Virtual School Meanderings

January 13, 2017

FLANZ Newsletter December 2016

One for my Kiwi readers…

FLANZ Newsletter January 2017
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January 2017

FLANZ Newsletter

2018 FLANZ Conference Announcement

Massey University will host the 2018 FLANZ Conference at the beautiful Manawatu Campus in Palmerston North.

Dates for the Diary

The Conference will be held from Monday 9 April to Wednesday 11 April 2018.

The Conference Convenors are Duncan O’Hara, Andrew Jamieson, and Heather Lamond. Those of you who have been to past FLANZ Conferences will have met one or more of these three at some stage. It’s a good team, and the Conference will undoubtedly meet the high standards of previous FLANZ Conferences.

Set aside the dates NOW!

The Education (Update) Amendment Bill – an Update

From our last Newsletter you will remember that this is the Bill that will enable (amongst other things) the development of Communities of Online Learning (CoOLs) in the compulsory school sector. Submissions about this Bill closed on November 11.

Communities of Online Learning (CoOL)
Part of the Bill proposes a legislative framework for online learning, acknowledging that students will access their education through online delivery, with providers from the schooling, tertiary education and private sectors.


FLANZ members were invited to contribute to a FLANZ submission. Overseas academics Gary Miron and Michael Barbour made submissions to the Select Committee as well.
To hear what the overseas people thought about CoOLs you can go online to the Radio New Zealand site and check out an interview. Go to:

JOFDL – 2016 Conference issue,

This special issue highlights think pieces from the three keynote speakers and five additional papers linked with the conference theme “There and back: Charting flexible pathways in open, mobile and distance education”.
Note that Conference papers and videos of key sessions can be found at

I hate to make a choice between the papers… my suggestion, start with the excellent Editorial for an overview…

Find the issue here: JOFDL

Add a little GLOBAL perspective to your Internet knowledge

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – the UN ICT agency –
has published an easy-to-read-and-understand report about access to and use of ICT broadband services world-wide. Find it here:

ICT Facts and Figures 2016

A few highlights:
53% of the world’s population is NOT using the Internet.
The global Internet user gender gap has grown from 11% to 12% from 2013 to 2016.
In LDCs, fixed-broadband services are on average more than three times as expensive as mobile-broadband services

ICDE Presidents’ Summit 2016

 Summit participants

The 2016 ICDE Presidents’ Summit focussed on helping ODL leaders come to terms with “A New Era of Leadership and Quality”. New Zealand participants included FLANZ President Dr Sarah Stein, Dr Stephen Marshall (VUW) and Dr Caroline Seelig (Chief Executive, Open Polytechnic) [two of them are in the photo].

Three Pillars of Educational Technology

Dr Terry Anderson has spoken at previous FLANZ conferences. We’ve always appreciated his expertise, clarity and thoughtfulness. He’s recently written a series of 3 brief articles entitled “Three Pillars of Educational Technology”. Although aimed at post-secondary teachers, they are useful for anyone teaching online.

Dr Terry Anderson

Find the articles here

Article Briefs for Educators in Schools
(and those involved in teacher education)

Teaching Reading

This article is an interesting look at how some (US) teachers are approaching the task of incorporating digital material into their teaching of reading.

You’ll have to get past a couple of pop-ups to read this, but it’s probably worth it.

Touchscreens in Classrooms

What’s the best way to use a touchscreen to support collaborative learning in the classroom?Researchers in Denmark looked at how students and their teachers used touchscreens. They focussed on how students collaborated and how teachers designed and guided such collaboration.

Teacher preparation for teaching online

Quite relevant given CoOLs! This is a review of what is known about preparing teachers to teach online. True, it’s largely based on the US experience, but there could be useful lessons here.

(No) Question (this) Time.
Instead …
We want to thank all FLANZ members for their support through 2016, and wish you well for 2017. Have a good break, come back refreshed, and ready to continue your excellent work for all those learners engaged in Open, Flexible and Distance Learning settings.

Hope you had a very merry Christmas
and wish you all a
happy new year
Contact  FLANZ at or visit the FLANZ website 

You are receiving this email as you are a member of FLANZ. To unsubscribe please use the unsubscribe link below.

Our mailing address is:


c/o Kalina Vladinova-Aylor (Admin)

Open Polytechnic, 5040

New Zealand

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November 21, 2016

Article Notice – Keynote: FarNet Ten Years on—The Past, Present, and Future for Distance Learners

This past Friday I posted [JOFDL] New Notification From Open Journals On Ako Aotearoa.  Contained in that entry was this particular K-12 focused article:


Carolyn Alexander-Bennett


This think piece by Carolyn Alexander-Bennett is a reflection of her keynote speech at DEANZ2016 conference, which was held from 17–20th April at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. In her speech Carolyn revisits the issues, developments, and technology trends that led to the birth of FarNet (an online cluster of schools catering for the teaching and learning needs of rural secondary schools located in the Far North of New Zealand). FarNet eventually became part of the wider New Zealand Virtual Learning Network Community (NZVLNC). Adopting a strong Māori cultural underpinning in her role as e-principal of FarNet and a founding member of the NZVLNC, Carolyn describes current developments in FarNet and how the work at FarNet is informed by two key perspectives—Davis’s (2013) ‘arena of change’ and Fullan’s (2015) New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL). She then outlines the opportunities and challenges offered through online and digital technologies to support teachers and learners in FarNet and the VLNC, and encourages the wider educational community to partner in their work to ensure the equity and success of future online school students.


online learning; Virtual Schooling; VLNC; distance education; e-learning



November 20, 2016

Announcement About The 2018FLANZ Conference

Something to begin the week for my Kiwi colleagues…

2018FLANZ Conference
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June 2016

Announcement about the 2018FLANZ Conference

The Executive Committee of the Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ) is pleased to announce the dates of the next FLANZ  conference! Organisation is already well under way!

Date: 9 April to 11 April 2018.
Location: Palmerston North
Convenors: Duncan O’Hara, Andrew Jamieson, Heather Lamond from Massey University

Mark the date in your diary!

Keep an eye open for regular updates about conference details. We hope to see you in Palmerston North in April 2018!

Contact  Flexible Learning Association of NZ at or visit the FLANZ website 

You are receiving this email as you are a member of FLANZ. To unsubscribe please use the unsubscribe link below.

Our mailing address is:


c/o Kalina Vladinova-Aylor (Admin)

Open Polytechnic, 5040

New Zealand

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This email was sent to
FLEXIBLE LEARNING NZ · c/o Kalina Vladinova-Aylor (Admin) · Open Polytechnic, 5040 · New Zealand

November 18, 2016

[JOFDL] New Notification From Open Journals On Ako Aotearoa

This showed up in my inbox overnight…  Note the article from Carolyn Alexander-Bennett, which has a K-12 focus.

Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning
You have a new notification from Open Journals on Ako Aotearoa:

An issue has been published.


October 30, 2016

The Education (Update) Amendment Bill

One for my Kiwi colleagues…

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Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand logo

Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand

The Education (Update) Amendment Bill by Bill Anderson

Parliament, the Beehive & Bowen House
Parliament, the Beehive & Bowen House— Wikipedia

Not exactly a riveting title, but what it entails has got people excited for a range of reasons. The thinking behind the Bill has been “to consider how a legislative framework can place learners at the centre of the education system, providing an enduring vision of success for all young New Zealanders…”. Read more

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Attribution-ShareAlike (by-sa)  Some rights reserved, Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand, 2016

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