Virtual School Meanderings

April 4, 2017

Your Ethos Newsletter for March

Yet another newsletter from earlier in the week.

Your newsletter from the Ethos Online Community – March 2017

Kia ora, talofa lava, and greetings,

As I spent this month working late and attending multiple work events on the weekends, I started to feel my body asking me to stop. My headache yelled “go to bed at a reasonable time” and my eczema screamed “you’re stressing us out”. This is a scenario I, unfortunately, fear a lot of us experience regularly. So, when I read Merryn Dunmill’s post on exploring the root cause of physical ailments (generally stress), rather than just popping a pill and getting on with it, it really resonated with me.

Merryn looks at the work of Dr Neha Sangwan, an incredible medical practitioner, who works with her patients to figure out the underlying issues causing them physical pain. I was lucky enough to hear Dr Neha speak at the World Women 17 conference this month, and what a wealth of incredible information she provided. Dr Neha’s practices focus largely on communication. Communication with ourselves, our bodies and our peers is essential in maintaining peace and finding the answers we need to know about ourselves.

Dr Neha talked largely about speaking truthfully with ourselves and being self-full (the word selfish was strictly prohibited) in order to find what we need and what will make us happy. Part of the process to discovering what you want in life is finding out what your values are. If you are aware of those qualities, which you hold dear and place importance on, you can then go about seeking them out. You might want to pop into the conversation started by  Sarah WhitingApplying ‘The Chaos Monkey’ to your life, who asks the questions: what is my chaos monkey? How can I better deal with ‘failure’? and How can I better support others to do the same?

Paul Keown has explored this concept of values with his posts this month. Paul looks at the role the school system plays in instilling values in students. Particularly in relation to understanding and addressing the existing gap between aspirational and real values. Research shows that the authoritative figures in students lives are behaving in such a way that doesn’t align with the values they claim they hold close and want to pass on to young people.

This divide has been brought to light by the recurring rape-culture situations we are seeing arise with male high-school students in New Zealand. The most recent of which sparked reaction from the New Zealand public and media, rebelling against this violation of public values. Paul talks about the value of critical thinking in this and how critical inquiry helps us discover our values and assess how they fit into each situation.

How have you discovered your values? And how do you think this fits into the education sphere?

Welcome to new members – March

The Ethos Online Community now has 436 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to January’s new members to the community:

  • Jenny Grainger, an Auckland based instructional designer, trainer, educator and workplace assessor, Jenny is especially interested in how e-Learning can aid with creativity, exploring new possibilities, and generally enhancing experiences for learners.

  • All the way from Tanzania, we welcome teacher,  Adam Namamba. The blended teaching and learning approach is of particular interest to Adam.

Know anyone who would like to join an international Online Community that’s all about learning – across all education sectors, business & ITOs: Please invite them :)

Member Blog Posts and discussions

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

  • In Aspirational v Real Values  Paul Keown addresses an often unrecognised gap – that which exists between aspirational values and real values. The dilemma arises in people claiming their aspirational values (the way we believe others should think and behave) are in fact their ‘core values’, those that they actually display in their behaviour. This is something that appears in education in many forms, one being the values that are taught in the classroom and by parents, and another being through the vision statement of schools. The gap between those values that authority figures commonly claim students should hold close versus what they’re behaviour actually shows is clear in a study outlined in this post. The study showed that while 96% of parents state it is of utmost importance to raise ethical, caring children, 80% of the youths surveyed reported that their parents “are more concerned about achievement or happiness than caring for others.” This disparity appears yet again when we analyse recent activity in New Zealand such as the multiple incidents of young male high-school students making crude comments focused on taking advantage of inebriated young women. In these cases the schools have come out stating that the values displayed by these students vary hugely from the school’s own. So what’s going wrong? Is this due to the school not instilling the values effectively in their students? Or is there too strong of an influence coming from outside sources that display opposing values such as the media and porn? What do you think a school’s role is when it comes to values? And how do we go about closing this gap?

  • After the above post, Paul monitored the media and public’s response to the ongoing issue of rape culture in New Zealand. Paul was particularly impressed by the actions of some year 13 students who publicly spoke up against the behaviour they have witnessed from their male peers. The media as well proved that it is possible to gain a public response to the gross violation of widely accepted civil values. This leads on to the topic of critical inquiry and critical thinking. Without some critical thought processes this reaction would not have happened. In Values, critical inquiry and rape culture Paul looks at what exactly critical thinking is, and how it influences our values and behaviour.

