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Connected Educator Team


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July 2018

Play-based learning: producing critical, creative and innovative thinkers.

July 17

Go inside any primary school classroom and look for the ‘play’. Where is it? When did we become so serious with our students and forget to include play? It was only 15 years ago that we could go into any Year 1 classroom and find children playing with play-dough and creating the most spectacular creatures, painting a masterpiece or gluing together toilet rolls to make a spaceship. They were engaging with each other, negotiating, sorting out arguments and establishing friendships.…

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E kore e pau te ika unahi nui — Restoring the holistic wellbeing of Māori boys through connection and innovation

July 18

As part of CORE’s commitment to supporting innovative practices, Jason Ruakere and I have been awarded CORE’s Pro-bono research grant, which we are undertaking during 2018. The brief for the research is: “E kore e pau te ika unahi nui” is a collaboratively-based research project with Puniho Pā, whānau, schools and a group of Māori boys living in coastal Taranaki. This is an exploratory study, this kaupapa is investigating and trialing how Ako is applied within ancestral spaces (marae, awa,…

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Can we identify a successful teacher better, faster, and cheaper?

July 23

Dr Michael Strong is Adjunct Professor and Visiting Research Scientist in the College of Education at the Texas Tech University. He has recently been interested in teacher evaluation, particularly through observational analysis of teaching and figuring out how it predicts a teacher’s ability to improve student learning. Michael developed an instrument called RATE - the Rapid Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness. It's a simple observation instrument that school administrators, mentors, and teacher educators can use to predict which teachers will need…

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Creating safe spaces: Triggering the shift for sexuality and gender inclusive classrooms

July 24

In 2017 I had the privilege of being the recipient of the Dr Vince Ham eFellowship awarded through CORE Education. This gave me the opportunity to undertake a research project that contributed to my journey1 of helping to make Aotearoa’s schools safe for all gender and sexuality minorities. I set out to work with a small group of teachers to develop their inclusive practice to make diverse students feel welcome, included, and accepted at school. I was interested in delving…

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Conversations around writing

July 26

I have had a number of conversations recently with teachers about the role of digital technologies in the teaching of writing. I spend a lot of my professional learning delivery around the teaching of writing with a focus on Māori and Pasifika boys through Spirals of Inquiry — looking at making changes in teacher practice to engage and enhance learning experiences for their learners. I have a habit of saying that the changes that we make to our practice need…

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The importance of narratives in teacher education

July 30

Helena Amaral da Fontoura is a professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. For the last five years she has been providing a pedagogical residence to former student teachers who meet at the university out of school hours. They read, do exercises, meditate, draw, talk about their experiences, and then write about them. Helena describes how teachers who have participated in the pedagogical residence demonstrate a richer understanding of their relationships with students. She encourages other teacher educators…

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The strategic thinking roadmap – supporting the development of your digital technologies action plan

July 31

This online guide has been reviewed and significantly updated. It is designed to help your leadership team implement a strategic direction that ensures technologies are integrated into a school-wide plan for effective teaching and learning.

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August 2018

Texan approaches to learning — Aotearoa applications

August 1

Ten years ago, Māori students confirmed for us the central importance of teachers establishing whānau (extended family-like) relationships, Whanaungatanga, to their successfully engaging and achieving at school… Whanaungatanga is necessary and foundational. Bishop, R & Ladwig, J & Berryman, M. (2013). In October 2017 I was Austin bound to peek in the doors of four schools who held reputations for offering ‘disruptive’ education, inclusive education, and/or high academic achievement. In my introductory blog, Destination Texas: Disruptive education as a means…

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Hey, let’s be careful out there – How to legally reuse images from the internet

August 2

Whether you’ve briefly time warped back to the 1980s and are sitting in a moment of Hills Street Blues nostalgia, or you have no idea there is a backstory to this seemingly innocuous phrase, brace yourself for an abrupt segue. Sharing is caring — or is it? As educators, we can find ourselves overwhelmed and challenged when using the Web to curate a dynamic and engaging kete of teaching and learning resources for our students. With our world full of…

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Designing a gamified learning programme

August 7 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

There is no set list of game mechanics that will work for every situation. There are key game elements that can help guide your thinking. This section: introduces some of the key thinking around using a gamified approach in learning design provides tips, strategies, and digital tools for designing gamified learning programmes. "Allowing for content, choice, and challenge to merge in a way that puts the student in control is no easy task, and that is where an intentional gamified…

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The catch 22 of targeted support

August 9

A while ago, I visited a small rural school that had introduced a range of literacy support tools in a systematic way across all of their classes. The school had recognised that much of the content shared and used in their classrooms was in written format and that this was creating a barrier for students. Soon after implementation, staff were excited to note that one student in particular had started working in class and had answered some questions. The literacy…

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What is Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko?

August 14

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, CORE Education and partners are supporting the introduction of the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content into schools and kura through the National Digital Readiness Programme, Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko. Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko is one of three professional development initiatives from the Ministry of Education that introduces the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content.

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Connected Learning Advisory

August 21

The Ministry of Education's Connected Learning Advisory | Te Ara Whītiki is a free service supporting schools, kura, and communities of learning plan for, manage, and use digital technologies for learning. Support includes: using digital technologies in the classroom developing an e-learning action plan engaging your community through digital technologies adopting cloud services procurement of ICT devices and other equipment digital citizenship preparing for BYOD getting ready for the Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko curriculum changes Contact the Advisory Phone…

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Going back to the Island

August 23

Diving deeper into the cultures our students carry into the classrooms. Last year, I was fortunate to go back to my home island of Atiu, in the Cook Islands. It is the place where my father was born, before the Cook Islands even became a nation (the nation of the Cook Islands is only about 50 years old plus change). I went there with Pounamu Media as the focus of a documentary where they were looking at Māori (my mother…

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VLN Primary School

August 28

Registrations are invited from schools wishing to participate in the VLN Primary School in Term 3 & 4. There is a wide range of online language programmes including: Te Reo Māori and Kapa Haka extension maths astronomy visual arts STEM computer programming web design future planning – life skills health and Over the Back Fence Project. Find out more and register your interest online or contact with queries.

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Webinars for Professional Learning in ECE

August 30

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Professional Learning and Development (PLD) programme to support the implementation of the revised and refreshed early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki began in May 2017. Alongside face-to-face workshops and facilitated communities of practice (Kōtui Ako) across the country, part of this implementation support has been to provide webinars. These webinars have been designed to both complement the other elements of the programme and to reach more kaiako. I have been very privileged to…

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