Virtual School Meanderings

September 30, 2014

NZC Online Newsletter September 2014

Another one for my Kiwi readers…

NZ Curriculum Online

Vol – | 01 Oct 2014

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Fakatalofa atu and welcome to this edition of the NZC Online newsletter, filled with up-to-date ideas, resources, stories, and research to help you consider, review, and design your school curriculum.



Transitions students at the centre.

Transitions: Students at the centre
Staff at the Mt Roskill campus create positive transitions between schools by placing students at the centre of the transition process.

Review the questions and suggested actions to encourage reflection on your own school context.

View all films in the Mt Roskill collection.


Tuvalu Language Week
Tuvalu Language Week begins on Monday 29 September and runs until Sunday 5 October. This resource page suggests what your classroom and school community could do to celebrate and nurture the language and culture of Tuvalu.

Pasifika Education Plan – Policy to practice
This blog post takes a closer look at the Pasifika Education Plan and the Pasifika Education Implementation Plan. It offers reflective questions, ideas, stories, and resources to support and inspire schools to make a difference for all Pasifika students.

NZC Update: Ready to Read
NZC Update 28 explores the thinking behind the Ready to Read series.

New standards for Tongan language
New Lea faka-Tonga achievement standards and associated resources will be available for schools to use at NCEA levels 1 and 2 in 2014, with level 3 in 2015.

Essay competition – 1914–2014: The greatest greats and grands of the last 100 years
The Office for Senior Citizens is holding a competition to encourage primary school children (up to year 8) to think and write about an older person who is special to them. The subject for this competition is “1914 – 2014: the greatest greats and grands of the last 100 years” to coincide with the 100 year commemorations of World War One.

Professional learning

Connected Educator Month
October is Connected Educator Month, a global initiative designed to support and promote networked approaches to educational professional learning. Leaders and teachers are invited to engage in this month-long event from 1 October 2014.

Learning area highlights

Literacy Online

New School Journal
The September 2014 editions of The School Journal are now available on Literacy Online, including supporting TSM and audio files for download.

Junior Journal 49
Junior Journal 49, supporting TSM and audio files are now available for download.

Ready to Read review webinar for Literacy PLD providers and RT Lits
The Ready to Read series has undergone a robust review to ensure its continuing effectiveness in supporting children to build a strong foundation in literacy in their early years at school.

Coming soon

Fijian Language Week takes place from Monday 6 October, followed by Money Week and Niue Language Week beginning Monday 13 October. Resource pages, packed with ideas and resources, will soon be available to support your involvement in these national weeks.

Spread the word

Please share this newsletter and encourage your colleagues to subscribe to the updates 

Want to be informed of new tools, resources, and stories as they are published? Join our FaceBook page for updates.

Newsletter For The Ethos Community – September 2014

A item for my Kiwi readers…

A newsletter for all members of Ethos Online Community – September 2014

Kia ora, everyone,

I suspect it will have been a busy month for everyone! Yesterday, I asked a colleague if things were busy for him. He replied ‘yes’ and rolled his eyes. We then quipped about the fact that the day he says things are quiet, will be the day I have to scrape my jaw off the floor where it will have dropped in disbelief.

In this community we’ve touched on workload issues in the past (for example, Stephen Bright’s post, and several more that cover general strategies, such as this one). However, this month, Nicola Dunham looks at the subject specifically from her own experience of a series of 4 common courses where instances of “face-to-face learning were reduced with an additional move away from a didactic teaching styles to ones which are flipped and socially engaging” (source). Some of the things experienced included a recognition that on a system level there needs to be a “redevelopment of administrative systems to better suit the new approach”  (source). The other eight experiences Nic lists include “a combination of the pragmatic, a need to upskill, and a need to shift thinking and practice” (source)…the implications of which are “manifold with ownership resting at the multiple levels of the institution, the teaching team and the individual” (source).

In line with some of the experiences Nic outlines the research report, The impact of flexible delivery on human resource practices: Survey…, suggest that :”There is a heavy reliance upon the goodwill of many teachers and administrative staff who are committed to learners and to the achievement of high-quality educational outcomes. Whether this goodwill can continue to be relied upon is a major concern for managers, especially those responsible for educational delivery” (McNickle, & Cameron, 2003, Para 8).

