Virtual School Meanderings

November 22, 2017

VLN Primary Online Programmes 2018

One for my Kiwi readers.

Registrations are invited from schools wishing to participate in the VLN Primary School in 2018.

There are a wide range of online language programmes, in addition – extension maths, astronomy, visual arts, computer programming, health and Over the Back Fence Project.

Our online classes & projects are open to any NZ children to participate. Here you will find information on our learning programmes, our eTeachers and the technology that we use.

All NZ children are welcome to learn with the VLN Primary – Nau Mai, Haere Mai!
Enrol VLN Primary 2018

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

November 21, 2017

November Update

One for my Kiwi readers.

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VLN Primary School logo VLN Primary School
November Update
Rural kids wellington school trip jun 2017
Rural kids wellington school trip jun 2017
2018 Semester One Enrolments Now Open by VLN Primary School
Do you want your students to be #connectedlearners, lead their own learning and build key competencies?  Do you want to share in the expertise of a growing collaborative network of schools?   Read more
Kia ora koutou katoa

Naumai, haere mai ki te Kura Tuatahi – Akonga Aka Mariko. Welcome to the VLN Primary School

Our goal is to:

Create Connected, Passionate, Purposeful Learners

A super busy time in schools right now I know! But make sure you check into this newsletter to find out what opportunities there are for your students to participate in online learning in 2018. Get your enrolments in early to enable us enough time to prepare our teachers and timetables.  We will be adding more programmes and will let you know as they become available.

If you are thinking about joining the VLN Primary for the first time contact us for a taster session for you and your children. This short online session introduces you to our  online environment so you can have an idea of what is involved in our programmes & decide how you would like to participate.

In this newsletter we share the excitement of our recent Korean Cultural day – thanks to Kiwitea School for hosting our schools and Asia NZ for their support.

We also share information on a range of interesting and valuable PLD experiences for you or your staff – Korean principal’s study tour, Science teaching leadership and FLANZ digital technologies in education Mini conference. Finally consider how you can develop a Global Citizenship education project. We would love to partner with any schools who want support to help their ideas go further.

Ngā mihi nui



Kiwitea Students Korean Cultural Day Nov 2017, Sunny Yang VLNP teacher
VLN Primary Korean Day enriches students’ cultural diversity

Students learning Korean with the VLN Primary and students from Kiwitea School recently enjoyed a Korean Cultural Day to expand their knowledge of the culture. Students experienced a variety of traditional events, such as games, fan making, calligraphy, playing instruments and savouring Korean foods. Read more

Geoff Wood visits Korean Schools
Korean Study Tour 2018

The Korean Education Centre are hosting Principals and Senior staff to visit Korean schools and educational organisations between 14~21 April 2018Apply now to meet the Nov 28 deadline.Read more

Sea Lion Selfie @ Purakaunui
Science Teaching Leadership Opportunity

Kath, Principal of Halfmoon Bay is having an awesome time on the Science Teaching Leadership Programme. Read about her experience and find out how you can participate in this amazing opportunity. Read more

FLANZ18 Conference
Inception to Infinity – Places, Spaces and Time for Learning

FLANZ – Flexible Learning NZ – Mini Conference. Calling all teachers who are interested in the ways in which digital technologies are changing the face of education! Join us for an evening of inspiring talk on the changing face of learning and teaching with a panel of internationally renowned exerts.   Read more

Global Citizenship Education Projects 

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is offering awards for Global Citizenship Education activities. Read more

  Explore the full publication  
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Attribution-ShareAlike (by-sa)   Some rights reserved, VLN Primary School, 2017

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

November 16, 2017

4 Reasons Why Online PD Could Be Right For You

One for my Kiwi readers.

Book your 2018 online programme or workshop by 30 Nov & you’re in the draw to win back the course fees!
CORE Online Programmes/Workshops
Kia ora Michael

When considering professional learning opportunities for 2018, it can be difficult to know which approach is right for you. Classroom teaching, paperwork and planning can leave little time to commit to your own professional development, so it must be relevant, engaging and practical.

At CORE Education, we have a number of online workshops and programmesavailable in 2018, to support you and take your learning to the next level.

So why choose online?

Online PD is FOCUSED

Online learning provides an opportunity to explore relevant topics using a mix of rich material and up-to-date research, designed to meet the needs of individuals, teams, whole schools and Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.


With online learning, you have the opportunity to put theory into practice and make immediate, meaningful change into your day-to-day practice.


You set the pace with online learning to create your own journey, applied to your own context. While there may be set timeframes for some tasks, the rest is up to you with resources accessible anytime, anywhere.


