Virtual School Meanderings

May 24, 2023

Want to use more te reo Māori in your mahi?

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 8:12 pm
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An item for my Kiwi readers.

Introducing Te Reo Manahua Māori

Kia ora Michael

Learning te reo Māori is an important step for educators to foster inclusive learning environments and honour the Māori language and culture in their classrooms. Te Reo Manahua Māori online programme offers a valuable opportunity to enhance pronunciation, acquire practical phrases, and apply them in your daily interactions.
Learn more
Course information

Dates:  26 July – 23 August 2023
Times:  Weekly webinars on Wednesdays 3:30–4:15 pm
Costs:  $345 plus GST per person

Programme format, modules and webinars
Te Reo Manahua Māori takes place over five weeks with the following modules:

Ngā tohutohu | Instructions
Reo whakanui | Language for praise
Te Wātaka | The timetable
Te tinana, te neke | The body and movement
Kei te aha koe? | What are you up to?

*Modules will be supported by weekly 45 minute webinars held in the afternoon.

Meet your facilitators of Te Reo Manahua Māori
Carmen Aldridge
Kaihuaware Māori Matua
Te Mako Orzecki
Content Editor and Kaihuawaere Ngaio Māori

Why is it important to improve your te reo Māori?

In this free podcast Gemma Stewart and Rebbecca Sweeney kōrero about the importance of knowing your “why” and having fun when learning te reo Māori.
Listen to the podcast
Ngā mihi nui,
Tātai Aho Rau Core Education
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Christchurch, Canterbury 8013
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May 10, 2023

Read our latest report now!

An item for my Kiwi readers.

GCSN Upcoming Events and Workshops                                                     View this email in your browser
Kia ora,

Mā te pohewa mā te auaha hoki, ka whakapuaki ngā kura e huna ana. 
With imagination and creativity a hidden jewel can be revealed.  
We hope Term 2 has started well for you and your school!

This month we are excited about the publication of our latest report, the Cyber Safety Action Plan report and accompanying template. These resources are designed to support schools/kura to introduce and/or strengthen cybersecurity systems and processes. Learn more about these resources below, otherwise access the resources here.

Stay in the loop about these and future opportunities on TwitterFacebook or via the GCSN website.

Noho ora mai rā,
The GCSN Team 

Cyber Safety Action Plan
This short paper and accompanying template is designed to be used by schools to introduce and/or strengthen cybersecurity systems and processes. This complex, ever-evolving area of technology is required to keep ākonga and staff safe, not only from cyber threats and scams but also to mitigate instances of cyber-bullying and inappropriate online behaviour.​ Access these resources here.
There are several areas for schools and kura to consider when implementing cyber-security plans and protocols. Due to the evolving nature of technology and the internet, these areas continue to develop and change, and it can become increasingly difficult to mitigate such events. Ongoing review is important to ensure that the school or kura is prepared to manage ongoing threats to cyber security, and having a cyber security action plan ensures that the school has a living document which outlines potential threats that can be adjusted as necessary as new trends and threats arise.

If you would like support from GCSN to work through the Cyber Safety Action Plan at your school/kura please reach out using the contact form below.
Contact us here
Term 2 PLD Opportunities 
Partnering with the Christchurch City Council Libraries Design and Delivery team, GCSN is proud to support five engaging programmes designed to upskill ākonga to use digital technologies in new and creative ways. ​These opportunities will support ākonga to further develop their digital capabilities. Terms 2 and 3 are starting to fill up so now is your chance to register your interest!
Register here
Copyright © 2023 Greater Christchurch Schools’ Network
All rights reserved.
Greater Christchurch Schools Network · PO Box 945 · West End · Christchurch, Christchurch 8140 · New Zealand

May 7, 2023

Claim your funded professional learning opportunity

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 8:09 pm
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An item for my Kiwi readers to begin their week.

Be the best kaiāwhina / teacher aide you can be

Kia ora Michael

Develop your skills through 12 weeks of ‘Strengthening Teacher Aide Practice’. This online programme has weekly 90 minute online sessions, with self-chosen wero (challenges) for you to work on, between sessions.

Starting 17 July, the ‘Strengthening Teacher Aide Practice’ programme will help you identify personal strengths, and grow positive partnerships. It is worth noting that the total value of this course is $600 + GST per person, which will be fully funded by the Ministry of Education if you meet the funding requirements.*

Find out more about this programme

Meet the presenters

Jo Barr

Equity and deep learning are at the heart of Jo’s facilitation mahi.

Her career has been dedicated to primary education where she fostered strong connections with ākonga, whānau, colleagues and support agencies.

Amanda Campbell

Amanda  has more than 30 years experience as a classroom teacher and senior leader.

She has worked tirelessly to build a collaborative culture that focuses on achieving high-quality outcomes for ākonga.

Carmen Aldridge

Carmen has experiences in both culturally diverse English medium and bilingual Māori medium education settings.

She is visionary in her approach, logical in her thinking and enjoys working with leaders and teachers to support development and change in education.

Jo, Amanda and Carmen will guide you in discussion with other kaiāwhina to reflect on the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa.

Best of all, you’ll learn how to adapt and modify learning experiences to meet the strengths and needs of your ākonga all while sharing your learning journey with your peers.

Please note: You will need a Application Reference Number (ARN), obtained from your funding application* in order to register for this programme. However, you can express your interest now.

Register or express your interest

*Funding requirements

Applicants need to meet set criteria to be able to apply for funding to access this programme.

Full details are on our website.

Check funding criteria

What superpowers does a teacher aide need?

