Virtual School Meanderings

June 20, 2017

June Update 2017

A newsletter for my Kiwi colleagues.

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VLN Primary School logo VLN Primary School
June Update 2017
Joining in Japanese class with Mangere Central School
Joining in Japanese class with Mangere Central School, by Rachel Whalley
Connected, Passionate, Purposeful Learners! by Rachel Whalley
Our Governance Group recently ratified our 2018 – 2020 VLN Primary Charter. Thanks to our schools’ community for your input that helped shape our key strategic document. Here are some of the changes that we made. 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

This month we say au revoir to Rachel Whalley as she goes on Sabbatical. Our National Coordinator Ginette Van Praag will be relieving for her in her absence. We wish her and husband Rick, safe and happy travels for their trip overseas, and look forward to welcoming her return in Term 4.

An important theme this month is our 2018 Charter, updated and ratified to position us firmly within the CoOLs sector.  The new Charter is learner-centred and acknowledges that all are learners / ākonga – students, teachers, whānau and the wider community.  With this in mind we are focussing more deeply on improving teaching and learning through PLD, building our learning community and developing systems and structures that support this.

Following on from this theme, we include a timely article by Rick Whalley around the importance of ‘home school’ support staff in developing and supporting learner partcipation and management of their learning with the VLN Primary School.  The article highlights key findings from his research thesis and includes a link to a resource he has developed for schools.

In this newsletter:

Semester 1 is rapidly coming to a close and enrolments are now open for Semester 2 classes.  Inside you’ll find links to our Semester 2 prospectus with resources to support your student’s learning choices.  Don’t forget you can also visit our new website for further information. Our ALLiS contract ends this year, so Semester 2 is your last chance to access any of our ALLiS programmes at no additional cost!

We know that Google Classrooms is a great platform for sharing activities and collating work from students. This Semester we have been trialling Google Classrooms in some of our online classes. This article from eTeacher Sofie Jacobs highlights some of the key features and benefits and is well worth a read.  We plan to use the platform with all our classes from 2018.  If you’d like help with setting up your school to connect with VLNP Google Classrooms, please get in touch and I will be happy to help.

Finally, we would like to invite EOI’s for a reciprocal contribution of an eTeacher to teach Computer Science and Programming. This is a growth area for us and with the new NZC Digital Technologies coming into schools for 2018 you may find the PLD particularly useful to support its implementation in your school.

Kia pai tō ra

Ngā mihi nui



Lisa and learners from Mangere exploring Chinese
Semester 2 Enrolments Now Open

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

Ready for French lesson @ Blackmount School
Supporting online learners

Effective student support is a key to learners achieving success. Rick Whalley discusses his research findings and shares a resource for schools Read more

Connecting Globally
Global connections – Making it work

Having been asked often, “How do you establish and maintain your global connections?” Geoff Wood details the nuts, bolts and issues relating to this. Read more

Online teaching and learning becomes more visible using this platform
Using Google Classrooms to support student learning

This year some of our eTeachers have been using Google Classrooms to share activities and resources with students and as a tool to collate and evaluate student work. eTeacher, Sofie Jacobs, shares her experiences so far. Read more

Mangatwhiri eLearners 
Teach Computer Science and Programming online!

The new NZC Digital Technologies Curriculum is coming into schools from 2018 and Computer Science and Programming are some of the Big Ideas covered in the new curriculum. Read more

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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.

June 19, 2017

Be A Part Of The Action – NPDL NZ Deep Learning Lab 2017 Is Coming!

One for my Kiwi readers.

Three weeks left to register for NZ Deep Learning Lab 2017!
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Kia ora Michael

New Pedagogies for Deep Learning is making a difference to schools | kura | Communities of Learning throughout the world. New Zealand’s Deep Learning Lab 2017 is an excellent opportunity for you to discover more about deep learning and what it can do for you.

Please note registrations close in three weeks.

Join innovative educators, dedicated partners and thought leaders at this two-day event, which explores key themes; Going Deeper, Shifting Practice – Building Precision, and Developing Coherence.

DLL 2017 is for all educators, whether you are looking to improve your teaching practice, are part of an established Community of Learning, or a school in the process of forming a Community of Learning.

  • Learn from and collaborate with global experts
  • Investigate and evaluate pedagogies
  • Improve our teaching practice and outcome for learners
  • Embrace innovation
  • Experience powerful learning
Amongst DLL 2017’s acclaimed and inspiring presenters, Keynote Speaker Kaila Colbin will challenge us to work in a future focused world, where exponential growth of technology offers exciting opportunities to disrupt education.

DLL 2017 spaces are limited so we recommend you register now to secure your place – be part of the action.

