The Mind Lab by Unitec continues to champion digital learning for teachers with new opportunities in 2015. It’s opening new centres in Gisborne and Wellington, and a partnership with the NEXT Foundation is offering teacher scholarships, writes Melissa Fincham.
Hot on the heels of announcing a partnership with the NEXT Foundation, which will deliver 800 scholarships for teachers in New Zealand to improve their digital literacy, The Mind Lab by Unitec is now accepting enrolments for the March, July and November 2015 intakes of its Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning).
Offering $2,000 for 800 public school teachers to access the qualification, the scholarships will go a long way to support teachers as they prepare young learners for an increasingly digital future.
Founder and chairperson of The Mind Lab by Unitec Frances Valintine says the scholarships are in response to a growing need for teachers and schools to consistently integrate digital literacy into the curriculum.
“Technology has revolutionised the way we communicate, share and learn, both at school and at work,” she said. “As a result, teachers need to be supported to help them implement new learning practices so students are prepared for the modern world. This course is designed to help teachers at all levels build knowledge, improve their technical capacity and confidence, and learn new ways of engaging students.”
The Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) is an NZQA-accredited qualification, running part-time over 32 weeks. The first 16 weeks requires participation in weekly four-hour sessions, which are scheduled multiple times a week to provide flexibility. The remainder involves participants continuing to apply new knowledge and practice in the classroom while studying online through a dedicated online portal.
Valintine believes the NEXT Foundation’s contribution to professional development for teachers is invaluable to the future of the classroom.
“School budgets for staff development are limited, so to have the NEXT Foundation contribute to these scholarships is fantastic. The more teachers we can train, the better prepared our young people will be for the future work place. This course is an extension of our teachers’ own professional teaching practice, looking at the challenges that encourage innovation in learning and finding practical ways to bring contemporary learning to life.
“Rooted in modern postgraduate practices, the qualification allows for video, photography, blogs or visual diaries of applied practice as an alternative to traditional documentation of learning through written essays. Recommended readings and texts are progressive, practical and based on real-life educational environments.”
Coming to a town near you
Expanding on the success of its Auckland flagship, The Mind Lab by Unitec has announced it will be opening in Gisborne and Wellington in March with further centres to be opened later this year.
In addition to offering the Postgraduate Certificate to teachers in these areas, The Mind Lab by Unitec will offer its pioneering programmes for children and school groups. More information on courses and school holiday programmes can be found at themindlab.com/workshop/courses/
“We’re delighted to be able to offer more kids and teachers throughout the country the opportunity to discover new ways of teaching and learning,” added Valintine.
Melissa Fincham is Engagement Manager at The Mind Lab by Unitec.
Enrolments for the March, July and November 2015 intakes of the postgraduate course are now open. For more information on the NEXT Generation Teacher Scholarships and to apply, visit themindlab.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the NEXT Foundation
This is a philanthropic group committed to assisting educational and environmental projects. It supports education projects that “contribute to New Zealand’s long-term knowledge capital and performance throughout research, teaching, leadership training, skills and values development, technology adaption, and institutional and methodological innovation that ultimately underpin New Zealand’s economic strength.”