Virtual School Meanderings

July 16, 2015

VLN Primary School – New Learning Opportunities Semester 2

One for my Kiwi readers…

VLN Primary School 
New Online Learning Opportunities Semester 2
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VLN Primary School
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New Learning Opportunities for #connectedlearners

We have a few new classes and projects starting up for the second half of this year and welcome students’ participation. We would love for you to give your children access to these opportunities to participate in learning that may be of special interest or importance to them and their whanau, and that will also help them grow as digitally literate, independent self-managing learners.

This newsletter showcases Te Reo Māori Kuki Airani, Kiwi-skool bied nou Afrikaanse and Korean Inquiry.

Mandarin Class

Classes will be scheduled weekly in our Adobe Connect Virtual Classroom (times to be advised). Afrikaans will be running after school at 3.30 (day to be confirmed). The Korean Inquiry will not have scheduled weekly times but will be facilitated mainly through our online environment, with occasional real time skype connections.
Students will be expected to spend some time in self-study & practice, schools & whanau will need to help them out with developing these self management skills. Here is more information about Connecting to your Virtual Class. Check out our Protocols for Participation that outline costs of participation.

Te Reo Māori Kuki Airani
Cook Islands Te Reo.

Big thanks to Junior Pauka from Mangere Central School who will be teaching our children this term. This class is suitable for students with little or no te reo, and for students who are NZ or Cook Island students. Our main student group is between Years 6 – 8, but older students are welcome, as are younger, although younger students will need more learning support in their home schools.


Korean Inquiry – Asia Our Closest Neighbour

Have you ever thought about who New Zealand’s closest neighbour is?
Do you want to learn about Asia today and possibilities for our futures?
This is an inquiry unit designed for students in Years 4-8. We will be inquiring into Asia, using a Korean Context. Students can join as a whole class with the support of their classroom teacher or individually and in small groups. This programme is developed and facilitated by Nicki Fielder from Apiti School. Nicki visited Korea last year with an Asia New Zealand study trip.
More information here.


Afrikaans After School

This class is being provided by Mevrou Annatjie Fourie, Principal of Ohura Valley Primary School as her contribution to the VLN Primary School. Not only does this provide our students with new learning opportunities but enables Annatjie to teach in an area she is passionate about. Classes will be aimed at the beginning language learner and can then be tailored to suit the varying needs of the children. This class is suitable for NZ students with an interest in Afrikaans, and who want to be able to speak with their friends and neighbours. As well as language learning support for SANs children in NZ.


Other Learning Opportunities

We still have some room to include children in these classes:

  • Te Reo Māori
  • Mandarin
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Extension Maths
  • Programming & Computer Science.
Most classes are available for small groups of children or individuals, some are suitable also for whole class participation with the support of the classroom teacher. We aim to be as flexible as we can to the needs of our schools and students so please discuss with us what will work best for you.
Think about the students in your schools that would benefit from joining in with this class and help them participate!
Home schooled children welcome also.Make enrolments here,
or further queries to Ginette. ginette.vp@vln.school.nz 

Thanks to our supporters:

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http://primary.vln.school.nzCreative Commons License
2015 VLN Primary School.

You are receiving this email through your association with the VLN Primary School.

Our mailing address is:

VLN Primary School

10 Clem Elliott Drive
R D 4

Matata,Bay of Plenty3194

New Zealand

Add us to your address book

Please note that I am a member of the Governance Group for this e-learning cluster.

July 15, 2015

Re-Post: We Are Recruiting eTeachers Now – Check It Out!

One for my Kiwi readers – although I do believe that if you wanted to play time zone hopscotch, others could be considered…

Shout out to prospective eTeachers – put up your hand!

We are seeking new eteachers to train to work with our students. Preference will be given to NZ registered teachers, and those with elearning skills and experience. However if you have a strong interest, knowledge and skills of the types of programmes we want to offer our students please register your interest.eTeaching is highly flexible, challenging, and rewarding. Teachers can be contributed by their employing school in return for their students participation; or be contracted by the VLN Primary for their time. We have some part time positions for Asian Language teachers. This would be suitable for teachers who are teaching part time or are out of school with a young family, or semi-retired.We are specifically seeking teachers for: Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesian, French, Spanish, Maths, Literacy and Science.

Please note that I am a member of the Governance Group for this e-learning cluster.

June 11, 2015

VLN Primary School – Term 2 June Update

One for my Kiwi readers…

VLN Primary School 
Term Two Update June 2015
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VLN Primary School
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Kia ora koutou

Thanks for reading our VLN Primary School newsletters. Our goal is to:
 Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes.
In this newsletter we update you with a great story of online meets face to face at Orewa Estuary Arts Centre, share the excitement about the VLN Primary School supporting Asian Languages learning in NZ, make a call for enrolments for Second semester online programmes & projects, introduce two new members of our Governance team and congratulate two of our wonderful eTeachers. Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and follow us on our social media channels – we just can’t fit all the good news in here!


