014. It should be noted that this panel is intended to be open, allowing IT companies to be added to the panel over the 3 year rollout period.

More details here ... http://www.n4l.co.nz/managednetwork/2014rollout/