Hobsonville Point Secondary School: co-designing innovation
The state-of-the-art new school was designed, educationally as well as architecturally, to meet the needs of modern learners and provides exciting spaces to work in for both staff and students. We were privileged to have a tour of the new school by Steve Mouldey & Danielle Myburgh, who is also the founder of #NZEdchat (an online community using Twitter to connect New Zealand educators.)
“Edtech is there to amplify a learning that is already going on” (Steve Mouldey)
You can check Steve’s blog or Danielle’s for more information on their innovative practices.
N4L & Pond: fast broadband and future-focused schools
We were introduced to the platform by Carolyn Stewart, former school principal and Education sector lead. Future-focused schools that were outgrowing their internet package can continue at their thriving pace now: ultra-fast broadband is critical in enabling schools to explore more innovative approaches to teaching and learning. N4L’s fully government-funded managed network has been designed specifically for schools: to date, more than 2050 schools (over 80% of all New Zealand’s) are on the Managed Network.
Pond, the second activity of N4L, is an online environment aiming to unite New Zealand teachers, school administrators and students with providers of educational content and services: it is designed to act as a central hub for digital discovery and participation, where educational resources can be accessed and shared.
The Mind Lab: a new generation of teachers for a new generation of learners
The Mind Lab is an inter-disciplinary learning lab offering science, creative and technology programmes for school groups and professional development for teachers: it delivers a very interesting postgraduate certificate in Digital & Collaborative learning for New Zealand teachers, a part time qualification to build on knowledge of emerging technologies and teaching methodologies. Fee McLeod, General Manager of the Mind Lab by Unitec introduced us to the programme that ccovers topics including coding, 3D modelling and printing, science, robotics, game development, electronics, film effects and animation in over 6 cities in NZ. Over the next five years additional new sites are planned with the goal of training 10,000 teachers and over 180,000 school students.
We were lucky to be joined by Booktrack CTO Craig Wilson, Judy Stevenson from SunshineBooks. Judy Stevenson has been working for SunshineBooks (Wendy Pye Publishing) for the last 22 years after a career in teaching. They digitized most of their content and are trusted amongst their customers because of their track record. Over 500 schools use SunshineClassics for free in NZ, with a clear focus on literacy.
We had the chance to meet Craig Wilson, CTO of Booktrack, another literacy tool that synchronizes movie-style soundtracks to e-books which significantly increased reading engagement. Over 12,000 classes and 2.5M users around the world use this free product.