In this podcast ‘The superpowers of teacher aides – kōrero with Alice’, Tātai Aho Rau Core Education facilitator Amy-Lee Budd talks with special education needs coordinator (SENCo) Alice Frame about the mahi teacher aides do to support kaiako.

Teacher aides are tasked with a wide range of responsibilities in order to create a classroom environment that fits each learner’s independent needs

The podcast provides insights into the teacher aide role and examples of how this support is working within our learning environments.

Listen to the podcast
We’re here to answer any questions you may have, please email us

Ngā mihi
Tātai Aho Rau Core Education

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Copyright © 2023 CORE Education, All rights reserved.
You have received this email because you have attended one of our events and were happy for us to update you, or subscribed to our emails via or mailing address is:
Tātai Aho Rau CORE Education
144 Kilmore Street
Christchurch, Canterbury 8013
New Zealand

April 27, 2023

Putting the A Back in STEAM

The second of two items for my Kiwi readers.  This one is a newsletter from one of the e-learning clusters in the country.

GCSN Upcoming Events and Workshops                                                     View this email in your browser
Kia ora,

As Ōtautahi Learning Days is just around the corner (8 – 14 May 2023) we wanted to remind you about GCSN’s upcoming panel event, Putting the A Back in STEAM.

Putting the A Back in STEAM will be held on Thursday 11 May at 6:15pm at Spark Place, Tūranga Library. Centred around engaging creative ākonga in STEAM disciplines, this panel discussion will explore how learning opportunities can be designed to support creative learners to get involved in science, technologies, engineering, and mathematics.

We are excited to announce that Sir Ian Taylor will deliver a keynote address, followed by a discussion with our panellists:
⚡️ Dougal Stott (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi) – Dev Academy Aotearoa
⚡️ Anna Ross – Imagination Station
⚡️ Sionainn Byrnes – Christchuch City Libraries Design & Delivery Team
⚡️ Lauren Pugh – Science Alive

Each panellist will bring a unique perspective and wealth of knowledge to the discussion.

Dr Gabrielle Wall, the General Manager of GCSN will host and MC the event.

The event runs from 6:15 – 7:45pm, a light dinner and drinks will be provided.

Register for the event here
We hope to see you there!

Noho ora mai rā,
The GCSN Team 

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FM Update April 2023 – Equity and Deep Learning

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 4:03 pm
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The first of two items for my Kiwi readers.  This one is from the former eLearning Director for CORE Education, who has been working in the K-12 distance learning space for decades.

FM Update April 2023 – Equity and Deep Learning

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to sharing some of the insights and experiences from the NPDL Deep Learning Lab in Anaheim where I have spent the past week or so as one of the invited speakers. It was a privilege to attend alongside a truly international gathering of educators like this. The conference setting was just along the road from Disneyland, so I also took the opportunity to visit the “happiest place on earth”  :-)

In this newsletter…


Global Deep Learning Lab – Anaheim

This year marked ten years of the NPDL programme operating – now in sixteen countries – which made this year’s Deep Learning Lab (DLL) particularly special. The focus for this year’s DLL was all about bringing back the joy of learning – an apt theme given the experiences of the past few years of disruption in our education systems. Throughout all of the presentations there was a strong focus on equity and the things we must change at a system and local level to achieve this. A highlight for me was the inclusion of students in a range of presentations and activities in the conference – in them this joy was clearly evident!

Four Pivots – Shawn Ginwright

If you haven’t come across Shawn Ginwright before he’s well worth checking out. His presentation at the DLL was based on his recent book, The Four Pivots: Reimagining Justice, Reimagining Ourselves (I’ve got my copy on order!). In it he breaks down the common myths of social movements, arguing that these actually hold us back from healing and achieving sustainable systemic change. Dr. Ginwright is also Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flourish Agenda – worth checking this out too!

Culturally Responsive Teaching – Zaretta Hammond

Zaretta Hammond is a teacher educator and the author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain. I first came across her on an online panel soon after the first COVID lockdowns, and immediately bought a copy of her book which I have used extensively since. Her key message is that culturally responsive teaching is the antidote to inequity – in our schools, and in society.

Love Builds Brains – Dr Jean Clinton

Dr Clinton’s work has been incorporated into the NPDL programme for a number of years now – bringing a focus on the importance of wellbeing in the bigger picture of deep learning. She advocates tirelessly for children and youth, communicating clearly the profound and practical synthesis of combining well-being and learning. Her book, Love Builds Brains, provides a fantastic guide for any educator (or parent!)

Shifting the Ownership of Learning

I ran a workshop at the Deep Learning Lab with the title ‘shifting the ownership of learning’ – click here for the slides I used. The focus of the workshop was on identifying the shifts in practice we need to make to enable truly agentic learning to occur in our schools and classrooms.
I also presented as one of the featured voices at the conference, sharing ideas about Deep Learning Innovations in challenging times.

New Metrics for Success – Lynn Davie

It was good to catch up with Australian colleague, Lynn Davie, at the event and to hear about her work with colleagues at the University of Melbourne on the New Metrics for Success project. Lynn has been bringing those ideas and experience to her work with the NPDL team and I look forward to seeing how this is used to support the future work of the NPDL family across the globe.

In Memoriam – Mike Anderson

It is with considerable sadness that I learned on my return to NZ of the death of Mike Anderson. Mike was principal at Waimairi Primary School in Christchurch, and only recently diagnosed with cancer that finally took his life. Through his career Mike made a significant contribution to the education scene in Canterbury in particular, always innovating and always working with great passion and vision on behalf of his staff, students and community. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. RIP

But wait, there’s more…

At FutureMakers we use a range of forums to curate good ideas and resources. Check out the following…
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