On many levels, this feels as though it is a pretty high risk model, and given that the report cited above was conducted in 2003 (over 10 years ago), there is a sense that we should have enough data to develop workable workload models that recognise the multiple ways in which educators from all sectors are being asked to work.

Do you know of any workload models in your own institution or organisation you could share? What have your experiences been? Nic is keen to find out, writing that “I can see that this will be an ongoing search for answers and understandings, and the more perspectives added to the mix would be invaluable” (source). Please jump in and share with her :).


Welcome to new members – September 2014

The Ethos Online Community now has 328 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to September’s new members to the community:

  • Barbara Reid, is passionate about teachers and students using digital technologies to access the curriculum and sharing their learning / interacting in new ways with online communities. Barbara is based in Hamilton and is currently working as an LwDT facilitator.

  • Jan Pickett, is a teacher based in Wanganui. Jan’s interests lie particularly in developing self-directed learners in response to changes in teaching and eLearning and the introduction of Modern Learning Environments.

  • Justine Hughes, who has been an ‘early adopter’ since 1996, is passionate about tools that can support and enhance student – and teacher – learning and achievement. Justine is an educator currently based in Auckland.

  • Liz McDowell, a secondary school teacher based in Christchurch, has an interest in all things eLearning and education.

  • Nina Smith, who is currently working in Port Angeles, USA, is a teacher trainer and mentor. Nina wants to focus on meaningful learning and the general improvement of education worldwide.

If you know of anyone who might like to be involved in the Ethos online community – or to contribute a guest post, please feel free to invite them using this link:

Member Blog Posts

In this newsletter, as always we have some great featured posts. Please jump into the conversation and feel free to ask questions.

  • Our featured blog this month is ‘e’ in workload from Nicola Dunham. This post looks at how innovations, specifically technological ones, are changing curricula and the way we learn…and teach – and what impact this has on workload. Be great to hear from others who have experienced similar changes due to this innovation and their opinions on the matter.

  • In Are you engaged?, Nathaniel Louwrens talks about how in a recent Gallup survey it was found that 7 out of 10 workers were either “’not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’ in their jobs”. Nathaniel discusses what this may mean in education.

  • Monika Kern talks about her experience attending Educamp Minecraft 20/09/14, which involved educators and students coming together to explore the educational value of the ever increasingly popular computer game Minecraft. Monika describes some great collaboration, and some student-facilitated professional development.

  • In Embracing constant transformation, Fiona White looks at how technology is changing the way humans communicate and highlights that a new way of making positive connections needs to be established. Fiona provides some great quotes and resources on the importance of non violent communication and how to embrace this.

  • Using Assessment Data is a super resource mainly focused on shared reading. Anne Kenneally looks at the role of the teacher and gives some great advice on how to engage students with the text. This post also shares ideas from Cathie Johnson from NZCER, who suggests we need to be asking more of the why and how of assessment. There is also a bunch of helpful links and resources that Anne has kindly shared in this post.

  • Brian P. McCall analyses the use of clickers in college classrooms. Brian has implemented clickers in his own classrooms as a tool for students to communicate to the lecturer if they comprehended the material being taught as well as evaluating group presentations. Have a read; Do clickers make a difference in college classrooms?.

  • In What does learning look like in your classroom?, Leigh Hynes discusses Bolstad and Gilbert et al who wrote Supporting future oriented learning and teaching. The report focuses on 6 themes of future oriented learning and teaching that they believe can transform what education looks like in New Zealand. Leigh has also kindly made a form that others can fill out as a self reflective tool to show how much one’s teaching is supporting learning. It would be really great if others could fill this out; it’s completely anonymous and provides a great tool for you, and others, to learn with.


Recommended Blog posts and Discussions

As always you have contributed a great variety of posts this month. Thank you. Here are some of the posts and topics that you may find of interest:

  • Technology for Emirati teacher trainees is an insightful read from Glenys Henry, who is currently working with women enrolled in the Bachelor of Education Program at Dubai Women’s College. Glenys shares with us some student responses to the question “why is technology important for Emirati women in the UAE, in 2011?”.

