Pedagogically driven…?

Over the past few  years I’ve frequently heard the comments; “It’s not about the technology, it’s about the pedagogy”, or in relation to the advent of ultrafast broadband; “we’ve got to drive it from the teaching and learning.” These are well intended sentiments, but why is it that the technology still dominates much of the discussion, and so often becomes the starting point by default? And just what do we mean by letting the teaching and learning lead? How would you explain that to someone outside of education – or, for that matter, someone inside? I’ve been thinking about this … Continue reading Pedagogically driven…?

Online PD opportunities

Finding effective PLD opportunities for staff can be problematic, with many principals and teachers citing issues such as; accessing quality facilitators, programmes and resources the increasing costs of attending off-site PLD limited numbers able to participate because of cost the limitations of one-off workshops or seminars vs. ongoing PLD With my colleagues at CORE I have been working on developing a range of online professional development options, drawing on our extensive experience providing face-to-face facilitation. I’m happy to announce that the first of these, an e-portfolio course, is starting in the coming week, with others following in the near future … Continue reading Online PD opportunities

eLearnings – a history of ICT in New Zealand education

At the recent hui for the National Aspiring Principals Progamme (NAPP) I had an opportunity to reflect on the history of the adoption of ICTs in New Zealand schools and the significance of this for school leaders and aspiring principals. When we are in the midst of such rapid change we sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture and some of the things that have happened which in turn set the scene for where we are now. These sorts of understandings can be very important for us to be able then to chart some sort of trajectory for the future. … Continue reading eLearnings – a history of ICT in New Zealand education

Resources for Canterbury Schools

There’s been a lot going on here in Christchurch over the past couple of weeks since the 6.3 earthquake wreaked havoc in our city. Our schools are now gradually opening up again, but many face difficulty in gaining access to resources that are no longer accessible in buildings that are out of bounds, or exist on servers or laptops that still lie in ruined buildings. In addition, we have a large number of students who must be catered for during times they are not physically at school, including students who are sharing schools for half days, or others who are … Continue reading Resources for Canterbury Schools

Online learning reports…

I’ve just had a look at some reports released this week at the  iNACOL Virtual School Symposium. Each report provides some interesting persepectives on what is happening at the school level, and the tertiary level in the US. While the context is different, there are some clear messages here that we can be taking notice of in NZ (see my note at the bottom of this post). The first report is from iNACOL itself, titled “A National Primer on K-12 Online Learning” which suggests the biggest emerging trends in online learning include the growth of (US) district-led online schools, the … Continue reading Online learning reports…

100+ Google Tricks for Teachers

Just came across this great list of 100+ Google Tricks for Teachers from The list contains a wide range of tips and tricks, from super-effective search tricks to Google tools specifically for education to tricks and tips for using Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. For anyone using Google Apps in education this list is well worth a read. It’s well structured, with the various tips and tricks organised under headings to make it easier to finds the things you’re looking for. Continue reading 100+ Google Tricks for Teachers

Useful mapping tool for learning

Looking for some more interactive, online resources – here’s one that will keep your and your students engrossed for hours. Titled Change the world one map at a time, this resource lets you select a subject from the top menu and watch the countries on the map change their size. Instead of land mass, the size of each country will represent the data for that subject –both its share of the total and absolute value. I can see heaps of potential for this in classes – another good example of data visualisation for the classroom. Apart from the obvious approach … Continue reading Useful mapping tool for learning

Prezi Meeting

[youtube I’ve been very impressed with what Prezi can do as a presentation tool (used thoughtfully, and in the hands of a good presenter, of course!), and have had a couple of goes at working something up with it myself in recent weeks. Recently I saw a group of primary school girls working with it in a very creative way to present what they were learning in a time-line of events and saw first-hand just how easily it could add so dynamically to what they had to say. So tonight I was very interested to see the release of … Continue reading Prezi Meeting

Learning without limits

This morning I attended the Ministry of Education’s Learning Without Limits seminar in Christchurch. Around 100 principals, teachers, BOT members and other interested parties came to hear Douglas Harre and Marg McLeod from the Ministry of Education share an update on the progress being made towards the government’s plan for ultra-fast broadband in schools. The basis of the vision is: 97% NZ schools (99.7% of students) will have access to UFB (100megabits/second) by 2016 3% remote schools will have access to fast broadband (10Mbps) by other means eg.satellite or point-to-point wireless Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH) and Local Fibre Companies (LFCs) … Continue reading Learning without limits


[youtube Some years ago now a colleague of mine and I put an idea to a potential funder to develop an online timeline for people to contribute photographs and stories that could be tagged to specific locations – linked to collections in museums. The proposal wasn’t successful and so our idea languished. So it was with interest I explored HistoryPin today, after the link was sent to me by Malcolm. Created in partnership with Google, HistoryPin allows anyone to contribute photographs and stories, linked to a specific location, building up a visual history book. Viewers can search for and … Continue reading Historypin