Virtual School Meanderings

April 4, 2017

Your Ethos Newsletter for March

Yet another newsletter from earlier in the week.

Your newsletter from the Ethos Online Community – March 2017

Kia ora, talofa lava, and greetings,

As I spent this month working late and attending multiple work events on the weekends, I started to feel my body asking me to stop. My headache yelled “go to bed at a reasonable time” and my eczema screamed “you’re stressing us out”. This is a scenario I, unfortunately, fear a lot of us experience regularly. So, when I read Merryn Dunmill’s post on exploring the root cause of physical ailments (generally stress), rather than just popping a pill and getting on with it, it really resonated with me.

Merryn looks at the work of Dr Neha Sangwan, an incredible medical practitioner, who works with her patients to figure out the underlying issues causing them physical pain. I was lucky enough to hear Dr Neha speak at the World Women 17 conference this month, and what a wealth of incredible information she provided. Dr Neha’s practices focus largely on communication. Communication with ourselves, our bodies and our peers is essential in maintaining peace and finding the answers we need to know about ourselves.

Dr Neha talked largely about speaking truthfully with ourselves and being self-full (the word selfish was strictly prohibited) in order to find what we need and what will make us happy. Part of the process to discovering what you want in life is finding out what your values are. If you are aware of those qualities, which you hold dear and place importance on, you can then go about seeking them out. You might want to pop into the conversation started by  Sarah WhitingApplying ‘The Chaos Monkey’ to your life, who asks the questions: what is my chaos monkey? How can I better deal with ‘failure’? and How can I better support others to do the same?

Paul Keown has explored this concept of values with his posts this month. Paul looks at the role the school system plays in instilling values in students. Particularly in relation to understanding and addressing the existing gap between aspirational and real values. Research shows that the authoritative figures in students lives are behaving in such a way that doesn’t align with the values they claim they hold close and want to pass on to young people.

This divide has been brought to light by the recurring rape-culture situations we are seeing arise with male high-school students in New Zealand. The most recent of which sparked reaction from the New Zealand public and media, rebelling against this violation of public values. Paul talks about the value of critical thinking in this and how critical inquiry helps us discover our values and assess how they fit into each situation.

How have you discovered your values? And how do you think this fits into the education sphere?

Welcome to new members – March

The Ethos Online Community now has 436 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to January’s new members to the community:

  • Jenny Grainger, an Auckland based instructional designer, trainer, educator and workplace assessor, Jenny is especially interested in how e-Learning can aid with creativity, exploring new possibilities, and generally enhancing experiences for learners.

  • All the way from Tanzania, we welcome teacher,  Adam Namamba. The blended teaching and learning approach is of particular interest to Adam.

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.

  • In Aspirational v Real Values  Paul Keown addresses an often unrecognised gap – that which exists between aspirational values and real values. The dilemma arises in people claiming their aspirational values (the way we believe others should think and behave) are in fact their ‘core values’, those that they actually display in their behaviour. This is something that appears in education in many forms, one being the values that are taught in the classroom and by parents, and another being through the vision statement of schools. The gap between those values that authority figures commonly claim students should hold close versus what they’re behaviour actually shows is clear in a study outlined in this post. The study showed that while 96% of parents state it is of utmost importance to raise ethical, caring children, 80% of the youths surveyed reported that their parents “are more concerned about achievement or happiness than caring for others.” This disparity appears yet again when we analyse recent activity in New Zealand such as the multiple incidents of young male high-school students making crude comments focused on taking advantage of inebriated young women. In these cases the schools have come out stating that the values displayed by these students vary hugely from the school’s own. So what’s going wrong? Is this due to the school not instilling the values effectively in their students? Or is there too strong of an influence coming from outside sources that display opposing values such as the media and porn? What do you think a school’s role is when it comes to values? And how do we go about closing this gap?

  • After the above post, Paul monitored the media and public’s response to the ongoing issue of rape culture in New Zealand. Paul was particularly impressed by the actions of some year 13 students who publicly spoke up against the behaviour they have witnessed from their male peers. The media as well proved that it is possible to gain a public response to the gross violation of widely accepted civil values. This leads on to the topic of critical inquiry and critical thinking. Without some critical thought processes this reaction would not have happened. In Values, critical inquiry and rape culture Paul looks at what exactly critical thinking is, and how it influences our values and behaviour.