15 Schools, 300 Students, 1200 Photos!

It is always such an amazing feeling being able to meet face to face with friends who you have learned with online. This was especially so with the opening of the My Story, Your Story, Our Story  exhibition at Orewa Estuary Arts Centre on the weekend. Students, teachers and parents gave up their weekend, traveled many miles, took ferries, flights and vans to meet in Orewa and be with the amazing Theressa Butler from Ahuroa School at the opening of their Photography exhibition. Great to see students from Kaitoke & Mulberry Grove Schools, from Great Barrier; Kaikohe West, Hobsinville Point and Ahuroa Schools; and teachers from Devonport and Moanataiari Schools. The exhibition runs for the month – if you are in Auckland and the Upper North, make an effort and check it out. The childrens’ work is a delight to view – emerging themes of family, friends, nature and animals ran throughout the images. Follow our twitter, facebook feeds for more pictures & video to come. It has been a wonderful learning journey for Theressa’s students from all of our schools and we are all really looking forward to the next project!


ALLiS Funding Application Successful!

We are so excited that our application to the MoE for Asian Languages Learning in Schools has been accepted. This means that we will be able to step up our work in this area, improve our resourcing and online language learning models, build capability in our teachers in learning languages and future focused pedagogies. We hope to make a significant impact in the learning of Asian Languages not only for the VLN Primary Schools who have signed up with us to this contract but to all schools around NZ who will be able to join with us. The graphic below gives a very basic overview of how we plan to develop programmes for Mandarin, Korean, Japanese & Bahasa Indonesian. Thanks to our supporting schools who have enabled us to move forward in this area – Mangere Central, Matapu, Moanataiari, Paparimu, Rangiwaea, Halfmoon Bay, Puterino, Oakura, Makuri, Marco and Apiti.
 
Check out the latest news on the Confucius Institute, Auckland site about our Mandarin class ‘Virtual Learning a Hit for Auckland School’s Mandarin Class’; and listen to Jen Vincent (Marco School, Principal) talk about Learning Mandarin in a small Taranaki country school.
Get your Enrolments in for Semester Two Classes:
There are lots of great learning opportunities coming up for you and your students to participate in. Check them out below:

Language Classes – te Reo Māori, Mandarin, French, Spanish, German, Afrikaans – students are welcome to participate in any of these classes. Check out our recorded Taster Class session to see how our online classes work (this is designed as an induction for students). If you want to introduce learning languages in your classroom or school, this is a great way to start. We invite interest from schools for individual students, small groups or whole class participation.

ASIA – Our Closest Neighbour 
Have you ever thought about who New Zealand’s closest neighbour is?
Do you want to learn about Asia today and possibilities for our futures?
This is an inquiry unit designed for students in year 4-8. We will be inquiring into Asia, using a Korean Context. Click here for full details. eTeacher, Nicki Fielder, Apiti School, has recently participated in anAsiaNZ Korean Studies Workshop in Korea.

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming with Scratch
A fun introduction to computing with opportunities to practice problem solving and technological modelling skills through the creation of interactive animations, stories and games. Follow this link for more information. 

We would also love to offer Japanese, Astronomy, Science, Cook Islands Māori & Korean but need more eTeachers – if you are interested in training to be an eTeacher (or know someone who does please register your interest here)

VLN Primary School activities – online classes and projects are open for all NZ schools to participate. Please read our Protocols of Participation for specific details on how to participate and what costs are involved. All schools wishing to register for online programmes should do so on this online form. For expressions of interest or queries please Contact Ginette. 

Welcome to new Governance Group Members:

Wayne Howes – Moanataiari School

Wayne has over 30 years experience as a primary teacher with a strong background in supporting classroom teaching through the use of technologies. He is a graduate of Wintec’s Information Technologies in Education Diploma programme and Waikato University’s eEducation Diploma. Wayne has held leadership roles in ICTPD clusters in the Thames, Coromandel area and was Co-Director of the Kopu Digital Opportunities Contract.

Wayne lived in Asia for 7 years, and traveled and taught English in Singapore and Malaysia. He returned to classroom teaching at Moanataiari Primary School in Thames in 2014. Wayne says, “I have taken the opportunity to involve my students in VLN Primary lessons to provide learning experiences that they would not receive in any classroom at our school . I can see great potential for this form of teaching and learning and would like to apply my skills to helping with the success of VLN in Primary Schools.”


