Best Digital Resource – Finalist: Nicola Wells, Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir


Name: Nicola Wells

School: Tamaki College, Auckland

Digital resource: Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir

Describe the digital resource that you want to be considered for the award:

This digital resource is a series of visible lessons covering year 13 biology content of AS 91603 – Demonstrate understanding of the responses of plants and animals to their external environments. The website includes teacher plans, videos of classroom interactions and student learning, links to student work and blogs, and teacher reflections after the lesson. This is all visible at:

Why did you choose to set up this resource?

This resource was the brainchild of Pat Sneddon and Manaiakalani, whose goals include making learning ubiquitous, connected and empowering for all. The intention of establishing the Class OnAir site was for any teacher beginning their digital teaching journey (from primary to tertiary, and pre-service too) to be able to see inside my classroom to observe (and critique) my lessons and daily use of digital technology from the comfort of – anywhere!

How do you operate and manage the resource?

I aim to produce five lessons a term, although the busy school schedule of Terms 2 and 3 have left me with 7 lessons to produce with my year 9 class in Term 4. This involves completing a lesson plan in such a way that another teacher could use them, checking that it matches my visible planning for students on my website (, filming the lesson, adding links to student’s work and blog posts produced onto the OnAir site, editing the video to under 5 minutes, and completing a reflection.

What outcomes has it achieved for you and your class?

This resource has been presented and discussed at a Provocation at the University of Auckland, and pre-service biology teachers in the Faculty of Education have watched and critiqued lessons, as well as visited and occasionally commented on student blogs. It has also been used as a resource to help teachers in Manaiakalani outreach clusters on the start of their digital teaching journey. These were the main purposes of the resource. In terms of outcomes for my class, they have been gaining the benefits of digital learning since primary school, and what we have filmed is normal for them. I hope they have learned from my planned lessons and activities, feedback on their documents and blogs, and responding to comments from visiting strangers guided there by the OnAir links. I have greatly benefitted from re-watching the classroom interactions and reflecting on my practice.

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