  • The negative effects of stress have been well documented – but what are we actually doing to address them? Stress related ailments are treated through traditional medical techniques, which are essential, but do we ever delve deeper to examine the underlying issue and practice long-term solutions? More often than not I fear the answer to this is no. People often want a quick-fix for the physical symptoms of stress so they can return to their busy lives as quickly as possible, therefore actually worsening the true issue. Merryn Dunmill shares with us a inspirational interview with Dr Neha Sangwan. Dr Neha works with patients to dig deeper and find the root cause of stress. She talks of her “double vision” technique where she describes how we stress ourselves thinking that faster and more makes us feel more important in the world.  She talks about her own breakdown and how she learned to dig deeper through “double vision” to source within herself her impact rather than externally. In Dr Neha Sangwan – Treating stress in the workplace (National Radio podcast) you can listen to the podcast and take a look at the method Dr Neha uses to hunt out inner stress.

  • Catriona Pene asks “Got 3 minutes? Well worth a watch of this video to get some tips on creating awesome passwords”: A quick reminder about passwords and how to create an awesome one.

  • This post holds a great wealth of information. Rachel Roberts had a Professional Learning and Development session with her Asian Language teaching group recently. This time is used to share experiences, explore new strategies and resources and prepare for the year ahead. Luckily for us, Rachel has put together some of the top insights and pieces of advice that came from this meeting. Take a look, VLN primary teachers share their tips for teaching online.

  • CoOLs – Communities of Online Learning – A double edged sword?  Looks at the proposed changes in the Education (Update) Amendment Bill. Rachel Roberts delves into what was up for discussion in part 3A – Communities of Online Learning. Rachel has been working with the VLN Primary School, and has been asking for something like CoOLs for a very long time. Rachel  shares the VLN Primary Submissions over recent years. They all ask for better resourcing, support and for inclusion of online learning within the mainstream schooling sector. Rachel discusses her work trying to engage these changes and how the system needs to alter to support CoOLS.

  • Monika Kern has started an exciting new role as the Education Manager at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. In Museum Education in 21C Monika explores how technology is changing the way museums aid the learning process. While a museum was once much like a library – somewhere you were educated through one dimensional observations – technology now allows for a much more interactive experience. Monika explores the purpose of a museum, how it can contribute to education and what barriers are faced in attempting this.

  • John S. Oliver  shares a very touching story that demonstrates, once again, the importance of teachers; MORE evidence that teachers change lives.

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 post looks at something Nick Billowes (CORE Education) shared a while back. Nick talks about the possibility of publishing through the cloud and how this could change the way students submit assignments, allowing teachers to browse on an i-device. The post also looks at the potential barriers in this situation.

  • Kevin Hall and Mike Crosson (based at Wintec) piloted QR codes and video clips in trades training – partly to encourage students to do some revision. QR (Quick Response) codes are described in Wikipedia as “A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones”. The idea is that it makes it easier for students to access and use content on online courses. This post has some useful resources and further information on how the codes can benefit students.

  • What skills do students need to obtain in order to go on to be functioning, positive members of the New Zealand society? Kwong-wing Lai talks about the need for human agency – the need for students to learn how to problem solve and think critically. However, with a changing society and outside influencers, research seems to show that young learners aren’t finding significance in their learning experiences. Therefore, to develop agency in learning it needs to be situated, authentic and personalised. In the Changing culture of learning: Mobility, Informality, and connectivity – mLearning re-framed Lai delves into how educators can work towards facilitating this.

Recommended videos

From the ever growing repository of videos (1,430 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.

  • Collective nouns are a way to have fun with language. This video looks at the meaning behind some interesting collective nouns in nature  – Why is a group of crows called a ‘murder’?

  • What is sociology? Sociology seems to be a subject with a little bit of mystery around it. This video gives a  Crash Course on Sociology, beginning  by explaining what exactly sociology is.

  • Education tutorial: Exploring VoiceThread |  – this tutorial shows how to create interactive discussions both in and out of the classroom with VoiceThread.

