It takes a community to support teaching

The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) programme has been refreshed and updated. Its courses provide measurable PD and helps members become more confident using digital technology. Here three teachers talk about the benefits they get from being part of this exciting community. Bridget Crooks, Kerikeri High School, Northland   “I once heard that if you are […]

Who’s taking care of student devices?

Where does a school’s responsibility for student devices begin and end? Talking to INTERFACE, Linewize’s Scott Noakes advocates an ‘All Care, No Responsibility’ approach. “A student BYOD device is not a school device, so the student will have definite obligations regarding the provision of and the condition of it,” said Scott Noakes, CEO of Linewize. […]

Mapping out your strategic thinking

Need help coming up with an action plan for developing your digital technology? The Connected Learning Advisory’s ‘Strategic Thinking Roadmap’ is designed to help schools implement a strategic direction that ensures technologies are integrated into effective teaching and learning. “How can I put together a strong, strategic case to help our board understand why we […]

What’s your journey? The PM wants to know!

The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in education. And, this year, the Education Focus Prize puts the spotlight on the innovative use of digital technologies. Winners in 2016: Rangitoto College won the Education Excellence Award for Excellence in Governing. Proud of what you’re achieving in your classroom? Could this be […]

Competition seeks ideas for ‘future transport’

A curriculum-based competition challenges Year 1-13 students to create games or narratives about transport for the future, writes Wayne Erb. You may have heard an electric car whisking by. The person standing at the bus stop is tracking real-time progress of their bus on a phone app. A rocket launch facility is ready for business […]

Measuring e-learning PD

The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) programme has been refreshed and updated. Its courses and recognition provide measurable PD for teachers and helps them become more confident in their use of digital technology, explains Sam McNeill. One of the challenges that many educational institutions face is setting measurable professional development goals in e-learning. Many have opted […]

Arrowtown tech start-up develops app to help schools communicate

An Arrowtown teacher and her web-developer husband have designed and developed Message My Way, a new software product for schools to effectively get their messages to parents and students. Nicole Fawcett, Tim Young and Greg Fawcett Nicole and Greg Fawcett, owners of Virtual Industries Group and developers of the popular School Interviews booking system (, […]

Get smart and track PTC evidence the easy way

What was it like collecting evidence for your registration in 2016? Was it a struggle? A messy pile of paper? Something you just didn’t get to? Make a resolution for 2017 to collect your evidence the smart way, with SmartEvidence in MyPortfolio. Collecting evidence and tracking your progress against the Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC) can […]

Project to showcase school takes flight

Getting a class project off the ground had its challenges, writes Fairlie Atkinson. But give students two quadcopters, add some perseverance and experimentation, and innovative ideas really can fly. Last year, I asked my Level 3 students to create virtual school tours for our 50th reunion. I wanted them to make something that people could […]

The Mind Lab disrupts its way to success

The Mind Lab by Unitec is a unique collaboration between a public education provider and a specialist education lab. It is dedicated to enhancing digital literacy capability and the implementation of contemporary practice in the teaching profession, and is the first facility of its kind to adopt an intangible business model, writes Frances Valintine. Business […]

Programming with VEX IQ

Kiwibots is a Charitable Trust whose mission is to ‘inspire a passion for STEAM’ through VEX robotics platforms, its curriculum and learning support, and associated challenges and competitions, writes Chris Hamling. Everything needs to have a beginning, so this description of the programming pathways associated with VEX should start with the VEX IQ Challenge. It […]

Have you heard about Stan’s new plan?

Did you know World Tsunami Awareness Day is on 5 November? How would you deal with this or other natural disasters? Do you have a plan? Check out the new-look ‘What’s the Plan, Stan?’ resource from the Ministry of Civil Defence. ‘What’s the Plan, Stan?’, a well-known guide for teaching emergency preparedness in primary classroom, […]

Cyclone offers a way for all students to have devices

Looking for a way to achieve student ownership of devices that is both compliant and all inclusive? A new initiative from Cyclone may just be the answer. Digital devices are becoming more pervasive in the hands of students. Teachers are moving their learning programmes towards a digital environment. In July, the Minister of Education announced […]

Having a ball with robotics

There may not seem a natural connection between classical guitar lessons and robotics. But this unlikely combination started the ball rolling for a robot phenomenon we now all know as Sphero. High roller: Ian with the updated BB-8 and app “My dad is a classical guitar teacher. He taught lessons to my electronics teacher who, […]

Review: HP Elite x2 1012

Beautiful and powerful. If I was asked to come up with two words that sum up HP’s hybrid, Elite x2 1012, this would be them. Thin, lightweight, elegant, stylish, and well-crafted were also all in with a shot but just missed the cut. I guess you get my drift. This is a top-notch, two-in-one machine, […]

Review: LittleBits STEAM Student Set

I’m sat at the table fiddling with the pieces in the LittleBits STEAM Student Set and, really, all I’m thinking is “Darn, I wish I’d come up with this!” LittleBits is an ingenious collection of electronic building blocks. Much like any electronics kit, you put the components or ‘bits’ together to create circuits. What sets […]

Digital learning support PLD at Cyclone

Cyclone’s national team of Digital Learning Specialists understand the changing landscape of teaching and how to get the best out of technology in the classroom, writes Professional Learning Manager Arnika Macphail.  For us, it is not about what technology you buy … but how you use it. Cyclone’s Digital Learning Specialists all come from teaching […]

Review: Acer Switch Alpha 12

  There are plenty of Windows-powered tablets with slim keyboard covers, varying in price, power and performance. If you’re finding it hard to choose, Acer’s latest device could well be the ‘Alpha’ in the pack. The Switch Alpha 12 is an impressive-looking (and good looking, too) 2-in-1 tablet. Powered by Intel Core i3, i5 or […]

Ubiquitous learning for Rotorua students

Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru is a Rotorua-based trust dedicated to providing ‘ubiquitous learning’ across the district and is creating its vision in two ways, writes Lee Suckling. “The first objective is to assist in putting a device into the hands of every child in Rotorua,” explained Adam Ellis, Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru’s Director of Technology. “The […]

Traditional teaching just isn’t enough anymore

Award-winning teacher Gareth Haddon is passionate about progressive learning and believes traditional teaching practices are no longer enough to develop lifelong learners. Gareth Haddon teaches Geography, Social Sciences and Robotics teacher at Aorere College in Auckland. He recently completed the The Mind Lab by Unitec’s Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) and […]