Virtual School Meanderings

February 21, 2017

Notice of VLN Primary AGM

Note this up-coming event.

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VLN Primary School logo

VLN Primary School

Notice of VLN Primary AGM  by Rachel Whalley

VLN Primary School Logo
VLN Primary School Logo— Tom Barnett

Nau mai Haere Mai! All are welcome to join our VLN Primary AGM online Thursday 6th April 4.00 pm. Agenda & Connection details are: Read more

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

February 13, 2017

Registrations Now Open For uLearn17!

One for my Kiwi readers.

Connect, collaborate, innovate! Follow us @uleannz #ulearn17
uLearn17 - Annual educators' conference
Kia ora Michael,

We are happy to announce registrations are now open for uLearn17, CORE Education’s annual educators’ conference!

This year, uLearn is heading to Waikato, home of The Shire! Expand your horizons of what is possible for students in a rapidly changing world as you explore a range of educational priorities and concepts, engage in deep conversation, and network with fellow educators…there may even be time to visit Hobbiton as well!

If you’ve ever attended a uLearn conference before, you’ll know this is a professional learning opportunity not to be missed!

Conference details

Whether you wish to come along for three or four days, or can only spare a day, we have something for everyone’s needs. Options include the full three-day conference, the one-day pre-conference, or register for both and save $50!



The full three-day conference
11-13 October 2017
Claudelands Events Centre, Hamilton
$690 +GST*

Group discounts available for 5+ and 20+**

Register >
Changing Spaces

Changing Spaces

The one-day pre-conference
10 October 2017
Rototuna Junior High School, Hamilton
$225 +GST

Group or earlybird discounts not available.

Register >
uLearn17 and Changing Spaces

uLearn17 and Changing Spaces

Register for both and save $50!
10-13 October 2017
$915 +GST*

Group discounts available for 5+ and 20+**

Register >
*Earlybird discounts applied. Register and pay by 31 May 2017 to receive the earlybird discount.
**Group discounts available for full price registrations only.

Add a gala dinner ticket to your uLearn17 registration for $110 +GST.

Click the links above to register now or read on to learn more about the conference.

$ Win your conference fee back! $

Ready to register? Complete the online registration form now and pay before 31 March 2017 and, not only will you receive the earlybird discount, you will also go in the draw to win!*

*Terms and conditions apply.


The uLearn17 programme consists of keynote speakers, profiled spotlight sessions and over 230 bookable breakout sessions, including hands-on byod workshops, interactive presentations, tech tool tasters, Māori medium sessions delivered in te reo, facilitated sofa sessions discussions, Connected Educator (live-streamed),  a pop-up Makerspace Playground, and a Research and Inquiry Symposium.

This year’s conference is structured around three strands:

uLearn17 Conference Strands
All sessions link to one or more of these conference strands. Read the focus questions to further your understanding. When selecting breakouts, you can choose one strand or mix and match to suit your professional learning needs.

Keynote speakers

We are pleased to announce a fantastic line up of international and New Zealand keynote speakers:

  • Eric Mazur
  • Dr Ann Milne
  • Brad Waid

Read more about Eric, Ann and Brad.

Changing Spaces

If you’re interested in designing spaces, growing collaborative capacity, and practically applying the latest research behind the creation of innovative learning environments(ILE), come and experience an ILE first hand at the uLearn Changing Spaces pre-conference! Sessions are presented by facilitators and teachers from range of primary and secondary schools.

A separate Changing Spaces one-day event is also being held at Stonefields School in Auckland on 28 April. For more information and to register, click here.

Travel and Accommodation

Special uLearn travel and accommodation rates are available on a first in, first served basis. With competitive prices on airfares and hotel rooms, you will be able to book all your travel arrangements in one convenient place online.

Booking and payment of travel and accommodation is the responsibility of the registered attendee or their school/centre/organisation.

Hobbiton Tour

End your uLearn experience on a high with a Hobbiton Movie Set Tour on Friday 13 October! Experience the real Middle-earth™ with a group tour of the bucolic setting for The Shire™ that featured in the Peter Jackson directed films, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.

Don’t forget to select a tour option in your conference registration form! An additional fee applies.

Have a question?

For any queries relating to uLearn17, contact the team today.