  • In this free lesson you will learn the essential skills you need to master the e-learning tool that is Wikispaces Classroom.

  • This neat little video looks at how the brain works, how we learn, and why we sometimes make stupid mistakes – because thinking is actually uncomfortable. Take a look: The uncomfortable effort of thinking.




What’s on?

Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including the 3rd International Conference on Studies in Law, Education, Business and Corporate Social Responsibilities (LEBCSR-17) taking place in Paris on April 27th 2017.

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

March 6, 2017

Your Ethos Newsletter for February

This arrived in my mailbox on Friday – something for my Kiwi readers…

Your newsletter from the Ethos Online Community – February 2017

Kia ora, talofa lava, and greetings,


First a quick update. Hazel is undergoing a few health challenges at the moment, so I (Charlotte) am picking up the whole of the newsletter for this month.


Leadership is something that seeps into all aspects of life – family, work, friends, education and more. Leadership has been a discussion of high visibility lately, with one of our most powerful nations gaining a new controversial leader in the form of Donald Trump. While Trump may not be everyone’s cup of tea, he does bring to light an interesting question – what makes someone a good leader?


This question is one I always find challenging as it has little to do with likeability or the usual benchmarks we use to measure the appeal of our peers, for example someone can be a good leader but not necessarily a good person. While Trump may have met a lot of negativity, there is no denying that he has managed to capture the following of a significant amount of people. This is a well-known and common occurrence with past world leaders.


This month, John S. Oliver, has shared with us his stance. In Here is my article on leadership… what do you think? John comes from the standpoint of assessing a leader more on the guidance they can give and how effectively this is delivered, rather than the normal method of analysing qualities and traits. This looks at what a leader provides rather than how they provide it.


As the world has witnessed many a time before, there is a dark side to leadership. While we need good leaders to be in control, sometimes this control isn’t used in a positive way. In Carol Black’s documentary, Schooling the World, she ponders how this control is asserted in education. Carol states “as our climate heats up, as mountaintops are removed from Orissa to West Virginia, as the oceans fill with plastic and soils become too contaminated to grow food, as the economy crumbles and children go hungry and the 0.001% grows so concentrated, so powerful, so wealthy that democracy becomes impossible, it’s time to ask ourselves; who’s educating us? To what end?”


This is a particularly interesting point – one that is commonly overlooked due to people associating education with inherent good and therefore not feeling the need to dip below the surface. In Merryn Dunmill’s post around the documentary and this subject, she points out how accustomed our society is to having an education system that is simply dictated to us. How often do we question the motive behind our curriculums, assessments, and the collection of data? We accept that being tested and ranked is simply part of gaining an education – something we consider a privilege.


What do you think about the subject? Should control in education be something we are concerned about? And if so, what is the alternative? Jump into the community to add your comments!


Welcome to new members – February

The Ethos Online Community now has 434 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to January’s new members to the community:

  • Nicholas J Major, a Nelson based Education Consultant. Nicholas is curious about how ICT can help best harness the benefits of digital technologies to support education without becoming either overwhelming or distracting


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.

  • We’ve most likely all come across someone we considered a great leader, but there seems to always be an air of mystery around what exactly makes someone a better leader than someone else. It’s therefore always a great topic to discuss and hear others opinions on. John S. Oliver shares his thoughts on positive leadership in here is my article on leadership… what do you think?. John delves into the different types of guidance a leader should be able to effectively provide. It would be great to hear others thoughts and experiences on this.

  • While education is seen as a privilege and has even been described as the key to freedom, do we ever delve deeper into the control that may lie behind the current systems? In ‘Occupy Your Brain’ Carol Black ponders, when so many negative things are being allowed to happen at the hands of the ‘educated’ powers that be, do we ever stop to ask, ‘who’s educating us, and to what end?’ In developed societies we have become worryingly desensitised to an education system with centralised control. This is magnified due to the fact that education is often viewed as innately ‘good’ and therefore it doesn’t come naturally to question the motives behind it. However, we are letting others dictate what we must learn, how, when and the assessment process.  Occupy Your Brain: On Power, Knowledge, and the Re-Occupation of Common Sense looks at Carol Black’s documentary, Schooling the World. This was the culmination of many years of research into cross-cultural perspectives on education. Thanks to Merryn Dunmill  for this fascinating post.

