Virtual School Meanderings

May 22, 2016

Nau mai! Haere mai!

For my Kiwi readers…

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VLN Primary School logo

VLN Primary School

Nau mai! Haere mai! by Rachel Whalley

VLN Primary School
VLN Primary School— Rachel Whalley

All are welcome to join our VLN Primary AGM Tuesday 24th May 4.00 pm. Agenda & Connection details are: Read more
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Copyright © VLN Primary School, 2016

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

May 16, 2016

VLN Primary School – May Update

An update for my Kiwi readers…

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VLN Primary School logo

VLN Primary School

VLN Primary School – May Update

Special visitors to Halfmoon Bay School
Special visitors to Halfmoon Bay School, by Kath Johnson

Awesome Airpoints Support by Rachel Whalley

Big shout out & thanks to our supporters who have been donating their Air New Zealand Airpoints – keep them coming please! 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:

Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes

In this newsletter we celebrate the success of the Rural & Remote Schools project being recognised with a Merit in the national DEANZ award; and we update you on our Air NZ Airpoint progress and ask you to keep sharing and supporting this for our students. There is an offer to all our VLN Primary schools from the Pye Foundation to join up for a pilot project that offers access to Sunshine Classics online. Barrie Matthews from LEARNZ invites students and teachers to become Nature Watchers with the iNaturalist app and to join our newest WeLearn group to share their findings. Ginette writes about her big day out at Wairakei Primary School and we discuss the Arts Online curriculum with Education HQ.

It is as usual another busy month in the VLN Primary school. We are very excited to announce that Ginette our National Co-ordinator / eLearning Support, has now been employed full time for the remainder of the year. This will make a huge difference to the level of support for our eteachers and students and provide us with the capacity to work with new schools as they join us throughout the year. It will also free Rachel up to focus on developing sustainability for the VLN Primary School within the changing NZ education landscape. This involves a lot of advocacy, networking, proposal and fund writing applications. We are cautiously optimistic that we are starting to gain some movement in this area and will soon be able to focus on the business of teaching and learning online and not just surviving each year intact. We are trialling a new webconferencing tool Zoom and early indications show this is going to make a huge difference in providing quality, reliable connections between our schools. We will report further in our next newsletter. This week Rachel is at conference with the Sole Charge & Teaching Principals and presenting ‘Tips and Tools for Online Collaboration.’ This conference is always a highlight on our calendar and results in stronger networks and new ideas for schools collaborations.

Ngā mihi nui

Kia pai tō wiki

VLN Primary Schools Receives DEANZ Merit Award

VLN Primary School Recognised with DEANZ Award

The 2016 Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) Award was awarded at the organisation’s biennial conference in Hamilton, at Hobbiton. The awards evening is part of the DEANZ conference that hosted around 200 delegates at the University of Waikato from 17-20 April. Read more

Sunshine Books

VLN Primary Schools Share in the Sunshine 

VLN Primary schools have been invited to become a part of the Sunshine Classics pilot project, which is funded by the Pye Foundation.  Read more

A NatureWatch observation of a Red Admiral, a butterfly species endemic to New Zealand.

Attention all Nature Watchers

Harness the power of children as citizen scientists, with iNaturalist, NZ Nature Watch, LEARNZ & VLN Primary.  Read more

Connected Collaboration with Wairakei Primary School 

Ginette met with participating children and teachers from Wairakei Primary School recently to meet the children and their contributing eTeachers. All Year 5 & 6 children participate in our programmes this year along with 2 eteachers, and 2 still to train.  Read more

 Opening of the My Story, Your Story, Our Story exhibition at Orewa Estuary Arts Centre - June 15

Arts Online Features in Education HQ

Rachel talks to Education HQ about how the Arts Curriculum is catered for in the VLN Primary. We have supported a few great projects, but there is scope to do so much more with the support of keen contributors and more funding. Get in touch if you would like to drive this in our learning community. Read more

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Copyright © VLN Primary School, 2016

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

April 13, 2016

VLN Primary – Term 1 Update

One for my Kiwi readers…

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VLN Primary School logo

VLN Primary School

VLN Primary – Term 1 Update

Class of 2013 - Rural & Remote Schools
Class of 2013 – Rural & Remote Schools, by Kath Johnson

Support our students with AirNZ AirPoints for Schools  by Rachel Whalley

Donate AirNZ airpoints and help our kids get to camp in 2017! 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:

Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes

With just a couple of days to go to a well deserved Term 1 break please take a few minutes to catch up with our news, or put this on top of your holiday reading list.

It has been a busier than usual first term with a record numbers of enrolments, new schools joining and many more new eteachers too. Check them all out in our Welcome below. The ALLiS project has increased our level of activity, and is positioning for growth and as such we are now able to employ Ginette our National Coordinator & eLearning Support full time from the beginning of June.

We are very excited to announce a new partnership with Hail. Having a strong online presence and coherent communication channels is really important for the VLN Primary School so partnering with Hail is enabling us to step up! They will assist us to create our best online presence and will offer our member schools preferential pricing and support. We are looking forward to working with the Hail team and are planning our first webinar in Term 2. More details below.

