Virtual School Meanderings

September 19, 2017

September Update 2017

One for my Kiwi readers.

Email not displaying nicely? View the full publication.
VLN Primary School logo VLN Primary School
September Update 2017
VLN Primary Rural Kids Group
VLN Primary Rural Kids Group, by Rachel Whalley
Give your students a voice by Rachel Whalley
You have given your students a choice to learn online, now give them a voice to tell us about it. We want to give your students a voice in the VLN Primary. Share their stories with us! 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

Another term is near the end and I am sure you are all looking ahead to a well deserved break. For some keen enough and lucky enough, this might include participating in ULearn17 conference.  In this newsletter we include a summary of what the VLN Primary team is presenting at ULearn17 and look forward to the opportunity to meet some of you in Hamilton this holiday break.

NZCER have recently published some interesting research findings about digital technologies for learning in primary schools that show there is a lot of potential for students to be collaborating and communicating beyond their classroom.

Te reo māori kaiako who are keen to teach online, please get in touch. If you are interested, or know anyone who would be, please share this with them. Thanks to Matua Matetu for all the work he has done with us during this year.

We share some great opportunities for Science PLD coming up through the Science Learning Hub. Finally we ask our students to share their stories with us. VLN Primary schools please take this request to your students. We would love to hear from them.

Ngā mihi nui



See you at ULearn17 conference

We’ll be at ULearn in the October term break. If you are there too, make sure you come along to one of our presentations or seek us out for a chat! Check out breakouts from our team: Read more

Prince Harry takes an Online Class
Digital Technologies for learning

NZCER recently released a report looking at the role of digital technologies for learning in primary and intermediate schools. Some interesting key findings were outlined for schools and very relevant too for the VLN Primary. Read more

Paparimu children join in Te Reo Māori Online 
Te Reo Māori kaiako wanted 

Are you a registered teacher with a sound knowledge of te reo Māori, tikanga & kaupapa Māori? Have good level of digital fluency? Want to develop your skills as an online kaiako? We have a part-time position & would love to have you join our team! Read more

Science Learning Hub
Online PLD with the Science Learning Hub

It is great to see a growing number of professional organisations offering their PLD online. Science Learning Hub regularly offers these opportunities. Check out what’s coming up: Read more

  Explore the full publication  
Go to the website     Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter     Follow us on Google     Follow us on YouTube
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.

September 5, 2017

Article Notice: Pedagogical Practices Of NetNZ Teachers For Supporting Online Distance Learners

This item showed up yesterday in the These New Articles For Distance Education Are Available Online entry, but I wanted to highlighted today in this fashion too.

Publication Cover

Original Articles

A supportive online learning environment entails teachers using effective pedagogical practices to meet the needs of their students and developing a positive teacher–student relationship to foster learner motivation and engagement. This paper reports a study investigating how 32 secondary teachers in New Zealand taught their online distance classes and how they related to their students. These classes were administered by NetNZ, an online distance education community. An online survey conducted in 2016 found that NetNZ teachers used inquiry-based practices including flipped learning and knowledge-building pedagogies to support agency, autonomy, collaboration, and community development. They also used synchronous and asynchronous communication technologies to overcome barriers of relationship building in online settings. NetNZ was unique in delivering distance education in the New Zealand context in that it used a community approach to encourage a more active participation of its member schools and teachers in delivering distance courses to secondary students.


June 20, 2017

June Update 2017

A newsletter for my Kiwi colleagues.

Email not displaying nicely? View the full publication.
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

  Explore the full publication  
Go to the homepage     Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter     Follow us on Google     Follow us on YouTube
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.

May 28, 2017

Budget Day Divides Education Community, More To Be Done On Teacher Supply, Technology Special Report

A newsletter for my Kiwi readers (note the article on the VLNP sharing tech expertise within the education community and Online learning creates desire to dream and explore that focus on the Virtual Learning Network-Primary).

