More B.C. students and teachers are returning to classrooms fully equipped with high-speed internet and enhanced network security services thanks to the ongoing K-12 Provincial Learning Network’s Next Generation Network upgrade.
One school year into the three-year project, more than 60% of students and 816 sites have been connected to the innovative internet network.
Teachers have already reported that with the new system prep time has been reduced, they can confidently access on-line resources, and students are empowered to explore online learning. Already, school districts are reaping the benefits of substantially improved Internet connections. SD 45 (West Vancouver) says the network lets learning become the focus, as teachers and students no longer wonder if the Internet will load webpages like YouTube.
The Next Generation Network provides modern infrastructure that will service all public schools in the province once completed. Not only does the network keep pace with the evolving use of Internet by students and educators, it also provides firewall management, web/URL filtering and IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection Systems and Intrusion Prevention Systems).
Beyond download speeds, schools are embracing mobile technologies and integrating digital instruction products for all classes, not just computer labs, including SMART Boards, Edmodo, and Learn 360.
The Next Generation Network is a partnership with school districts, the Ministry, TELUS and IBM, the primary service providers. Launched in March 2014, the multi-year investment in B.C. classrooms will be fully operational by March 31, 2017, with over 75% of sites completed by March 31, 2016. Over three years, start-up costs for the upgrade total $137.2 million.
The Next Generation Network replaces the existing Provincial Learning Network.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“B.C.’s world-class education system is on track to getting world-class Internet that will support innovative learning parents expect in every classroom. I am inspired by the teachers and students already making use of the Next Generation Network and look forward to further digitally-focused schools in the future.”
Tim Draper, TELUS, vice president –
“We are committed to making our home province of British Columbia one of the most connected places in the world. Ensuring our students and future leaders have access to the technology and information they need to uncover a wealth of learning opportunities will undoubtedly contribute to the future economic success and health of our children, communities and province as a whole.”
Mike East, IBM Canada's general manager for K-12 Education –
“Our K12 education team has worked with the ministry and all the stakeholders and partners throughout the province to help bring the Next Generation Network to B.C. students, educators and administrators. We are delighted with the positive feedback with such a massive deployment involving more than 1600 educational facilities.”
Ray Velestuk, SD34 Abbotsford, BCASBO representative for NGN –
“We have experienced first-hand how the Next Generation Network has vastly improved access to digital resources and better empower teachers and learning throughout our district. Seeing this joint collaboration with the ministry result in a positive outcome speaks to the benefit of working together to achieve common goals.”
Russell Horswill, SD71 Comox Valley, BCASBO representative for NGN –
“The Comox Valley school district was an early adopter of the Next Generation Network. It provided the required infrastructure to deploy new technologies that support teaching and learning. Without the Next Generation Network, our school district would not be able to implement the current Technology Plan that greatly benefits all users.”
- NGN was first announced March 2014.
- Joint initiative with School Districts under the Service Delivery Project.
- The current Provincial Learning Network has been in use for 17 years. It was not built to meet the demands of modern applications and the proliferation of mobile devices
- This critical upgrade has been requested by districts for many years.
- The first NGN circuit was installed July 25, 2014 at W.J. Mouat Senior Secondary in Abbotsford (SD34).
To view the graph for the K-12 NGN Transition Schedule by Year, please click the following link: https://flic.kr/p/xsXGvs
SD 23 Central Okanagan Information Video: http://video.sd23.bc.ca/videos/video/1288/
K- 12 NGN Overview and Background Video: https://youtu.be/k5cs6TQO4vQ
A backgrounder follows.