Derek is regarded as one of NZ education’s foremost Future Focused thinkers in education.

He works extensively with schools and clusters as they seek to prepare students for their future. He also consults with policy makers and government agencies regarding the future directions of NZ educational policy and practice. In recognition of his work, Derek was designated one of 2008’s “Global Six” by the George Lucas Educational Foundation that recognizes individuals making a difference in education.

Derek is available to support you with:

  • educational policy advice at a national or local level
  • strategic planning 
  • capability development 
  • curriculum development
  • project or programme review and evaluation

He has particular interests and experience with:

  • teacher professional development
  • initial teacher education
  • distance and online learning
  • instructional design
  • integration of digital technologies for learning

Derek has been a teacher, principal, teacher educator, distance educator, e-learning specialist and education policy adviser. In 2013 he co-founded CORE Education, a not-for-profit education research and development organisation based in Christchurch, New Zealand, a position he stepped aside from in 2017 to allow a new generation of leaders to take the reigns, and to enable him to pursue his interest in developing FutureMakers. 

He is married with five children and six grandchildren, and is passionately committed to finding ways though education to help build a more positive future for the planet and the people on it.

Derek is regularly invited to speak at conferences both nationally and internationally, and maintains a blog on matters relating to education and the future and that can be found here:

Recent conference presentations, seminars and workshops

  • Future Focused Learning – presentation to the Qatar Foundation 6th Annual Teaching & Learning Forum, October 2021
  • Deep and Long – the keys to Future Focused Learning – mini keynote to the Deeper Learning Symposium, Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky, USA, October 2021
  • Agency by Design: Making Learning Happen – workshop presentation to the Aurora Institute Symposium, October, 2021
  • Thinking Long – presentation to Leaders Connect, NZ, July 2021
  • Future Focused Schools – keynote to the Association of Independent Schools conference, Wellington NZ, July 2021
  • Future Focused Flexible Education – keynote presentation, FLANZ conference, Wellington NZ, April 2021
  • Future Focused Learning – keynote presentation to the Masterton Schools TOD, April, 2021
  • Empowering Schools to Facilitate Teacher Agency – presentation to the Taranaki APDP association, November, 2020

Access all of Derek’s keynote and workshop presentations here –

Awards, fellowships and scholarships

  • 2018 – Life Membership, Flexible Learning Association of NZ (FLANZ)
  • 2008 – Edutopia’s Global Six Award (George Lucas Foundation) for an international educator making a difference in education, special recognition for work in the area of distance education.
  • 2001 – Peter Brice Award (Pacific Circle Consortium) In recognition for achievements in fostering inter-cultural understanding.
  • 1993 – Ian Stewart Memorial Award (Christchurch College of Education) – For innovation and leadership in distance education.

Selected Publications

  • Avery, L., Jones, M., Marr, S., & Wenmoth, D. (2021). Mere engagement: Reflections about connections between online learning, student agency, and student engagement. Vienna, VA: Aurora Institute. (available online:
  • Wenmoth, D (2016) “Networked Learning” in “Leadership for Communities of Learning: Five Think Pieces” (Paper commissioned by the Education Council – available online:
  • Wenmoth, D (2013) “Digital Alignment Strategy”, prepared for the Canterbury Regional Ministry of Education
  • Barbour, M & Wenmoth, D (2011) “Virtual Learning as an Impetuous for Educational Change: Charting A Way Forward for Learning in New Zealand.
  • Wenmoth, D (2010) “The future’s not what it used to be.” in Ham, V and Wenmoth, D (eds) (2010) eLearnings: implementing a national strategy for ICT in education, 1998 – 2010. CORE Education, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Wenmoth, D., & Coogan, P. (2008). “Tomorrow’s web for our future learning” in Langley, J. (Ed) Tomorrow’s Schools 20 years on. Cognition Institute.
  • Wenmoth, D., & Eckstein, J. (2008). Educational Technologies in New Zealand. In M. Orey, T. Amiel, J. McClendon, & M. K. Barbour (Eds.), The world almanac of educational technologies.