NZ Deep Learning Lab 2017
20-21 July
Rangi Ruru Girls’ School

Accommodation Information

Registrations now open:

This event is being hosted by CORE Education, in collaboration with New Pedagogies for Deep Learning. NPDL is a global collaboration of schools to build knowledge and practice that develop deep learning and foster whole system change. As the NZ partner for NPDL, CORE provides provides a national programme of support, providing a national community of practice and links to the international projects and partners to enrich and extend what you are doing in your own context. This includes facilitated support for participating schools or clusters on the use of the key frameworks and measurement approaches, developing improved teaching and learning practices that lead to more successful outcomes for all students. Further benefits and detailed information can be found on our website.

Have a question?

For further enquiries email Margot McKeegan or phone 027 506 3899
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

June 15, 2017

Streaming Breakfast Seminar — 18 August – Thriving In Complexity

One for my Kiwi readers.

Inspiring professional learning at your convenience — streamed straight to you!
CORE Breakfast — Dunedin
Kia ora Michael

We invite you to attend our next live-stream presentation on Friday 18 August:

Thriving in complexity

Schools have often been forces of societal stability, preparing young people to take a defined and productive (and sometimes predetermined) role in society. Today’s schools, on the contrary, are being asked to prepare young people to enter a future world that we cannot even imagine. It’s hard enough for the adults in schools to cope with the uncertainty we face in the relatively near future; growing the school and societal leaders we need for the distant future is daunting indeed. In this session Jennifer offers a new way of thinking about uncertainty and some new tools to help us all grow more capable of coping with our complex world.

This CORE breakfast seminar will

  • introduce a model for thinking about the complexity of a particular issue or challenge
  • explore the ways we get in our own way during complex challenges
  • practice some of the simple habits that might get us out of the way
  • discuss how this is vital for students, teachers, and school leaders.

Key Details

Date: Friday 18 August 2017
Seminar time: 7.30 am – 8.30 am (live stream)
Cost: Live stream only – $80 plus gst
Recorded video only – $80 plus gst
Live stream and recorded video – $120 plus gst
Presenter: Jennifer Garvey-Berger
Venue: Streamed live

Register >

Viewing options

Live stream: Watch the seminar as it happens, with the opportunity to ask the presenter questions via a virtual discussion space. $80 plus gst.

Recorded video: View a recording of the seminar at a time that suits you. We aim to have this available the Monday following the event. $80 plus gst.

Live stream and recorded video: Watch the live seminar, benefit from the discussion space and also receive access to the recorded video for future reference. $120 plus gst.

Want to see how streamed breakfasts work? Watch our short video

Who will this session be of interest to?

Teachers and leaders (and community members) who are interested in exploring the ways schools and the people in them might need to change in order to face a fast-changing, complex world.

About our presenter

Mana Faaea-SemeatuJennifer wrote the book on Leading in Complexity—literally. Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders (written with Keith Johnston), is a guide to how leadership is different as complexity builds. One reader said of the book, “Simply put – it is brilliant, the BEST tool I have ever had in leadership.” Jennifer has been researching, writing and working with leaders in complex settings for 20 years.

Her first real job was as a public school English teacher, but her core interest became supporting adults rather than adolescents, first at a university (as associate professor at George Mason University in the US) and then as a consultant, researcher, and writer.

Starting with a doctorate in ways adults make sense of complexity (Harvard University, 2002) and building through two books (and soon a third), Jennifer has developed a series of tools and approaches that help leaders around the globe use complexity to their advantage. From school leadership teams in Wellington to senior leaders at large global organisations, the thing all these leaders have in common is their need to increase their ability to thrive under conditions of growing complexity, uncertainty, and change.

Jennifer now mostly works with executives and executive teams in private, non-profit, and government sectors around the world, like Google, NAB, Wikipedia, Oxfam International, Climate KIC Europe, and a variety of New Zealand government departments. Jennifer also speaks about leadership in complexity at conferences, guest lectures at universities around the world, and advises learning and development leaders about designing workplaces for complexity. She is the founding board member of the Google Institute of Leadership Development.

Jennifer was born in the US, but has become a Kiwi by choice, having moved to Paekakariki with her husband, two kids, and the family dog in 2006. She and her family became citizens on Waitangi day in 2014. Jennifer is a founding partner of Cultivating Leadership, a global leadership consultancy with offices in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Paekakariki.

Other useful information

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

June 13, 2017

FLANZ: Notice of 2017 Annual General Meeting

One for my Kiwi readers…

Notice of 2017 Annual General Meeting
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13 June 2017

FLANZ: 2017 Annual General Meeting

Kia ora,

The Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ) will be holding its annual general meeting via videoconference on Tuesday 4th July at 7.15pm. More information on how to attend and the AGM agenda is attached.

