Government priorities for 2011

Yesterday’s Statement to Parliament by Prime Minister John Key provides an insight into what we can expect as priorities in education in 2011 – high on the list are ECE and National Standards. Early Childhood We value early childhood education (ECE) because we know it helps prepare children for future learning and assists parents to participate in the workforce. However, we are concerned that New Zealand won’t be able to afford record ECE funding increases into the future. Furthermore, we are concerned that in recent years these increases have not achieved the results we would expect, particularly in terms of … Continue reading Government priorities for 2011

NZ ranks number one for education

I’ve been reading with interest the results of the 2010 Legatum Prosperity Index, which ranks New Zealand number one in education, just ahead of Australia in second place and Finland third! The Prosperity Index™ assesses 110 countries, accounting for over 90 percent of the world’s population, and is based on 89 different variables, each of which has a demonstrated effect on economic growth or on personal wellbeing.This year’s overall leader was Norway, with New Zealand making it into the list of the top 30 “strong ranked countries”. The Index consists of eight sub-indexes, each of which represents a fundamental aspect … Continue reading NZ ranks number one for education

Journalism in the age of data

Here’s a great clip to spend 50 minutes watching over the weekend, particularly if you teach media studies, journalism or English – titled Journalism in the Age of Data from Geoff Mcghee on Vimeo. (I can’t get the embed code to work in my blog at present, so you’ll  have to link to it :-)) This clip explains and illustrates so clearly why we need to be thinking a lot more about the visualisation of data in our school curriculum. As one of the commentators says, “the best way to learn about visualisations is to make them“m and… “making visualisations … Continue reading Journalism in the age of data

Earthquake Shakeup – learning from the experience

The earthquake after shocks continue to rock us here in CHCH, but people appear to be getting on with things. For CORE staff in Christchurch, however, that means getting on with things from home, as our offices in Kilmore Street have been officially closed until further notice. While our building is simply awaiting a structural clearance, the Repertory Theatre directly over the road isn’t so lucky. Proof that there’s a learning opportunity around every corner has been provided by some of my CORE colleagues in other parts of the country. Jill Hammonds and Tessa Gray have worked with others to … Continue reading Earthquake Shakeup – learning from the experience

Shaken, but not stirred…

[youtube As I sit to write this post this evening another after shock is rocking my home. At 4.25 this morning we were woken by a roaring sound, followed by an extended period of our house rocking and shaking on its foundations. Amazingly, we suffered no damage – apart from a single vase that broke, and a bottle of balsmic vinegar that fell off the shelf in the pantry. We were indeed fortunate. My elderly parents’ house was like a warzone – I spent near three hours with them cleaning up the broken glass and pottery from across their … Continue reading Shaken, but not stirred…

Music video contest begins

The people at eInstruction are at it again, offering a prize of up to $75k (US) to the school that can gather  students and create their very own music video. The video can be a parody of an existing song or you can create one yourself. The key is to make it fun, creative, and focused on the use of technology in the classroom. I’ve blogged about this in previous years, and I know of several NZ schools that have entered, one of which won a significant prize! The entries in this competition are always worth a view, as they … Continue reading Music video contest begins

A “G-Cloud” for England?

News just out here in the UK is of plans to develop project to build a shared cloud infrastructure for all government departments – announced yesterday at the Future of the Data Centre conference happening over here at the moment. According to the release the UK government’s Cabinet Office plans to create a so-called ‘skunk works’ team to develop better ways to manage IT projects.The proposal was revealed in a strategy document published this week, entitled the ‘Structural Reform Plan’’, which proposes a number of IT-related reforms. This will be an interesting development to watch – thanks Malcolm for the … Continue reading A “G-Cloud” for England?

The trouble with bureacracy

Top of the list in almost every education news report here in the UK at the moment is the large-scale cuts that are being made to the various education ‘quangos’ that were created in the past to serve and support the education system. The list includes: Becta (The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) which promotes the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning (to be abolished altogether) Training and Development Agency for Schools – responsible for the training and development of the school workforce Young People’s Learning Agency which funds local authorities to commission suitable education and training … Continue reading The trouble with bureacracy

GCSN website launch

I had the privilege of attending the official launch of the Greater Christchurch Schools Network website yesterday afternoon at Burnside High School – attended by around 200 principals and education leaders from Christchurch schools, plus various representatives of the local business community who have been supporting this endeavour, including enable networks and the Canterbury Development Corporation. CORE Education also got a profile for the contribution it has made to the development of the GCSN community. Guest of honour was Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, who spoke positively about the potential of fibre connectivity to schools and the ways in which … Continue reading GCSN website launch