  • Nicholas J Major has this month posted an interesting blog that fits nicely into the mentoring information we’ve had filtering through over the last few months. Nicholas simply asks, what’s in a question? Here Nicholas asks how effective the questions commonly used during mentoring sessions actually are. Particularly the often used ‘why’ question. Nicholas states that a number of sources he has recently encountered suggest that ‘why’, ‘who’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ questions are information seeking questions, whereas ‘what’ questions are wisdom accessing questions. The difference being that the former questions tend to elicit responses grounded in the past, whereas the latter can produce deeper insights that help understand what is important to the other person or help them move forward to accomplish their goals. Nicholas gives some great examples of particularly evocative questions and research that’s gone into the subject. What do you think about the different styles of questions?

  • Paul Keown has kindly shared with us a series of posts focused on values in schools. The first addresses the ambiguity around how values in education are defined. Addressing the value dimensions in curriculums can be challenging and confusing. Nicholas draws upon some key educators and theorists, along with the dimensions outlined in the NZC values statement, to simplify these down to three categories. Paul stresses the importance of all parties involved (parents, teachers, schools and students) comprehending these three dimensions in order for the values programme to be a balanced one. Off the back of a question raised from this post, Paul then discusses the third dimension in more detail in The issue of the 3rd dimension of values in schools. This dimension focuses on the need for a school’s programme to be fully discussed and negotiated in the community and, once adopted, made clearly evident in the all actions and interactions in the life of the school. From Paul’s work implementing values systems it is evident that the third dimension is the most challenging and often the one left behind. Paul stresses the importance of an action plan and gives some in-depth and insightful advice on how to get around the difficulties this dimension may propose. Some values bouquets and More bouquets: Two secondary schools then analyse four case studies. One example looks at a school that has done particularly well at building their values system across all dimensions (including the tricky third one) while another looks at a school that has taken an unconventional approach that has produced some interesting ideas. Great to see how values can work in practice also.


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:

  • Although Twitter is a widely used social tool, it doesn’t seem to have found its place in the education world just yet. This post references a session by Lyndon Walker that looks at different ways Twitter can be used in teaching. The session starts off with ‘transmission’ (e.g. reminders that appear via Blackboard directly to a student’s Twitter feed), as well as class questioning, microblogging, interaction (such as debate and discussion), and sharing of social media links. Lyndon also introduces R – a  free software environment for statistical computing and graphics that is widely used and well supported. There are tools such as usage statistics, networks (which enable you to map followers across the world) and sentiment analysis – in other words what students are tweeting. Twitter has many useful teaching applications, and access to the underlying data can add a meta level to student engagement and learning

  • Unfortunately, we all know what it is to feel snowed under and short on time. Thankfully we received a fantastic time saving recommendation from John S. Oliver. The power of the crowd: Online communities that help save you time will send you to a great blog that helps address some of those ‘time’ challenges we all face

  • Xochitl de la Piedad Garcia suggests that engagement comprises of the time, energy and resources that students devote to activities designed to enhance learning at university. Xochitl wanted to investigate how to harbour engagement in a first year statistics unit. Using behaviourism as a framework, Xochitl’s idea was to encourage  behaviours that were going to increase the likelihood of students developing specific strategies related to improved performance. Xochitl used weekly online exercises to facilitate the engagement, while also providing opportunities for detailed feedback. Take a look at this post to find out what the students comments on the system were, both negative and positive. What do others think of this system?


Recommended videos

From the ever growing repository of videos ( 1,424 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.

