Students use 3D printing to tackle global issues

A Christchurch school’s students are using 3D modelling and printing to build board games – and discover new ways of thinking to solve world problems, explains The Mind Lab’s Catherine Johnson. Year 9 and 10 students at Te Kura Kaupapa Ma-ori O Te wha-nua Tahi are visiting The Mind Lab once a week over the […]

Keeping a copy of OneNote Class Notebooks

Microsoft OneNote is a digital notebook and a popular tool in schools that’s used for collecting information and multi-user collaboration. Here Sam McNeill explores how a new feature lets you take your OneNote Class Notebooks wherever you go. One of the most common questions that I get asked by students and teachers is: “How do I keep […]

Review: Apple iPad

What’s new? What do we think? What do you need to know? There is a selection of new devices being pitched at the education market. INTERFACE Editor Greg Adams checks out a new version of an old favourite. I bought my first iPad some seven years ago. It’s not an itch that’s made me pick […]

Schools can do amazing things in the cloud

The introduction of ‘cloud technology’ provides all schools with a landmark opportunity to transform learning, increase efficiencies and reduce overheads, writes Anne Taylor. Yes, the ‘Cloud’ can be complex but not when you have the right guidance from suppliers and partners. They’ll look after all the technical details of your cloud transformation and, once you’re […]

Farming out your 3D printing needs

Interested in 3D printing but don’t have the budget to buy the equipment – or the know-how to run it? 3D Printer Farm is a simple idea that its operators hope will shape how schools across the country use 3D printing. It’s a simple idea that could solve a complex and costly 3D challenge facing […]

Getting smarter with digital distractions

Distraction of the digital kind is on the rise in classrooms. How can you successfully oversee devices and online access? Smart classroom management tools like Classwize could be the answer, writes Scott Noakes. In the aptly named article ‘We have met the enemy and he is us’1 the authors rate self-produced distractions, such as playing […]

New app tells parents what’s happening at school

Dates, times, events, announcements, and messages. Whatever the information, the Parent Teacher Calendar App offers a great way to communicate.  Sharlene Barnes-Ealam was fed up with finding old school notes and newsletters buried in the bottom of her children’s school bags. So, she started to investigate ways schools could better engage with families and wha-nau, […]

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 […]