Feet of Clay

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history… The crisis is exacerbating pre-existing education disparities by reducing the opportunities for many of the most vulnerable children, youth, and adults…. On the other hand, this crisis has stimulated innovation within the education sector”. UN Policy Brief August 2020 Many of us are familiar with the phrase ‘feet of clay’ – referring to a fundamental flaw or weakness in a person who may be otherwise revered. The phrase originates from the book of Daniel in the Bible where Daniel interprets a dream of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. In … Continue reading Feet of Clay

Future Focused Learning Report released

After what seems a very long period in gestation, Minister Nikki Kaye today released the report of the reference group that I have been a part of, titled Future Focused Learning In Connected Communities.  The report outlines ten priorities for equipping learners with 21st century skills and digital competencies. But it is not simply another set of recommendations about how to 'add' ICTs to what we do in education – it goes far deeper than that. The report builds on the recommendations of the cross-party select committee inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy,  which drew submissions from a wide … Continue reading Future Focused Learning Report released

eLearnings Book Online

Wahoo! After much experimentation, our book,'eLearnings: Implementing a national strategy for ICT in education' is now available online through Amazon for the Kindle. Few countries in the world have embarked on such an ambitious approach to a national ICT strategy for schools as New Zealand. This book archives the impact and implementation of the national ICT strategy in New Zealand, 1998-2010, from the perspectives of the people who effected that implementation. It is a story of both policy initiative from the ‘top down’ and local innovation ‘from the bottom up’, as seen through the eyes of those involved. There are … Continue reading eLearnings Book Online

CHCH Recovery plan

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/46589834 w=400&h=300] The long-awaited 100-day plan has been released tonight, revealing what is planned for the re-development of the centre of the city in which I live after it was devastated by earthquakes. The video above, which appears on the Christchurch Central Recovery Unit's website, provides a graphic illustration of what is being planned. excellent use of computer generated graphics to help convey an understanding of what is proposed.  Continue reading CHCH Recovery plan

Education Recovery Plan (draft) for CHCH

The Ministry of Education released their draft Renewal Plan for Christchurch last week, outlining the strategy for what will happen for education in CHCH over the next few years in the wake of what happened to schools following the devastating earthquakes here last year. These left many school buildings destroyed and in need of rebuilding, while there are also significant demographic shifts as whole neighbourhoods are re-zoned for demolition and land deemed unsuitable for re-building.  During last year, the Ministry of Education facilitated widespread consultation with school leaders, teachers, parents and BOTs to bring together all of the ideas and … Continue reading Education Recovery Plan (draft) for CHCH

Arguing the case for ICTs in education…. again!

My last day of camping at the beach for my summer break was interrupted by a phone call from Andrew Patterson at Radio Live wanting to interview me regarding an article in the New York Times titled Teachers Resist High-Tech Push in Idaho Schools. (unfortunately their 7-day Catch-up feature isn't working so a recording of the interview doesn't seem to be available.) The interview helped 'lurch' me out of holiday mode and begin thinking about some of the issues that are bound to face me as I return to work in the new year.  The NYT article reports on the overwhelming decision of the state … Continue reading Arguing the case for ICTs in education…. again!

Educators in NZ should be there…

Professional development is a hot topic in schools when I'm working with curriculum leaders and principals, looking at how to effect long term, meaningful and sustainable change in schools. In the weeks following the ULearn conference in Rotorua, I've had several principals comment to me how significant it can be for groups of staff from their schools to attend a high quality conference together – providing opportunity for significant reflection and planning to occur as a result of the shared experience, and also providing impetus for ongoing development when these staff return to school.  For those who understand the value … Continue reading Educators in NZ should be there…

Free schools and a transformation agenda

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcgAh2gS57g?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0&w=448&h=270%5D The recent announcement of the appointment of Lesley Longstone as the new Secretary of Education for New Zealand has gone relatively un-noticed here in NZ, possibly because of the more pressing issues that face us here such as coping with the earthquake aftermath – plus she's not due to take up the position until November this year which seems a long way off as we have an election and the Rugby World Cup to content with before then 😉 I was interested to read the following about her appointment to the role she currently holds in the UK: … Continue reading Free schools and a transformation agenda

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

Lest we forget

ANZAC day today – and another change to reflect on what the day is all about, and the lessons we have learned (or not?) about the significance of this event in the history of our nation. I have a number of images in my mind, formed from conversations with those who were involved in the campaign, and from the books and movies I’ve been exposed to over the years – along with the stories that are told at ANZAC parades. So I was very interested when I came across this resource from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which brings to life … Continue reading Lest we forget