  • The perks and pitfalls of social media in business shares top tips for businesses wanting to make the best use social media.

  • No bells or interruptions to learning times looks specifically at a comment Linda Ojala made about the fact there was no timetable in Montessori schools. This post discusses how having a set in stone timetable may potentially stifle learning. What do others think about this idea?

  • Social curation: its implications for learning and formal education is a great slideshow  From Joyce Seitzinger that helps capture some of the key concepts of social curation, online identity, and what these can mean for learning going forward.

  • This post looks at a programme called ‘Project Huia’. This is a reading project specifically for primary schools, with weekly activities to help students become more involved in texts. Take a look at the links for more information and how to enrol.


Recommended videos

From the ever growing repository of videos (1,066 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.

  • Classroom “flipper” John Sowash of the Electric Educator blog discusses the five things he wishes someone had told him before he flipped his class. Take a look here.

  • Spirals of inquiry and networks of inquiry and innovation is a session facilitated by Judy Halbert and Kinda Kaser. It has a strong focus on indigenous learners. Well worth a watch.

  • In Department of corrections: Learners in prison, two trade qualified Instructors of Agriculture and Horticulture and their prisoner learners speak about developing and sharing literacy and numeracy skills, which contribute towards the learners’ achievement of National Certificates in Horticulture and Agriculture Level 2.

  • Here is a great little video featuring science teacher Tyler Dewit talking about his experience with students not understanding the jargon and precision that science textbooks and some teachers use when teaching science. Tyler makes suggestions about how to make science more exciting and relatable to for learners.

  • Educating the poor is more than just a numbers game, says Shukla Bose. She describes the story of her groundbreaking Parikrma Humanity Foundation, which brings hope to India’s slums by looking past the daunting statistics and focusing on treating each child as an individual. Take a look at her talk in Community high expectations: Education, one child at a time.

  • How can we stop bullying in the world? Over 60 % of kids say they’ve been bullied at school, and for every one ‘successful’ suicide there’s over 100 attempted suicides. A survivor of bullying, Valerie Mason-John uses her expertise as a bully doctor and personal experience, to suggest that bullying does not have to be part of everyday life. In This (we are what we think) gritty, moving and powerful talk Mason-John gives a clear message, that our ‘stinking thinking’ can be the cause of bullying.

  • I learned more today than… looks at a school-wide approach to blended learning that allows teachers the flexibility to define and implement online learning that meets their students needs.



  • Catlin Tucker, in Some Tips on BYOD looks at mobile applications that can be used in the classroom on students’ own devices. A lack of technological resources is a highly relevant issue, as is how to maximise learning and minimise distraction – this post has some great positive advice on how to make the most of the situation. Thank you Catlin Tucker.

  • John S. Oliver shares with us some great websites to aid with spelling, vocabulary, literacy and test preparation. Well worth a look, you can find all the links here.

  • Five characteristics of an effective 21st century educator is another great article shared with us from John. The title is self-explanatory – a neat article on the traits of effective teachers, and a good way to glean further ideas.

  • The e-Learning watch is a great resource by Richard Elliot, in which he selects a range of emerging trends, events, resources, and tools – and critiques and shares them. In this post, some resources focusing specifically on the JISC stable have been revisited.

  • The SAMR model in a nutshell and Critical thinking developed using the SAMR model are two resources for anyone using, or looking to use, this model and trying to understand more about it.


Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including the New Zealand Moodle Moot 2014. Also, have you signed up for Connected Educator Month (CEM)? In October 2014 CEM is offering a raft of things to access (and you can ‘offer’ and share too), as well as to participate and collaborate in, and to generally touch base with a range of educators from across New Zealand and beyond! Looks to be an outstanding opportunity.


Here are the events listings for more details about some of the superb opportunities available.