Michael K. Barbour

Michael K. Barbour is the Director of Doctoral Studies for the Isabelle Farrington College of Education and an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. He has been involved with K-12 online learning for almost two decades as a researcher, evaluator, teacher, course designer and administrator. His research has focused on the effective design, delivery and support of K-12 online learning, particularly for students located in rural jurisdictions. Recently, Dr. Barbour’s focus has shifted to policy related to effective online learning environments.

In 2014 Dr. Barbour was named as a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), an organization that is influential with policymakers on the national and international level.  He was also named an Honorary Lifetime Member and Board Member of the Canadian E-Learning Network (an organization devoted to K-12 online and blended learning in Canada). Dr. Barbour’s expertise in K-12 distance education has resulted in invitations to testify before House and Senate committees in several states, as well as consulting for Ministries of Education across Canada and in New Zealand.
Michael’s New Zealand publications are Virtual Education as an Impetus for Educational Change’ 2013 (with Derek Wenmoth); and ‘Primary and Secondary e-Learning: Examining the Process of Achieving Maturity’ 2011 (supported by DEANZ).

Congratulations To:
Ngā mihi nui me te aroha nui Nan Peeti, who is now Dr. Peetikuia Wainui!
Peeti graduated from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi earlier in May with a Doctorate in Nursing Studies. Her focus of study was breast cancer in Māori women. Tūmeke Kau mai te wehi, this is a great achievement!

Dandan, one of our 2014 Mandarin Language Assistants received an award from Hanban University, China, for her Excellence in Volunteering for her work with the Confucius Institute. This is quite an achievement for Dandan to stand out from so many others so we are very proud of her. Dandan said about her work with the VLN Primary School last year: “It was a challenge in the beginning and a gift in the end.”
Ngā mihi nui
nā 

Thanks to our supporters:

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http://primary.vln.school.nz

Creative Commons License
2015 VLN Primary School.

You are receiving this email through your association with the VLN Primary School.

Our mailing address is:

VLN Primary School

10 Clem Elliott Drive
R D 4

Matata,Bay of Plenty3194

New Zealand

Add us to your address book

Please note that I am a member of the Governance Group for this e-learning cluster.

June 2, 2015

Article – Technology A Vital Learning Tool For Isolated Halfmoon Bay School

Another one for my Kiwi readers…

TECHNOLOGY PUBLISHED 22 MAY 2015

Technology a vital learning tool for isolated Halfmoon Bay School


Technology is a vital tool for the 24 students at Halfmoon Bay School on the very remote and isolated Stewart Island.


Without it they would miss out on many opportunities children in larger schools receive.

Halfmoon Bay School recently gained exposure when Prince Harry visited on his trip to New Zealand’s third largest island.

It has two classrooms – one for the junior students (aged five to seven) and the other for the seniors (aged eight to 13), one part-time and two fulltime teachers  including principal Kath Johnson, who is also “it” when it comes to IT and technology.

“There are not many technicians on Stewart Island, so I’m it and I’m no computer geek,” Johnson quips.

From Stewart Island originally, Johnson found her way back to the small community unexpectedly after 17 years teaching away in other parts of NZ.

Johnson has been involved in education for 25 years and this year is her eighth year as principal of Halfmoon Bay School, where she is in charge of teaching the 16 senior students.

To continue reading…

Please note that I am a member of the Governance Group for this e-learning cluster.

May 26, 2015

VLN Primary School – Term 2 May Update

One for my Kiwi readers…

VLN Primary School 
Term Two May Update 2015
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VLN Primary School
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Kia ora koutou

Thanks for reading our VLN Primary School newsletters. Our goal is to:
 Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes.
In this newsletter we update you on our recent AGM, talk about our small rural schools, share the buzz on Prince Harry’s recent NZ visit, give you a heads up on whats coming up and a shout out for teachers to join us in teaching online.
“Children will learn from many people and places and not just the teacher in their own classroom or school. We need to look for more community involvement supporting learning and sharing of expert teachers across schools; more opportunities for tuakana/teina and students leading learning; more global education, where our children learn from others and develop cultural understandings. Children will access personalised learning pathways – learning what they want, with who they want, when they want to. Your role as their home school teachers will be to make sure they have sound foundation skills in place (literacy, numeracy, key competencies) to enable them to excel in their learning and to help them navigate and access a wider world of learning. This is my vision for a future of learning.”

