With the first programme successfully underway, enrolments are now open for The Mind Lab by Unitec’s next Postgraduate intake. Here we look at what participants think and whether it’s something for you to consider.
In today’s digital age, should you be enabling your learners to know how to think, not what to think? The Mind Lab thinks now is the time to transform our schools, so has teamed up with Unitec to offer a part-time, Postgraduate qualification in digital and collaborative learning.
Designed for teachers at all levels, the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) is a 32-week NZQA accredited course designed for teachers at all levels to build knowledge of emerging technologies and teaching methodologies, for immediate application in the classroom.
“The first 100 teachers on the programme have told us they know the world of education is changing rapidly and they want to understand how to use technology to enhance collaboration and learning outcomes for the technology-savvy children they teach,” said Postgraduate Director Milla Inkila, who joined The Mind Lab in July from The University of Eastern Finland.
Empowering and challenging
“The postgrad programme is helping them evolve their classroom practice for the digital age and they’re applying their new learnings immediately. When we asked them to describe the programme they used words like stimulating, engaging, reigniting the spark, motivating, empowering and challenging.”
The inaugural programme began in July, with 100 teachers attending from a wide range of primary and secondary schools across Auckland. The Mind Lab plans to roll out the programme across New Zealand over the next few years to provide access for all teachers looking to develop their skills.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the amount of enthusiasm and passion we are already experiencing,” said Frances Valintine, founder of The Mind Lab. “Over the next five-plus years, we hope 10,000 teachers will complete the programme enabling change and progress to be driven by our teachers.
Enrolments are now open for the November 2014 and March 2015 intakes. For more information go to themindlab.com, call (09) 964 4444 or watch at fizurl.com/mindlab
What teachers are saying about the course …
“I worried about the time commitment until I saw the flexibility. I thought I might have lost the plot until the very first five minutes of the course. Thirty minutes later and I was convinced. This would help me. I’m learning every time I’m with the staff or my colleagues on the course. I’m enjoying the course and implementing what I learn.
“My students and I, we’re enjoying this process together. It’s practical, hands on, create something and actually use it. Learn something and think about it. You should think seriously about this, then take a leap of faith for yourself.”
Janice Mockridge, Rosehill College
“I have found this course both challenging and stimulating. It has definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I’ve loved the hands-on approach to learning to use new digital tools and have already applied many in my classroom. This course has had an immediate impact on the way I see my role as a teacher and a participant in my school community. My students are enjoying having many more frequent opportunities to learn collaboratively.”
Gail Armitage, Manurewa Central School
“I am an ‘older’ teacher than most to be taking on this innovative and exciting journey. I was a little wary at first, thinking maybe I would be too far behind the eight ball to gain any benefit from this ‘Digital and Collaborative Learning’ professional opportunity.
“In my day-to-day teaching job, I was at the stage where I thought to myself ‘If this is all there is going to be to teaching, maybe I should be looking forward to retirement?’ Heck No! From the moment we began our sessions there has never been a dull moment and there’s so much happening in the digital teaching world around us.”
Shirley Bishop, Royal Road School
“I am a Primary School teacher and I’m really pleased that I signed on with Mind Lab for a number of reasons. There is heaps of information, and lots of new connections that I have made. There is inspiring new material provided on the Mind Lab portal every week which I’m finding I don’t want to miss out on. I am becoming more familiar with digital technology and more adventurous with creative and collaborative projects in the classroom.
“Meeting with colleagues, networking and participating in group projects together has given me more confidence to explore a variety of collaborative practices in the classroom.”
Arna Hutton, Rutherford Primary School