We would like to invite all FLANZ members to attend this meeting.

In addition, we would like to call for nominations for the following elected committee positions.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

We will also be electing members to be part of the Executive Committee, and call for nominations for these. We strongly encourage anyone working in this area to consider joining our Executive Committee.

Please contact our current FLANZ secretary, Keryn Pratt ( to make your nominations. Please note:

  • Any two members of FLANZ can nominate any other member, who agrees to be nominated.
  • Nominations must be with the Secretary by 20th June (14 days before the AGM).
  • Nominations must be in writing and signed by the nominee, proposer, and seconder.
  • Nominations may be taken from the floor during the meeting if there are insufficient nominees for the vacancies.

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

Ngā mihi,


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 Zealan
FLEXIBLE LEARNING NZ · c/o Kalina Vladinova-Aylor (Admin) · Open Polytechnic, 5040 · New Zealand

June 8, 2017

Education News And Advice – CORE June Newsletter

One for my Kiwi readers…

Inspiration for educators | Professional learning | Resources | Articles
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Kia Ora Michael

Welcome to our June issue of Ki te Ao. This month we feature

  • A whitepaper on the challenging and rewarding role of middle leaders in schools
  • The upcoming LEARNZ field trips
  • Explore an ILE in real-time!
  • Homework in primary school — to be or not?
  • 2017 DigiTech Roadshow series

Middle Leadership Matters Whitepaper

Middle leaders hold a unique position as both teacher and leader. However, often these middle leaders are not provided with specific leadership development, nor effective appraisal experiences. As the role has expanded well beyond what is manageable, it is even more critical that our middle leaders are empowered to undertake this rewarding, yet challenging role. CORE Education’s latest white paper provides a practical solution, underpinned by sound research, to ensure middle leadership matters.
Download your copy today >

Join LEARNZ on their upcoming virtual field trips

Each year, LEARNZ offers up to 15 virtual field trips. During a LEARNZ virtual field trip, students can be at home or at school yet can connect with people and places far away. Registration is FREE for all registered and provisionally registered primary and secondary teachers in a New Zealand school. View the 2017 field trips.

The following field trips will be running this month:

20 – 22 JUNE                                              
Opera – put on a show!

Register >
27 – 29 JUNE
Waterview Connection 4 – Cycleways and our transport networks

Register >

DigiTech hits the road in August

Explore changes to digital technologies and the NZ Curriculum at the DigiTech Roadshow 2017. Coming to six locations around New Zealand, this one-day event will help you increase your understanding of coding and robotics, game-based learning and digital citizenship!
Register >

Tune in to Facebook Live – as we explore ILE’s

Whether you are going through a new build, greensite build, or simple renovation, the process of developing innovative learning environments needs to enhance the teaching and learning that happens in that space.
On Monday 12 June, Sarah Whiting will share her views on where to start and how to make this change happen, live on Facebook. Make sure you like and follow us to receive notification and view our Facebook Live video.

Podcast: ‘Homework In Primary School: To Be Or Not To Be,’ with Rochelle and Ānaru

Rochelle shares her experience as a parent, whose children are involved with a new type of home learning. This learning centres around giving to others, service to the school, academics and study, fitness and health — things needed in life.

From the blog

Circle Time at Garibaldi Highlands School 
Rebbecca Sweeney and Suzi Gould visited Garibadi Highlands School. This post outlines what they observed from watching the Grade 4 and 5 studentsMore >
Help! I need somebody 
James Hopkins discusses the difference between a coach and mentor. He also helps you decipher which one may best suit you
More >
Teacher Mentorship at the Delta Manor Education Centre
Rebbecca Sweeney and Suzi Gould share their takeaways from a Teacher Mentorship workshop with Tashi Kirincic
More >
Subscribe to the blog >

Professional learning – workshops, programmes, & events

Breakfast seminars  
PAKURANGA  – 23 June
HAMILTON – 22 June
DUNEDIN – 21 June
Online programme  
Mentoring and Coaching
Starts 24 July
Creating culturally responsive schools 
DUNEDIN – 13 June
Blended Programme 
Te Reo Pūawai Māori
Starts 21 August
CORE Leaders’ Summit
AUCKLAND – 17 June
DigiTech Roadshow 
WHANGAREI – 1 August
AUCKLAND – 3 August
TAURANGA – 14 August
NEW PLYMOUTH – 17 August
NELSON – 22 August
DUNEDIN – 24 August

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 Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

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
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