  • The negative effects of stress have been well documented – but what are we actually doing to address them? Stress related ailments are treated through traditional medical techniques, which are essential, but do we ever delve deeper to examine the underlying issue and practice long-term solutions? More often than not I fear the answer to this is no. People often want a quick-fix for the physical symptoms of stress so they can return to their busy lives as quickly as possible, therefore actually worsening the true issue. Merryn Dunmill shares with us a inspirational interview with Dr Neha Sangwan. Dr Neha works with patients to dig deeper and find the root cause of stress. She talks of her “double vision” technique where she describes how we stress ourselves thinking that faster and more makes us feel more important in the world.  She talks about her own breakdown and how she learned to dig deeper through “double vision” to source within herself her impact rather than externally. In Dr Neha Sangwan – Treating stress in the workplace (National Radio podcast) you can listen to the podcast and take a look at the method Dr Neha uses to hunt out inner stress.

  • Catriona Pene asks “Got 3 minutes? Well worth a watch of this video to get some tips on creating awesome passwords”: A quick reminder about passwords and how to create an awesome one.

  • This post holds a great wealth of information. Rachel Roberts had a Professional Learning and Development session with her Asian Language teaching group recently. This time is used to share experiences, explore new strategies and resources and prepare for the year ahead. Luckily for us, Rachel has put together some of the top insights and pieces of advice that came from this meeting. Take a look, VLN primary teachers share their tips for teaching online.

  • CoOLs – Communities of Online Learning – A double edged sword?  Looks at the proposed changes in the Education (Update) Amendment Bill. Rachel Roberts delves into what was up for discussion in part 3A – Communities of Online Learning. Rachel has been working with the VLN Primary School, and has been asking for something like CoOLs for a very long time. Rachel  shares the VLN Primary Submissions over recent years. They all ask for better resourcing, support and for inclusion of online learning within the mainstream schooling sector. Rachel discusses her work trying to engage these changes and how the system needs to alter to support CoOLS.

  • Monika Kern has started an exciting new role as the Education Manager at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. In Museum Education in 21C Monika explores how technology is changing the way museums aid the learning process. While a museum was once much like a library – somewhere you were educated through one dimensional observations – technology now allows for a much more interactive experience. Monika explores the purpose of a museum, how it can contribute to education and what barriers are faced in attempting this.

  • John S. Oliver  shares a very touching story that demonstrates, once again, the importance of teachers; MORE evidence that teachers change lives.

Also recommended

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

  • This post looks at something Nick Billowes (CORE Education) shared a while back. Nick talks about the possibility of publishing through the cloud and how this could change the way students submit assignments, allowing teachers to browse on an i-device. The post also looks at the potential barriers in this situation.

  • Kevin Hall and Mike Crosson (based at Wintec) piloted QR codes and video clips in trades training – partly to encourage students to do some revision. QR (Quick Response) codes are described in Wikipedia as “A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones”. The idea is that it makes it easier for students to access and use content on online courses. This post has some useful resources and further information on how the codes can benefit students.

  • What skills do students need to obtain in order to go on to be functioning, positive members of the New Zealand society? Kwong-wing Lai talks about the need for human agency – the need for students to learn how to problem solve and think critically. However, with a changing society and outside influencers, research seems to show that young learners aren’t finding significance in their learning experiences. Therefore, to develop agency in learning it needs to be situated, authentic and personalised. In the Changing culture of learning: Mobility, Informality, and connectivity – mLearning re-framed Lai delves into how educators can work towards facilitating this.

Recommended videos

From the ever growing repository of videos (1,430 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.

  • Collective nouns are a way to have fun with language. This video looks at the meaning behind some interesting collective nouns in nature  – Why is a group of crows called a ‘murder’?

  • What is sociology? Sociology seems to be a subject with a little bit of mystery around it. This video gives a  Crash Course on Sociology, beginning  by explaining what exactly sociology is.

  • Education tutorial: Exploring VoiceThread |  – this tutorial shows how to create interactive discussions both in and out of the classroom with VoiceThread.

  • In this free lesson you will learn the essential skills you need to master the e-learning tool that is Wikispaces Classroom.

  • This neat little video looks at how the brain works, how we learn, and why we sometimes make stupid mistakes – because thinking is actually uncomfortable. Take a look: The uncomfortable effort of thinking.




What’s on?

Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including the 3rd International Conference on Studies in Law, Education, Business and Corporate Social Responsibilities (LEBCSR-17) taking place in Paris on April 27th 2017.

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

Nāku iti nei, faafetai lava, and warm regards


Charlotte Caines
Community Coordinator
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

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: