Leadership in times of crisis

Five years ago today, at 4:35 am, Saturday 4 September 2010, the Canterbury region was rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. The next major earthquake was on 22 February 2011 at 12:51pm. On this occasion 185 people lost their lives. From 4 September 2010 until 4 September 2011, there were around 9,000 aftershocks and earthquakes. Some of these were very strong and caused more damage to buildings and land. Schools were closed for about two weeks after the Feb. 2011 earthquake. Over 12,000 students re-enrolled in schools outside of the Greater Christchurch area – almost 16% of the total number of students in … Continue reading Leadership in times of crisis

Learning through connections

This morning I had the privilege of joining a panel to present on the theme of modern learning practice in a connected world as a part of the Connected Educator Month here in NZ. Joining me on the panel was a very old friend from the UK, Stephen Heppell and colleagues from CORE, Mark Osborne, Janelle Riki and in the chair, Karen Melhuish Spencer.  In this post I don't intent unpacking what was said or the ideas that were discussed – if you want to know that then the recording is available here and the thoughts of the participants are captured … Continue reading Learning through connections

It’s all about access

I've spent the past week in Chennai visiting my sister and brother in law. During our evenings together we've enjoyed long conversations about all manner of things, reminiscing experiences and memories from the past – often triggered by a comment or something we've heard on the news. Things like "remember that last episode of M*A*S*H? – why was Hawkeye being treated for a breakdown?" or "whatever happend to that young Afghani woman whose picture appeared on the cover of National Geographic?" As the conversations continuted and the questions arose each of us in the group would use the devices available to … Continue reading It’s all about access

Changing schools, changing knowledge

As I left home today my son was at his computer watching more science clips on YouTube, looking set there for the day having completed his exams. With my 'dad hat' on I asked if he was likely to be taking time out of his busy 'screen time' to hook up with his friends. With a grunt, he let me know that might be a happening thing – then asked me "did I know what the best way of find out what his friends are up to?" My best guess was "Facebook". he grimaced and said, "No – Steam! – … Continue reading Changing schools, changing knowledge

Schools as networked learning spaces

It's full-on here in Hamilton for the annual ULearn conference, with over 1400 registered delegates coming together to share experiences and ideas in what is an excellent example of a knowledge building community.  I'm currently sitting in my room before we head out to the conference dinner, putting some thoughs together for the workshop I'm running tomorrow morning. It's titled, 'Schools as networked learning spaces', and in it I want to explore the concept of how we must change our concept of schools as isolated, stand-alone centres of learning, to being nodes on a network of learning, where all involved … Continue reading Schools as networked learning spaces

Learning in a networked world

What does learning look like in a world that is increasingly networked? How can we harness the ever-increasing range of online technologies to support effective learning? What are the implications for teachers, for students, and for the wider community? And what are the implications for distance education providers as the boundaries blur between them and traditional face-to-face providers? These are some of the questions I explored in my keynote to the AADES conference in Melbourne last week, in which I explored current trends in education and how these are re-shaping how we think about schooling, teaching and the role of learners. … Continue reading Learning in a networked world

Learning 2033 – 20 years from now

Cpp apptx from Derek Wenmoth Today I had the opportunity to speak to the Canterbury Primary Principals Association conference here in Christchurch. I was asked to provide a picture of what the shape of our schooling system might be like in 20 years? What are the factors influencing this change, and how should we respond? The keynote was intended to provide an overview of some of the things that school leaders and classroom teachers should be doing now to contribute to this.  For Christchurch principals it is an important time to be thinking at such a broad and strategic level. With … Continue reading Learning 2033 – 20 years from now

What works in blended learning

Education Week has just released  their second report in an ongoing series on virtual education titled Evaluating What Works in Blended Learning, that examines a number of examples of blended learning approaches  in the US context,  and aims to identify what is working and where improvements are needed. The initial paper provides a useful definition of blended learning and the 4 approaches described by the Innosite Institute – and the cases studies that follow are taken from a number of US-based schools and school districts to illustrate a range of implementation models from which useful lessons can be learned.  With increasing interest … Continue reading What works in blended learning

NZEALS conference presentation

Today I had the opportunity to make a presentation to the NZEALS conference being held in Tauranga. I was in Wellington at the time, participating in the DEANZ conference, but took the opportunity to make the link to Tauranga via video conference (thanks to the folks at asnet).  The NZEALS committee had asked me to share my thinking about the future direction for education in NZ, focusing on blended learning, the role of online communities of practice in this, and the emergence of networked schooling models. The essence of my message was that we must move our thinking beyond the … Continue reading NZEALS conference presentation

Pedagogically Driven..#2

Pedagogy driven View more PowerPoint from Derek Wenmoth I presented the model shown in the slideshow above to a group of teachers representing most of the secondary schools in Christchurch yesterday. The event was held by the GCSN, focusing on our strategic planning for the year as we look at the possibilities of working together in a fibre-enabled network, with video conferencing facilities now available in each of their schools.  The concept of how we make pedagogically driven decisions about technology investment is a question I encounter regularly in the work I do – and I shared this framework in … Continue reading Pedagogically Driven..#2