Online learning allows you to connect and engage with fellow educators from around New Zealand to share your own knowledge and experiences via webinars and online forums. We also provide an option to continue discussions after the course has ended through edSpace, an online network for educators.
Enrol and WIN!
Great news…we have one free 2018 Online Programme or Workshop up for grabs!

Register before the end of the month and you could win back your course fees! 

NB: All currently enrolled attendees are already in the draw. 
Winners will be drawn 1/12/2017 and notified directly.
Check out a sample of our 2018 offerings.
Browse all Online Programmes and Workshops by clicking HERE or the links below.

2018 Online Programmes

Our online programmes range in duration from 5-20 weeks, covering topics such as innovative learning, te reo Māori, culturally responsive practice, digital technologies, mentoring, and middle leadership.
Innovative learning practice
Innovative learning practice

12 Feb | 7 May | 30 Jul
20 week course
$830 +GST

Integrating digital technologies into classroom practice
Integrating digital technologies into classroom practice
12 Feb | 23 Jul
10 week course
$485 +GST
View more programmes >

2018 Online Workshops

CORE’s online workshops run after school hours, from 3.30pm – 5.00pm, and offer a snapshot on a variety of topics including digital citizenship, using Apple and Google programmes and devices, play-based learning, and making PLD applications.
Using Seesaw to enhance home school partnerships
Using Seesaw to enhance home school partnerships
22 Feb
$99 +GST
Making a PLD application
Making a PLD application

1 Mar | 30 May | 22 Aug | 14 Nov

View more workshops >
Copyright © 2017 CORE Education, All rights reserved.
You have received this newsletter because you have attended one of our events and were happy for us to update you on future CORE events, subscribed to our newsletters at, registered with LEARNZ virtual field trips at, registered with Connected Educator NZ at, or registered with EDtalks at

Our mailing address is:

November 14, 2017

Join Our FLANZ Membership Site Now

One for my Kiwi readers.

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Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand logo Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand
Join our FLANZ membership site now
by Flexible Learning NZ
With FLANZ18 conference coming up & registrations rolling in, it is a timely reminder to make sure your FLANZ membership is up to date.  Read more

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November 5, 2017

Your Ethos Community Newsletter For October

Another one for my Kiwi readers.

Your newsletter from the Ethos Online Community – October 2017


Kia ora, talofa lava, and greetings,


It may only be the beginning of November, but it feels like the silly season is well and truly upon us. There are already events galore and the mad-dash to get an insane amount of work done before the break has really kicked off.


The next two months are inevitably set to get increasingly chaotic. Luckily, John S Oliver has supplied a myriad of videos on retaining information. I have a sinking feeling that these will be well-needed in the build up to Christmas.


In amongst the madness, don’t forget the importance of taking some time for yourself. It’s all too easy to forget that your own health and wellbeing should be priority one. Joanna Wheway shares a survey that makes this even more poignant. In Principal Wellbeing Joanna links us to the survey, revealing the high stress levels principals are under. I fear this is a trend that leaks into many professions nowadays. While a certain amount of stress can be good, we all need to remember how to achieve balance and not burn ourselves out, particularly at this end of the year.


Try your best to make sure you are getting some value and enjoyment from your work too (not just stress!). This month Rick Whalley posts about a process he undertook to ensure that his own values aligned with that of his work; Investigating my values and how they influence my work. These kind of activities can aid you both professionally and personally, helping you perform better and feel more in sync with the work you’re doing.


So, embrace the chaos that is bound to ensue in the remaining months of 2017, but ensure you’re looking after yourself and doing all you need to be happy and healthy. Hopefully, there is at least an abundance of food, drink and good times with friends that come with end of year celebrations – so take advantage of these silver linings between getting all your work done. Let’s all keep in mind that end of year break and (hopefully) sunshine (in some parts of the world) to motivate us through!


Welcome to new members – October

The Ethos Online Community now has 448 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to the new members to the community:

  • Ellie Summers, a Graphic Designer based in London. Ellie hopes Ethos and ICT enhanced learning and technology can help her share knowledge with the world

  • Another London-dweller, Website Media Manager,  Peter S joins us also. Peter would like to help people of all ages learn how to use the internet better and in a more secure way


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.

  • Want to be equally disgusted and fascinated? Well then this is the post for you! Ellie Summers shares with us a fabulously off-putting infographic spelling out 20 gross and gruesome facts about the human body. A good one to both entertain and educate.

  • Peter S cements his passion for aiding safe and effective internet use by posting this great internet safety guide: Internet safety for kids and teens. This is a topic that is always relevant, particularly with the ever-morphing face of technology. This guide should help guardians and teachers keep up with new technologies and know how to both protect younger internet users, and support them to become more savvy.