Please feel free to add events to share them, or just let me know and I’ll add them :-)


Many thanks once again to, Leigh Hynes, John S. Oliver, Nicola Dunham, Monika Kern, Fiona White,  Anne Kenneally, Brian P. McCall, Nathaniel Louwrens, Linda Ojala, Joyce Seitzinger, Catlin Tucker and Richard Elliot Please keep your posts (including cross-posts), comments and recommendations coming :-)


Nāku iti nei, faafetai lava, and warm regards


Hazel Owen
Education consultant / Director
Ethos Consultancy NZ Ltd

PO Box 90391, Victoria Street West,
Auckland 1142
Phone +64 (0)9 9738027 / +64 (0)9 5750206
Mobile +64 (0)21 2273777
Web site:
Email addresses: /
Skype: hazelowendmc

SITE 2015 (Las Vegas) Call for Participation Due: Oct 23

From Sunday’s inbox (I think)…  A reminder that SITE does have a Virtual Schooling SIG…


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   Call for Participation
Due: October 23, 2014
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March 2-6, 2015
Las Vegas, Nevada

SITE 2015 is the 26th annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Join with 1,300+ colleagues from over 60 countries in Las Vegas!

This society represents individual teacher educators and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development. SITE is a society of AACE.

NEW: SITE offers a peer refereed publication opportunity in the

SITE Research Highlights Book.

Registration & Hotel Information
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have been secured for SITE participants. To receive this special rate, hotel reservations must be
made by: January 29, 2015
(5PM EST US) and you must identify yourself as an attendee of SITE 2015.
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SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
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Higher Education in 2024: Glimpsing the FutureA conversation about possible futures and multiple present trends could help those of us involved in higher education and technology to think more clearly about how what comes next emerges from what is now. EDUCAUSE Full Article

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Implementation of a mobile peer assessment system with augmented reality in a fundamental design courseThis study proposes a framework that incorporates mobile peer assessment and augmented reality (AR) technology to enhance interaction and learning effectiveness. According to the framework, a mobile AR peer assessment system has been developed to facilitate students to improve work interpretation, frequently interact with peers, represent their thinking and reflect upon their own works anytime […]Keep Reading

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A quantitative analysis of learning object repositories as knowledge management systemsLearning Object Repositories (LORs) are a core element of the Opening up Education movement around the word. Despite, the wide efforts and investments in this topic, still most of the existing LORs are designed mainly as digital libraries that facilitate discovery and provide open access to educational resources in the form of Learning Objects (LOs). […]Keep Reading

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Layered Approaches to Educational TechnologyThis case study provides a glimpse of the layered approaches to university-wide educational technology training and course development (including online and blended course development) instituted at Western Washington University. The array of opportunities for faculty professional development at WWU span formal campus-wide training to spontaneous peer-to-peer mentoring, crossing institutional layers to support integrated technology. On-demand help or impromptu sharing of information led to […]Keep Reading

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Class blogs as a teaching tool to promote writing and student interactionBlogs are a useful teaching tool for improving student writing and increasing class interaction. However, most studies have looked at individual blogs rather than blogs maintained by a whole class. We introduced assignments involving participation in class blogs to four science communication classes with enrolments of between 15 and 36 students. We administered paper-based surveys […]Keep Reading

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San Diego Global Knowledge University (SDGKU) and the Council for Normalization and Certification of Labor Competencies of Mexico (CONOCER) have signed a historic international cooperation agreementDr. Carlos Leon Hinojosa, distinguished Director General of CONOCER, and Dr. Miguel A. Cardenas, Founder and President of SDGKU, in representation of their respective organizations, have formalized a strategic alliance. The purpose of which is the promotion, development, and certification of global competencies in education, business, government and civil society sectors in Mexico as a […]Keep Reading

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[DEANZ] ascilite Conference And A New eBook

From yesterday’s inbox – this one for my Kiwi readers…

ascilite conference and a new eBook
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Hello DEANZ member,

In this communication we would like to  bring to your attention the following:

  • The early-bird registrations for ascilite conference close on 3 October 2014. For more information
  • A new eBook has been released by Terry Anderson and Jon Dron of Athabasca University: Teaching Crowds: Learning and Social Media from Athabasca University Press. The complete book (and individual chapters) are available now in PDF format and will be for sale in paper, Kindle and epub by the end of this month. The book discusses ways to understand and to develop learning activities for three social aggregations – groups, nets and sets. It then explores how collective knowledge and tools provide new affordances and adjacent possibilities for each of these social aggregations.

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