ePrincipal Report AGM
Thanks to all who attended our recent AGM. The VLN Primary School operates as a Charitable Trust; the support of our participating schools, partner organisations and ‘champions’ from across the educational and elearning sector enables us to keep operating and extend the learning options for all our children. Special thanks to Rick Whalley (Core Education) and Lorraine Makutu (Mangere Central School) who have stepped down from their trusteeship roles and welcome to new trustees Wayne Howes (Moanataiari School) and Dr. Michael Barbour (Conneticut, USA). We will introduce them in our next newsletter. Big thanks to Geoff Wood (Rosmini College) who has stepped up to take on the Chairperson role in the Governance Group; and Kath Johnson (Halfmoon Bay School) and Jarad Chittenden (Matapu School) continue as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

The Governance Group has a big task ahead to review our strategic directions and to continue to work for sustainable resourcing – as of December 2015 the VLN Primary School has no continued funding from the Ministry of Education. For more information read the AGM reports from the Chairperson andePrincipal.

How exciting to have Prince Harry visiting Halfmoon Bay School and ask specifically to see an online class in action. Harry joined German class, taught by Stephanie Michel from Kaimata in Taranaki and with students from Stewart Island as well as Orere School and Kaponga School. The students, and staff of the participating schools were very surprised and excited to hear of their visitor when they arrived at school.The students all greeted Harry in German and he was asked whether he knew any German. He replied that he can’t speak German, that he had learnt French at school but had forgotten most of it and that he would love to learn Spanish. Harry stayed for 10 minutes chatting to students before he had to leave to join with the activities planned for him at Halfmoon Bay School.
Check out Kath’s Storify – a collection of great images and stories about Prince Harry’s visit.

Rural and Remote Schools Project Presents

Well done to Kath Johnson (Halfmoon Bay), Keryl Lee (Makuri) & Jen Vincent (Marco) who presented alongside Rachel (in the picture below, left to right) at the recent Sole Charge & Teaching Principals’ Conference in Havelock North. You can view their presentation here.

Rural & Remote Project Principals

Principals from the Rural & Remote Schools Projects were able to meet face to face and discussthe Camp to Wellington coming up in November. Principals at conference were invited to share information about their Y7/8 numbers with a view to starting up a new cohort in this Project – watch this space. NZPF President Denise Torrey, who was speaking at conference, describes our Rural Principals as the ‘rural backbone’ of the profession. Principals in turn expressed the unique concerns of rural schools particularly around staffing and access to resourcing to support collaborative initiatives between their geographically distributed schools. NZPF has promised to follow up and advocate around the concerns of our sole charge and small rural schools.
Heads Up for Next Semester, Starting Term 3.

Now is the time for schools who have been considering their participation to make contact and prepare their students for Semester Two learning opportunities. Check out our recorded Taster Class session to see how our online classes work.  To book a taster class session, expressions of interest or queries please Contact Ginette. 

The following learning opportunities are available next term, with more confirmed classes and calls for enrolments invited in our next newsletter.
Language Classes – te Reo Māori, Mandarin, French, Spanish, German, Afrikaans – students are welcome to participate in any of these classes.  If you want to introduce learning languages in your classroom or school, this is a great way to start. We invite interest from schools for individual students, small groups or whole class participation.

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming with Scratch
A fun introduction to computing with opportunities to practice problem solving and technological modelling skills through the creation of interactive animations, stories and games. Follow this link for more information. 

VLN Primary School activities – online classes and projects are open for all NZ schools to participate. Please read our Protocols of Participation for specific details on how to participate and what costs are involved.

Shout Out to prospective new eTeachers –  put up your Hand!

eTeacher Shout Out

We are seeking new eteachers to train to work with our students. Preference will be given to NZ registered teachers, and those with elearning skills and experience. However if you have a strong interest, knowledge and skills of the types of programmes we want to offer our student PLZ make contact with Rachel. eTeaching is highly flexible, challenging, and rewarding. Teachers can be contributed by their employing school in return for their students participation; or be contracted by the VLN Primary for their time. This would be suitable for teachers who are teaching part time or are out of school with a young family, or semi-retired.
We are specifically seeking teachers for: Te Reo Māori Kuki Airani, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, French, Spanish, Maths, Science, and Astronomy.

Keep an eye out for our next newsletter which will have news on our Asian Languages Project, profiles of our new trustees, new online programmes and a call for participation. Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and school communities.

Ngā mihi nui
nā 

Thanks to our supporters:

Share
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+1
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http://primary.vln.school.nz

Creative Commons License
2015 VLN Primary School.

You are receiving this email through your association with the VLN Primary School.

Our mailing address is:

VLN Primary School

10 Clem Elliott Drive
R D 4

Matata,Bay of Plenty3194

New Zealand

Add us to your address book

Please note that I am a member of the Governance Group for this e-learning cluster.

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