  • We live in a time where we quickly put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think? Introducing ‘All That We Share’ – a touching video about getting past ‘types’ in order to connect with your fellow man: TV2 – All that we share

  • Interactive notebook is a nifty little video all about using Interactive Student Notebooks in your ELA classroom

  • In this video you can learn about ‘New Classrooms’, a non profit organisation that leverages classroom design, teacher talent, and technology to enable personalised learning for more than 7,000 students in 15 pioneering schools

  • How to learn faster with the Feynman technique (example included) – If you want to cut your study time, using the Feynman Technique is a great way to do it. Named after the physicist Richard Feynman, it revolves around explaining a concept in simple language as if you were teaching it to someone else

  • In every workplace, there are three basic kinds of people: givers, takers and matchers. In Promoting a culture of generosity, organisational psychologist Adam Grant breaks down these personalities and offers simple strategies to promote a culture of generosity and keep self-serving employees from taking more than their share

  • Working hard but not improving? You’re not alone. Eduardo Briceño reveals a simple way to think about getting better at the things you do, whether that’s work, parenting or creative hobbies. And he shares some useful techniques so you can keep learning and always feel like you’re moving forward. Take a look – How to get better at the things you care about.



  • Online communities, ideally, should play an important part in their members long-term learning, contributing also to their professional development. An effective community should provide a space for people with common interests to creatively, robustly and respectfully, unpack some of the interesting challenges in their own practice and everyday lives. However, this is easier said than done. In Developing relationships – the key to fostering online professional communities there are a number of resources and articles designed to help those facilitating communities do so in a positive way

  • One of the great things about technology and the internet is the access to information we may not have previously had – such as the ability to hop online and learn a new skill – for free! 10 tips to get your head around design – especially in the digital realm is one of these fantastic resources. The linked article gives lots of tips on how to get the basics down, and progress, your design skills.


What’s on?

Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including the 2017 Global Student Conference – keynotes and presentations by students for students, taking place on March 4th as an online activity.


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

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 20, 2017

[Lists] PSA Super Conference October 20-21, 2017

From yesterday’s inbox…

The  PSA Super Conference will bring together 25 Provincial Specialist Associations at the Vancouver Conference Centre for a two-day professional development event on October 20-21, 2017.

Interested in being a part of the program?

  • Topics should address or integrate multiple areas/broad areas of interest.
  • Session times will be 75 minutes.
  • Audiences will range between 40-150 people.

What would I receive as a presenter per session presented?

  • Free registration at an amazing professional development event!
  • Up to a $100 contribution toward expenses.
  • How do I demonstrate my interest in being a presenter?
  • Sessions must be sponsored by participating PSAs. Please contact one of the participating PSAs (list on back) for more information.
  • Presenters will be notified about session acceptance after March 1, 2017.

The Distributed Learning PSA has seven spots for presenters…if you wish to be considered to be a presenter then complete this form ( by February 3, 2017.

Christopher Rozitis, PhD
Vancouver School Board
– Vancouver Learning Network (604 713 5560
Skype: christopher.rozitis.vln39
 Apple Distinguished Educator (2007)

Getting beyond textualism…

Lists mailing list

January 15, 2017

Enroll Today in Designing Blended Learning

Another item from Thursday’s inbox…

Illinois Virtual School – Professional Development
Please share with all educators in your area!
View this email in your browser
Enroll Today in Designing Blended Learning
In this six week facilitated online course, you will learn how to transition your teaching to blended learning experiences where some portion of learning occurs online and outside the classroom setting.
Don’t Delay, Enroll Today!
Course starts Wednesday, January 18,
but you can enroll up to Friday, January 20.
Course ends March 1, 2017.
Next Course Offered:
Project-Based Approaches
March 8 – April 18

Explore the features and benefits of project-based authentic learning with classroom scenarios that help you engage students with self-directed learning.

What Participants are Saying
“I can’t even begin to explain how
useful these courses are. When a school
board member came in and saw my
students building their designs, we
were able to talk about 21st Century
Skills, as well as individual, peer, and
class assessments used in the project.
He and the Principal thought the
project was great. With this class, I was
able to draw all of the pieces together.
I had no idea it was going to be so useful
and fun!!!!! 
Our six week facilitated courses are only $100 for 25 PD Clock Hours with
2 Graduate Credit Hours available separately through Aurora University!

If you’d rather take a self-paced course, we also offer several courses that allow you to progress through a course without scheduled due dates or assignment deadlines. Visit ourSelf-Paced Courses webpage.

Professional Development hours will be provided through the Peoria County ROE #48.

Illinois Virtual School
Our mailing address is:

Illinois Virtual School

10112 W Dubois Rd.
P.O. Box 103

Edwards, IL 61528

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