Follow @ulearnnz
Tweet #ulearn17
More details
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:

CORE Education

144 Kilmore Street, Christchurch Central

Christchurch, Canterbury 8013

New Zealand

Add us to your address book

February 10, 2017

February CORE Newsletter – ILE PLS Options, Māori Education Research Paper And More

One for my Kiwi readers…

Discover all the latest in education from CORE Education. News, resources and inspiration for educators.
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Kia Ora Michael

Welcome to 2017! We hope you are feeling recharged and ready to tackle the opportunities that this year will bring.

In this edition, we profile a research paper on Māori medium education, showcase our upcoming professional learning options on Innovative Learning Environments, and invite you to enrol for LEARNZ’s first virtual field trip for 2017.


Taking stock of Māori medium educational resources: priorities, gaps and futures?

Alex Hotere-Barnes, Te Mihinga Komene, and Wawaro Te Whaiti have recently published this bilingual summary. It aims to provide the Māori medium education sector with a snapshot of what pouako priorities and aspirations are for resource development, and what gaps need to be addressed. Read this paper in our research section (scroll down to Reports and Publications).
Read more >


Professional learning solutions on this on-trend topic

Across education, there is a growing awareness of the role that the physical environment plays in supporting powerful teaching and learning. Far from being passive, the built environment exerts pressure on us to act and behave in particular ways, and when used to support or promote high-effect pedagogies and practices can make a considerable difference to student learning. At CORE we have a variety of professional learning options from free blog resources, half-day workshops, online programmes and one-day events.


Marine mammals – Are we loving terehu too much?

The first virtual field trip for LEARNZ is starting on 28 February. On this field trip during SeaWeek, you will find out about terehu and other marine mammals (kekeno – NZ fur seal, maki – orca, and ika moana – whale).

Some highlights will include (subject to weather):

  • Sailing on a dolphin-watching catamaran, to see seals, dolphins, and maybe orca
  • Working with dolphin scientists out on the ocean
Read More >
Enrol now >

From the blog

Coverage, congestion and curriculum
Derek Wenmoth gets educators to start thinking about the curriculum they offer, and the way they offer it.
More >
He rerekē tēnei, i tēnā — Each has its own uniqueness
Anaru White and Te Mako Orzecki highlight the importance of correct pronunciation of names.
More >
Once upon a time …in 2017
Sue Bridges discusses the need to help akonga/learners make the best of digital aspects of their lives
More >
Subscribe to the blog >

Courses and events

20 February
Online Programme
Modern Learning Curriculum
28 February & 2 March
Creating inclusive and responsive classrooms


20 February
Online Programme
Professional Inquiry
17 & 16 March
Breakfast seminar 

Learning through gaming and game design


27 February
Blended Programme
Implementing your Pasifika Action Plan
21 & 23 March 
Introduction to Google Suite



Contact us

We love receiving your feedback and ideas of things you want to read about.
Feel free to email us anytime!

Wherever you are located in New Zealand, if you are looking for specific professional learning and development, talk to one of our consultants who can tailor PLD to you, your school or your CoL.

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:

CORE Education

144 Kilmore Street, Christchurch Central

Christchurch, Canterbury 8013

New Zealand

Add us to your address book

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CORE Education · 144 Kilmore Street, Christchurch Central · Christchurch, Canterbury 8013 · New Zealand

January 31, 2017

Your Newsletter From The Ethos Online Community – January 2017

One for my Kiwi readers…

Your newsletter from the Ethos Online Community – January 2017


Kia ora, talofa lava, and greetings,


You may have pondered some of the following questions (or similar): How do I learn things? What does it mean to learn? What does my brain do when I learn? And Why do I forget things?


One of the fabulous…and frustrating things is – we don’t know. We have bits of the puzzle, and know that there are social, psychological, physiological and affective factors that impact what we learn and how well we learn it. From the stance of knowing about the brain, we know that certain chemicals influence us, that brain imaging is helping to provide some more pieces of the puzzle, and that our brain has plasticity and we need to keep learning to keep ourselves ‘vital’.


The subject is, I feel, endlessly captivating and as such I try to read, and listen / watch widely, especially around the latest research and ideas related to how the brain works. About 3 years ago, on a quest for more reading, I came across Madelyn Griffith-Haynie’s insightful, frequently entertaining, and always well researched articles in her site ADD . . . and-so-much-more. Madelyn, in turn recommended Ginger Campbell’s The Brain Science Podcast, which has since, for me, been a constant source of interest. Topics, to name a few, have included: embodiment, unconscious decisions, reading and the brain, memory, and cognitive science.


