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Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Moodlemoot New Zealand 1-3 October 2014

15/08/2014 Leave a comment

It’s time to register (and propose a talk!) for Moodlemoot NZ 2014. This year we will be enjoying sunny Nelson as the hosting venue is Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. Block out Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd October 2014.

The first day is workshops, with four offerings:

  • Moodle Foundation for newer users
  • Moodle Administration
  • Mobile Moodle
  • Moodle in Government

There will be the usual three tracks: technical, general and teaching.

Martin Dougiamas (founder of Moodle) will share “Moodle from the horses mouth” and Dave Sturrock (NMIT) will also keynote.

The usual fun and frivolity can be expected at the conference dinner.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Sharefest

15/04/2014 Leave a comment

Sharefest is an annual conference held in Hamilton, New Zealand, in September. In it’s seventh year, it aims “to encourage and develop an ongoing community of practice where those engaged in e-activities… can share their innovations and experiences” (http://wordpress.isle.ac.nz/shar-e-fest-2014).

 

Theme: E-learning in practice: How are learning technologies and social media being used effectively to enhance student learning and achievement?

 

Keynote speaker: Professor Jan Herrington 

Keydates:

  • First call for papers:  8 July 2014
  • Conference: 29-30 September 2014

Registration: click on the “register” link and you get sent an email to activate your membership 

Submission: the submission system will go live in early July, so plenty of time for you to prepare!

The old website provides a bit of history and the flavour of the event. 

Manaiakalani

09/04/2014 Leave a comment

Manaiakalani is an elearning and literacy strategy that is being coordinated out of Pt England School but includes a lot of schools in the Tamaki region of Auckland. 

The plan was/is to get one netbook per child (almost like one laptop per child but not quite?) for students from year five through to year thirteen, and to distribute wireless broadband into homes in the community, increasing family engagement in education. The first netbooks distributed run Ubuntu and they use Google apps for managing their work. Software in the build includes GIMP, Scratch and TuxPaint. The newer devices are Chromebooks. 

To see how it all fits together you might want to check out the Tamaki Achievement Pathway website.

 

Hackers

The Manaiakalani Hackers meet at Pt England fortnightly to support the project, along with all the other stakeholders: teachers, students, families, philantrophists, researchers, contributors, and the Manaiakalani Education Trust (hopefully I included most of the stakeholders in my list!). 

Us hackers wrote some design principles way back in the beginning, which we revisit occasionally to see if we are still on the same page. We have indepth honest discussions at our meetings – rowdy, passionate discussions – where lots of points of view were brought to light and thrashed about. We frequently have guests at our meeting and all the given feedback is very useful.

I think the role of the hackers and the Trust are to facilitate the changes necessary, so technology is developed, and solutions tailored to be appropriate to the pedagogy desired.

 

Progress

Wow! Looking back over the last few years since Manaiakalani started, here are some highlights courtesy of http://www.manaiakalani.org/our-story 

  • Tamaki College became New Zealand’s first state secondary school go fully digital in 2012 with all 600+ students with netbooks and has doubled its NCEA level 2 results for Māori and Pasifika in its first digital year making it among the top 60 improving schools in country
  • We have research validated rates of improvement for reading, writing and number across its primary schools that exceed national averages
  • We have developed and tested a software product called the Teacher Dashboard which is now in is the hands of 1m + users in the USA and elsewhere
  • Commercial partners have invented a wireless network that has gets UFB quality wireless into family homes for $4 netbook per month
  • More than 1500 families on an average adult income of $19k are paying off netbooks at $40 deposit and $15 per month over 3 years with an 80%+ payment success
  • Nearly $4m over 4 years has been raised to support this innovation and nearly 30% comes from parents
  • Tamaki year 9 students are sitting internal assessment online (NZQA have announced all exams will be online in 10 years)
  • We are creating a digital teaching academy in 2014 partnering with the University of Auckland.

The success comes down to:

  1. Collaboration across 11 schools where ‘all boats rise on a rising tide’
  2. Parent as investors with support from commerce and philanthropy
  3. Results focus on reading, writing and number with comprehensive research
  4. Shared pedagogy across cluster – Learn, Create and Share
  5. Affordable infrastructure

 

 

OLPC in NZ

09/04/2014 Leave a comment

After years of volunteering for One Laptop Per Child and Sugarlabs (I started mid 2008), it is very exciting to share with you that there are now New Zealand schools using the “One Laptop Per Child” XO laptops in both English and Maori. There are more than two million XO laptops distributed around the world, with over five thousand in the Pacific, and over seven thousand in Australia

A not-for-profit charitable trust, OLPC New Zealand has now been established in New Zealand to “to empower educators to lead and inspire children to learn through innovative use of affordable technology”. 

XO Laptop New Zealand Empowering Kids Learning

The first school to get them is Te Wharekura o Manaia. You can read all about it in the Hauraki Herald.  Based in the Coromandel, this is a bilingual school making the most of the opportunity to have laptops in Te Reo. When I visited this school I met some of the fabulous teachers and students who are using the XO laptops and saw just how much they had discovered in their first weeks.  

With over one hundred laptops now in the hands of kiwi kids, it is a good time for you to step forward if you want to be involved. There are lots of ways you can help, so contact the OLPC New Zealand trust to find out how. 

 

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