  • Recruitment and retention is generally a priority for most businesses. It certainly is for John Owen and his growing business. When considering the right employee value proposition, John knew that, just like the other elements of his company, he wanted to try something a little new and different. One of the things John’s company, Cyma, offers to employees is coaching. However, while most companies offer this only to senior staff, Cyma have decided to open this up to all staff – the thinking being that if senior staff members find it beneficial, why wouldn’t everyone!? The result has been fantastic, with a great deal of positive feedback received. John explains more about their method, reasoning and results in Coaching for everyone, not just leadership.

  • Joanna Wheway writes about an interesting (and terrifying) survey revealing the stress levels of school principals. And it’s not looking good. Luckily the author, Dr Phil Riley, also has some tips on how to reduce said stress. Joanna also links us to another great website with guides on how to survive a stressful environment. You can find all the info here: Principal Wellbeing. Remember to get some R&R and always put your health and wellbeing first.

  • Investigating my values and how they influence my work from Rick Whalley looks at the process of aligning personal values with that of your work. This process aims to help you ‘find yourself in your work.’ The process saw Rick identifying the values that were most important to him and then cross referencing them to the values his education organisation associates with. There was then a hard process of elimination to really get down to the values that were most important to Rick. In his post Rick talks us through this process, his values and also how this then goes on to influence Rick’s work and have a bigger impact.

  • The transition to secondary school is always a big one. This becomes even more daunting for those with learning disabilities or who need extra support in making big, impactful decisions. Lorraine Vickery decided to use the MAPS tool to help her year 9 students and their support groups make difficult decisions throughout this transition that could ultimately affect their place in society. This tool looks to help individuals with disabilities who are at risk of being isolated, left out of mainstream life, to realise their future goals and make plans to achieve their goals. Lorraine talks more in depth about the process and the results in her posts: Students being able to determine their own learning program, Preparation for the MAPS process and “All I want is a Good Life”.


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:

  • Acknowledging that change needs to be made is easy, but actually knowing how to implement this is another (more challenging) story. Joanna Wheway ponders on how one goes about finding the path to change once in a position to make change.

  • You may have seen the recent post What does business look like when driven and funded by women? Well, SheEO is now active in Aotearoa New Zealand, and if you have a business idea you now have the opportunity to apply for one of the low-interest loans, while being supported by an experienced community of women. A super exciting chance to get your business underway, I’d highly recommend you jump in and apply.

  • What sets apart good leaders from great leaders? Is it political savvy and the ability to maneuver their way to the top? Is it the number of connections they have? Is it their ability to speak well and motivate people?While all these things may be helpful to varying degrees, leadership goes much deeper than that, to the very core of a who a person is. Here are five traits that truly set apart great leaders from the rest of the pack: 5 traits of leadership that will set you apart.

  • Meeting the needs of culturally diverse clients by enhancing employee cultural understandings looks at how coaching, with its focus on listening, questioning, and exploration of self, especially values and beliefs, can be a highly effective way to develop understanding of a range of cultures. This in turn can have a hugely positive influence of a person’s ability to communicate in different manners and form relationships. This post analyses how this can help with short- and long-term business development, especially around decision-making, planning and operations

  • Online courses are an amazing resource, but the questions is ‘how do you make them sticky’? How do you help participants, after they have started your course, remain engaged and motivated? Hazel  shares her Top 10 tips for online course design, all taken from either her own work with clients to add them to their course design, or experiences in other courses


Recommended videos

From the ever growing repository of videos (1,523 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.



  • You may be familiar with the amazing work done by Adam Fletcher around student voice, and his keen interest in personal engagement in education for K-12 students, as well as adult learners. Well, we were very excited when Adam dropped us a line sharing his new book called Student Voice Revolution: The Meaningful Student Involvement Handbook. He writes that “clocking in at 374 pages, it’s packed with research, examples, tools and more to help districts [regions], schools and individual teachers take steps forward to fully embrace Meaningful Student Involvement. There are exciting graphics, engaging stories and powerful citations throughout the book, too”. Find out more here.

  • Are you looking for a short, online course to study…and that is, even better, free? Open2Study has an interesting variety of courses from which to choose. Take a look at the options – Free, short, online courses available for you

  • This is a great little site that looks to link qualified freelancers and companies (free of charge too!). The resource, Hubstaff Talent, has build a directory of tried and tested trustworthy freelance workers


What’s on?

Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including the ASCILITE 2017: 34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education taking place on December 4th in Queensland, Australia.

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

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