Your education news bulletin
from EducationHQ New Zealand.
New Zealand Edition / Friday, May 26, 2017
Policy / Significant investment in education enough on Budget Day?
A significant investment in New Zealand’s children and future has been made in the 2017 Budget, according to Education Minister Nikki Kaye. Meanwhile, New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart says the Budget is not even a catch-up from previous years where education has suffered.
School news / New measures to increase teacher supply are not enough
While new government measures to increase teacher supply have been welcomed by the education sector, there are many issues yet to be addressed.
Technology / Creating maker movement magic at your school
According to teacher and blogger Elisa Bostwick, “every child is a maker by nature. As teachers we must ignite curiosity, embrace creativity, and inspire students to identify their passions and believe in themselves”.
Sign your school up now, to receive a free print edition of the NZ Excursion, Incursion & Camp Guide
EducationHQ is pleased to officially announce the arrival of the 2017 Schools Excursion, Incursion and Camp Guide. Registered schools will receive a free printed edition of the guide in July. To make sure your school is on the mailing list, please complete the online form.
Technology / VLNP sharing tech expertise within the education community
With digital technology set to be integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum by 2018, schools are looking to educators who are already “tech savvy” and who teach online – such as those involved in the Virtual Learning Network Primary (VLNP).
Publish an article
Technology / Online learning creates desire to dream and explore
Technology / B4s addressing gap in student knowledge
Technology / Technology is breaking down barriers for Deaf students
Health and safety / Helpful ideas if you have a gluten-free student in your classroom
School news / Child abduction attempt in Christchurch
School news / Family wants charges over student’s death
Post a job
Department of Education and Training (Queensland) / EOI – Senior Human Resources Consultant
Billanook College / Visual Art Assistant – 0.7 FTE (LSL Contract)
Department of Education and Training (Queensland) / EOI – Head of Special Education Services – Mackay West State School Special Education Program
Ruyton Girls School / Early Learning Aftercare Programme Co-Educator (Assistant)
Promote an event
Professional Development / Principal Workshop: Effective communication with the media, print, radio and TV
Conference/ NZIP 2017 Conference
Create a profile
Excursion/ Ngāi Tahu Tourism
Excursion / Visy Recycling
School / Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School
Write for us
Are you a teacher keen to share your thoughts, experience and success stories with the EducationHQ community? We’re looking for writers to contribute articles to our website and magazines.
Submit your ideas to the editor
Follow us
twitter like

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

May 24, 2017

May Update 2017

One for my Kiwi readers…

Email not displaying nicely? View the full publication.
VLN Primary School logo VLN Primary School
May Update 2017
VLN Primary snap shot of new web page
VLN Primary snap shot of new web page, by Helen Goldsworthy
VLN Primary School launches new website by Helen Goldsworthy
We are excited to launch our new website that better reflects our school and how we operate.   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

It has been a very eventful month in education with the appointment of Minister Nikki Kaye as the new Minister of Education and the passing of legislation that will pave the way for many changes in education. Of particular importance to us is Communities of Online Learning. This potentially has huge implications for the VLN Primary in providing the recognition and resources it needs to be able to sustain and develop online learning for NZ learners. We have been very active in our advocacy of online learning across the political and community spectrum and intend to be active in the consultation process leading in to the development of CoOLs guidelines.  We encourage you all to engage with this consultation process as well.

This month I had the privilege of joining our Rural & Remote Project kids and their Principals on camp in Wellington. This is our 3rd biennial  camp and we now have met several sets of siblings through the years. We had an amazing time, you can see some of our activities here. Look out for our students article in next month’s newsletter.

In this newsletter:

Our eteachers get the professional recognition they deserve from the Education Council, and can now be attested for renewal of their registration through our VLN Primary appraisal system.

We welcome our newest team member Matetu Herewini who will be working alongside Koka Jules as a kaiako of te reo Māori. Thanks to Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi who have been very supportive of us in working with Matetu.

Check out our Korean programmes with Sunny Yang. The best time is NOW to get your children involved in learning Korean, as this year while we are part of the ALLiS project there are no tuition costs.

For a cultural infusion in your school we encourage you to host a visiting teacher through AFS Educational Advantage. This opportunity is coming up very soon, so get in quick and consider sharing this opportunity with your local school cluster.

Thanks to all those who have contributed their viewpoints in our strategic planning consultation. There is still a couple of days to provide formal feedback (though of course you can tell us what you think anytime).

Finally we want to draw your attention to the World Rescue Game developed by UNESCO and designed to develop global citizenship skills, and knowledge of peace & sustainability issues.

Kia pai tō ra

Ngā mihi nui



Nicki, Olivia, Ginette - eteachers VLNP
VLN Primary approved to renew eteachers registrations

The VLN Primary is really pleased to announce that we have recently become an approved institution through the Education Council to attest for our eteachers renewal of registration. Read more

Matetu Herewini and tamāhine
Haere mai to our new kaiako Matetu Herewini

Matetu has recently joined our team to teach Te reo Māori. Read more

Sunny Yang - Korean VLN primary school teacher
Learn Korean Online with Sunny Yang

Sunny, our new Korean teacher, is excited to be teaching her native language here in New Zealand with the VLN Primary School. Read more

Visiting AFS teacher Yaju, with Halfmoon Bay Students
Immerse Yourself in a Cultural Experience

Host a Chinese teacher with AFS, and provide a valuable cultural experience for the whole school.Read more

VLN Primary School Logo
Strategic Review – Community Consultation

The VLN Primary Governance team are seeking to consult with our community on our 2018-2020 Charter & Strategic Plan. All views are invited, from schools, whānau, & the wider community. Read more

World Rescue Game image from website
World Rescue Game

World Rescue Game fosters global citizenship and educates on peace and sustainable development. Read more

  Explore the full publication  
Go to the homepage     Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter     Follow us on YouTube
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.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at