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Supporting technology use for distance learning

Guides for video conferencing

As a teacher, whether you are new or well-versed with using technology for distance learning, there's always something new to learn. 

These guides may help you with creating a better distance learning experience with technology. 

Good cyber security practices

Maintaining good cyber security practices at home will help keep school and student information safe and secure.

Device and information security

Only use approved devices (laptop, tablet, or phone) to access systems on your school network, unless your school has a BYOD policy.

Take the same precautions with your laptop, tablet, or phone as you would at school:

  • Lock the screen when away from the device.
  • Take steps to secure the device when not in use e.g. lock your house if you go out and don’t leave it unattended in your car.
  • Maintain confidentiality of student information e.g. do not discuss student information with family members or where they can hear it.
  • Avoid using personal hard drives and USB sticks. These can introduce malware onto laptops.
  • Ensure that printed matter containing sensitive information is kept secure and is taken with you when you return to school.
  • Only dispose of printed matter containing sensitive or student information in secure document destruction bins at your school. Do not dispose of sensitive documents in your residential rubbish.
  • The use of unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots poses a cyber security risk and should be avoided. Sensitive data transmitted via these Wi-Fi networks may be intercepted and exploited by malicious actors.

Be aware of phishing emails and phone scams

Phishing emails are a type of email scam where the sender tries to trick you into giving away information, installing computer viruses, or defrauding you financially. To help protect you from phishing email scams, we recommend you do the following:

  • Treat with suspicion emails asking recipients to: click links, open attachments, enter passwords, make payments, change or enter bank account details, or any unusual requests. Even if the sender looks familiar, treat with suspicion emails pressuring recipients to perform any these actions urgently. An unusual email from a known sender might be a sign their email has been compromised.
  • Consider whether the email was expected and check the sender’s details carefully. Telephoning the sender on a phone number you already have or know can be the easiest way to check whether an email is legitimate or phishing. Don’t rely on phone numbers provided in emails.
  • Do not disclose sensitive, personal, or financial information in emails, texts, or instant messaging.
  • Be aware that many of the same email scam techniques can also be used over the telephone. Do not disclose any information over the telephone without first confirming the caller's identity, and that the caller is entitled to receive the information.

Network for Learning (N4L)

Network for Learning (N4L) has developed a safety filter called ‘Switch on Safety’ to make the internet safer for all students learning from home.

The N4L safety filter blocks access to a range of websites known to be unsafe and inappropriate for learning.

Find out more on how to set up the N4L safety filter - Switch on Safety website

The new N4L safety filter is an extension of one of the multiple safety and security services the company has in place at schools, and is available at no cost to students and teachers for the next two years.

In addition to the safety filter, N4L is providing support for distance learning by ensuring teachers can access schools systems and documents stored on the school’s network securely, while working from home.

Help desk support

Our Service Desk staff are happy to respond to queries from early learning services, schools and kura about online learning.

Our operating hours are 7.30AM to 5.30PM on business days.


0800 422 599



Netsafe provides comprehensive support and information to support everyone to stay safe as they work, learn and play online.

Read new and updated resources for parents, whānau and students - Netsafe website

Supporting remote learning with software

Schools can get assistance from their IT Service Provider or review the following links.

Adobe resources

The Adobe Spark is available free of charge for all NZ schools. Adobe provides discounted Creative Cloud licenses for assignment to staff and students via ‘Named User Licenses’ or to labs via ‘Shared Device Licenses’ to all New Zealand schools.

Apple resources

Google resources

Microsoft resources

Sketchup resources