In her recent post A Brain-Based Resource you won’t want to miss, Madelyn celebrates 10 years of The Brain Science Podcast (please pop across and congratulate Ginger if you have a moment), and shares some highlights. I’d recommend you pop in for a read; you won’t be disappointed.


To hone your appetite, a brief example from Ginger Campbell’s podcast ‘stable’ is an enthusiasm-filled episode entitled Brain Ageing Research with Dr. Pamela Greenwood.

One of the things that jumped out from the podcast for me is that “brain ageing and cognitive ageing are not the same thing; the typical brain changes that are associated with normal brain ageing (such as shrinkage) are not reliable predictors of cognitive decline” (source). Also, the other (exciting) thing was that “not only does brain plasticity offer new hope for people who suffer strokes and other brain injuries, it also suggests that life style choices influence cognitive function at all ages” (source) – there’s hope for us all!!

It would be superb to hear from you about your own recommendations for resources, or thoughts about how we learn. Please jump into the community with comments and posts.


Welcome to new members – January 2017

The Ethos Online Community now has 433 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to January’s new members to the community:


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 great posts. Please jump into the conversations and feel free to ask questions.


  • Jenny Holt addresses the ever important issue of bullying in Discover how bullying impacts people in the workplace. Bullying amongst adults is unfortunately commonplace and can lead to a number of both physical and mental illnesses. Jenny has linked to a guide that explains the consequences of such actions and gives tips on how to prevent it from happening.

  • Raymond M. Rose has shared his second installment describing his attempts to get the school system to address the issue of making their institutional website meet US accessibility requirements. Raymond points out that he isn’t giving in to speculation about how the Trump government will deal with civil rights legislation but will rather wait until there is definite answers. Read more here: Will it take thousands of dollars to make your website accessible.

  • Do you have a brain? Well then, this is the podcast for you apparently. The Brain Science podcast ‘explores how recent scientific discoveries are unraveling age-old mysteries, such as intelligence, emotions, personality, and memory.’ This super resource from Dr Ginger Campbell has over 130 episodes for you to delve into. A big thanks to Madelyn Griffith-Haynie for sharing this with us. Take a look at A brain-based resource you won’t want to miss for further details and links.

  • In Please beta test this ebook for business owners John S Oliver asks for our help in reviewing a resource he has created. He would really value any feedback or suggestions you may have to improve the resource.

  • Building an in-depth understanding of one’s own skillset is imperative enabling suitable opportunities and aiding in personal and professional growth.  Researcher and Educator, L. Dee Fink, has developed a 6-aspect taxonomy of teaching designed to maximise this understand and therefore also maximise learning in the classroom. In The six dimensions of your development, Edward Flagg talks about his professional experience using the framework. The post explains how the theory works and how it fits into a work environment.

  • Blended learning looks at a video from Paul Anderson’s Bozeman channel. It ties in blended learning with the inquiry model of learning. It really delves into why blended learning is so effective. Thanks to Leigh Hynes for another informative resource.



  • This month Rachel Roberts has posted about a vacancy at the VLN primary school. The school is looking for an Executive Officer to join the team for 15 hours a week for the duration on the 2017 school year. This is a virtual position so there is no restrictions on location. This is a really interesting project to get involved in. If this sounds like a bit of you (or someone you know) head on over to the original post for details; Looking for a super virtual school secretary.


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 week marked the 8th annual Data Privacy Day. The day looks to raise awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. To mark the occasion Camparitech have developed a quiz – Can you outsmart an identity thief? The premise is simple, they present some everyday scenarios that you are likely to have already experienced, or have heard friends or family talk about. The quiz then gives you potential options to choose. The correct answer and the explanation why it’s important to do / not to do something – plus some extra advice is given after you answer each question. Go on and give it a try – we’d love to hear your results!

  • And, this post has a simple yet informative infographic that helps in recognising and avoiding phishing attacks. There is also a link to the accompanying article if you’d like further information.

  • Amy Ling – Professional ePortfolio scenario  is a hypothetical scenario of a tertiary teacher developing a professional ePortfolio. You can also access the accompanying mindmap. Great if you’re looking for an example on how to do this. (Many thanks to Diana Ayling for her input to this scenario.)

  • Recommended by Richard Elliott in his eLearning Watch, Drama in the ESL classroom is one to explore if you are in any way working with English Language Learners. Richard writes “Drama in the ESL classroom provides a lot of suggestions and ideas on using drama for ESL. All material is downloadable and free. Chase the tabs at the top of the main page to find extensive links to a wide range of resources.”