Check out the Junior Eureka programme. You can access and use this in your schools individually or join in a collaboration with us. STEM curriculum is an area that is under resourced in the VLN Primary School and highly sought after by our schools, therefore we recently made application to Unlocking Curious Minds Funding. We will hear back on this sometime in May.

We are making one more drive for school communities to host a visiting Chinese teacher. These teachers are due in July but preparation for this is being done NOW. More information for you below to follow up on.

Finally our Rural & Remote Schools Project children & their teachers were very proud to be one of a handful of schools picked from 70 applicants for the new Air New Zealand AirPoints for Schools programme. Please share their story as widely as you can and donate a few airpoints to our students.

Ngā mihi

Kia pai tō hararei

#connectedlearners

Welcome to new learners & teachers

Our learning network continues to grow! Read more

Engaging Young People in STEM

Eureka!

Engaging young people in STEM & help build students confidence in communicating Science. Read more

Host a Chinese Teacher

Host a Chinese Teacher 

What better way to bring the world to your corner of NZ and develop our children’s understanding of cultural diversity, customs and languages. We need host schools and families! Read more

Content creation and collaboration on the go

VLN Primary School Partners with Hail

Having a strong online presence and coherent communication channels is really important for the VLN Primary School so partnering with Hail is enabling us to step up! Read more

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Copyright © VLN Primary School, 2016

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

March 24, 2016

VLN Primary School – March Update

One for my Kiwi readers…

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VLN Primary School logo

VLN Primary School

VLN Primary School – March Update

Introducing Ourselves in Spanish Class with Eva
Introducing Ourselves in Spanish Class with Eva, by Rachel Whalley

Thunderbirds are Go! by Rachel Whalley

Classes are up and running for Semester one but there are still more opportunities to participate! 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:

Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes

In this newsletter we update you on: 

Our new and returning schools and ongoing learning opportunities for our students.

News from AFS about upcoming Chinese Teachers Exchange.See how our schools have been involved,  find out more about AFS and how to participate. This is a great opportunity to bring the world to your school and classroom and to help our students develop an awareness of diversity and other cultures.

Some PLD opportunities for teachers. DEANZ conference at Waikato University in the first week of the holidays, have held their Early Bird conference rate open for all Primary teachers to encourage their participation. The VLN Primary school is an affiliate of DEANZ and will be presenting at this conference.

Heads up on a great open PLD resource and activity 23 Things from CReATE at Auckland University.

Finally and most importantly – we extend our call again for community members to put themselves forward to join the Governance Group. Please get shoulder tapping amongst your school communities and networks, past or present BoT members, movers and shakers in your communities – we need them to work with us for ALL of our children.  A couple more good people is what we need – your Mission go out and find them for us!

Ngā mihi o te Aranga 

The Centre for Creative Application of Technology in Education (CreATE) is dedicated to enhancing learning, teaching and scholarship through digital innovation.   http://goo.gl/vtGSBR 

Free Online Learning Series – 23 Teaching Things

Would you like to upskill yourself in Digital tools and how to use them to support teaching and learning? Read more

DEANZ Conference - 

17-20th April - University of Waikato

There & Back: Charting flexible pathways in open, mobile and distance education. 

An invitation is extended to Primary & Secondary schools to participate in this exciting and relevant conference in the next school holidays at Waikato University. Early bird rates will apply for all schools.  Read more

China - Kiwi Working Together

AFS Chinese Teacher Exchange

How can you host a teacher in a virtual school? Share her among your schools across New Zealand and give her a road (plane, boat) trip to remember! 2016 opportunity coming up soon! Read more

VLN Primary Kids #connectedlearners

Expressions of interest are sought for appointments to VLN Primary Governance Group

Our AGM is coming up in April, and we are looking for new trustees who will help take our work to the next level. If you are passionate about empowering our young people with equity & access to education, you have networks and experience in business and community, and are serious about making a difference then we need you! Read more

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Copyright © VLN Primary School, 2016

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

March 1, 2016

Drive for New Trustees

Another one that is for primarily Kiwi readers…

Kia ora koutou

You will see in the newsletter just distributed an article calling for new trustees.

Here is the direct link to the article.

We are looking for new trustees for our charitable trust that runs our Virtual School.

As you are well connected in community & business please can you help distribute our call to action among people you think may be interested in your networks. We are looking for someone who wants to help drive educational change and work with us to lead this collaborative initiative forward. Our schools demographic is very strongly rural, although we also work with city schools for example Mangere Central. We need someone with strong community & business links, as our current board is mainly academics, & school leaders – so our skill set and connections really need extending.

Here’s a snapshot of our key goals 16/17:

  • enabling collaboration between small and rural schools and extending the Rural & Remote Schools Project; 
  • growing te reo Māori learning opportunities for students and PLD for teachers through the Virtual Rumaki programme;
  • extending opportunities for student learning and PLD through growth of the STEM programme which already includes computer coding, extension maths & science;
  • further developing literacy programmes and extending the focus of language programmes with a greater focus on cultural and global connections that reflect the growing diversity in NZ communities.
  • Provide targeted professional learning and development that will build digital fluency for students and teachers and capability for collaboration between and across schools.

Ngā mihi nui

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

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