Kiwi kids are set to benefit from a drastically different classroom experience thanks to a new joint venture between The Mind Lab and Unitec Institute of Technology.
Unveiled today by the Minister of Youth Affairs and Associate Minister of Education, Nikki Kaye, The Mind Lab by Unitec plans to offer an exciting new post-graduate qualification in digital and collaborative learning, giving teachers the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience of the latest teaching practices.
A New Zealand first, the postgraduate certificate will provide teachers with the opportunity to spend time in The Mind Lab by Unitec’s creative learning environment, where they can try out new ways of using spaces, technology and collaboration to encourage entrepreneurship, risk taking, resilience and creative problem solving. This hands-on opportunity will be complemented by school-based applied practice and online learning.
While many teachers have already embraced new technologies and teaching practices, the pace of change has led to a growing need for teachers and schools to consistently integrate digital literacy into the curriculum, and build an education system that sets our children up for a successful and rewarding future in a technology-enabled world.
“As technology continues to transform the way we live and work, our success as a country rests on our ability to compete in a digital economy. With the roll out of fibre we will see new businesses and employment opportunities develop, and we want to support our teachers to provide our children with the very best education so they are ready to grasp these exciting opportunities with both hands.”
The Mind Lab previously offered students the opportunity to learn in a creative environment, but soon after it was opened in 2013 it became clear that if every New Zealand child is to benefit, the focus would have to broaden from teaching students to teaching their teachers.
“To reach every child we need to help empower teachers, supporting them to use new technology, learning platforms and problem solving activities to transform their classrooms, their schools and their communities. We have the opportunity to dramatically improve the opportunities for our children and we want to help make that happen”. says The Mind Lab by Unitec’s Chairperson Frances Valintine.
The part time 32-week postgraduate qualification will arm teachers with a suite of new digital skills, progressive teaching practices and the ability to transfer new knowledge directly to their school community.
“The world of education is changing, from early childhood right through to tertiary education. The Mind Lab by Unitec is about helping teachers adapt the way they do things so they can respond to the needs of a new generation of learners,” says Unitec Chief Executive Rick Ede. “To stay relevant we need to think differently and work collaboratively. This joint venture is a swift and innovative response to a new demand.”