  • The Internet of Things (free e-book reviewed by Derek  Wenmoth) – It’s from a while back, but still massively relevant – so, if you are interested in where the connected world is heading then the e-book reviewed by Derek Wenmoth is likely to be something you might want to download and read.


Recommended videos

From the ever growing repository of videos (1,397 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.

  • There has been a lot of awareness about gratefulness recently, but why? The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful. Learn all about the key to happiness; Happiness is born from gratefulness…. not the other way around.

  • John S Oliver  has shared this great TED lesson that looks at the history of numerical systems. Something a bit different to show students. In a similar vein he’s also shared an interesting little video on why a square root is called just that and how this came to be – Why is it called a SQUARE root?

  • One to avoid if you suffer from arachnophobia, Most AMAZING spiders in the world looks at some of the weird, wacky and wonderful eight legged creatures out there.

  • A fantastic one for any math teachers – and learners. Algebra and Mathematics. Explained with easy to understand 3D animations explains variables, systems of equations, Cartesian coordinates, and many other concepts. Fun and educational for all ages.

  • Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. The power of vulnerability. What being vulnerable can do for you is definitely a talk to share.

  • Everything we know about physics – and a few things we don’t – in a simple map: The Map of Physics




What’s on?

Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including INTCESS 2017- 4th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, taking place February 6th in Istanbul.


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



Much gratitude to Charlotte Caines for doing the lion’s share of work putting this monthly newsletter together. Please keep your posts (including cross-posts), comments and recommendations coming :-)


Nāku iti nei, faafetai lava, and warm regards


Hazel Owen

Education consultant / Director

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

January 30, 2017

NZC Online Newsletter

One for my Kiwi readers…

31 January 2017
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Kia ora and welcome to the January newsletter for NZC Online and a new school year for 2017. It’s designed to keep you up to date with new ideas, resources, stories, and research to help you give effect to the national curriculum in ways that best address your school context.
What’s new on NZC?
Fairhaven Special School: Culturally responsive pedagogy

Fairhaven Special School staff share their learning journey towards becoming a more culturally responsive inclusive school.

This school story is relevant to all schools reviewing their curriculum with their community.

National events and the NZC
These materials highlight national days and weeks of importance. They explain how national events link to The New Zealand Curriculum and provide ideas, resources, and tools to help schools get involved.

Term 1 2017
Chinese New Year, from January 28
By examining this celebration students can explore values such as diversity and respect, and develop conceptual understandings of culture, identity, and customs.

Waitangi Day, February 6
Waitangi Day provides an opportunity for students to examine social science concepts and values, and develop key competencies. Schools can also consider how the Treaty of Waitangi principle is used as a foundation for curriculum decision making.

See the national events page for events planned for the rest of the year.

NZ Senior Secondary Curriculum Guides
New Zealand Sign Language/Te Reo Rotarota, or NZSL, is the main language of the Deaf community in New Zealand. It became an official language of New Zealand in April 2006, alongside English and te reo Māori.

New Zealand Sign Language achievement standards for levels 6, 7, and 8 have been developed for use from 2017.What’s new or different?

Context elaborations are now available online:

New on TKI – Pasifika dual language books
A series of texts to help new entrant Pasifika children transition to English medium schools are now available. The resources are in line with the Pasifika Education Plan and the Ministry Statement of Intent, by ensuring the linguistic strengths these students bring to school will be used to build their English language and literacy.

The key resources comprise 20 dual language early reading books in five Pasifika languages (Gagana Sāmoa, Lea Faka-Tonga, Cook Islands Māori, Gagana Tokelau, and Vagahau Niue) and English.
These books will not come to your school unless you order them.
Books can be ordered from Down the Back of the Chair for each new entrant in your school from each Pacific group.
Other resources are available to support teachers and parents to use the books with the children. There are also audio files of all books in each language and in English available online.

Take another look…
From the blog: Learner agency
As you begin a new year you might like to think about ways you can give your students more agency over their learning this year. Students have a sense of agency when they feel in control of things that happen around them; when they feel that they can influence events.

Our latest blog post unpacks learner agency and how we can support students to be active participants in their learning.

Your feedback helps
We would love to hear from you if you have ideas to make the website easier to use, or better for you, or if you have ideas for future blog posts or newsletters.

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