Be kind

Well here we are – at the close of the first day of a nation-wide lock-down due to the COVID-19 virus, with everyone settling into new routines at home in their ‘bubble’ with only those they are living with. The Prime Minister has called for us to be kind through this time – an interesting challenge, perhaps reflecting the lessons learned from the period after the earthquakes in CHCH and the Mosque shootings, also in CHCH. In the aftermath of those events the thing that made the difference was not the structures, systems and processes put in place (although important) … Continue reading Be kind

Connectedness

Those who have followed my blog for a while will know that for many years I worked with an amazing team of people at CORE Education. About six months ago I stepped aside to make way for a new leadership team to take the reigns, and to give me a little more time to pursue the things I want to be able to do. I haven’t lost contact with CORE, however, as I continue to do some contract work with them on specific projects where my help is required. I am enjoying that arrangement, as it keeps me connected with … Continue reading Connectedness

Virtual concerns

In the past week there has been a flurry of activity among schools and educators as they prepare for the likelihood of schools closing, and students (and teachers) being required to work from home as the strategy of social isolation is enforced to combat the thread of COVID-19. On a daily basis I see examples of collections of resources being published to support teachers to work with their students online. Here in NZ I’ve been assisting our Ministry of Education to develop exactly this sort of thing which is due to ‘go live’ in the next few days. It’s often … Continue reading Virtual concerns

Carpe Diem

The headline “scrapping Latin a mistake” caught my eye earlier this week. The article on One News leads with the view that New Zealand’s education system is about to get an overhaul by the Government and one of its proposals is to scrap Latin from NCEA. While some may even wonder why it is that Latin is still even on the NCEA list (after all, the Catholic church hasn’t used Latin in its mass for over 50 years) – the teachers and students interviewed for the article were adamant that there remains a good case for the language to continue … Continue reading Carpe Diem

Online learning – a pandemic response?

I listened to the announcement this morning by the World Health Organisation’s Director General announcing that his organisation has now recognised the Coronavirus as having the characteristics of a pandemic. This announcement is unsurprising really, given the rate of spread across many countries – but it does increase the level of preparedness we must undertake to cover what may eventuate in our communities. The advantage we have this time is that we have at least a window of opportunity to actually do some forward planning and preparation. While there has been a lot of excellent advice from the Ministry of … Continue reading Online learning – a pandemic response?

Virtual learning in NZ schools

“New Zealand’s future becomes more and more a race between education and economic stagnation and social dislocation… The need to build a learning culture is seen as critical to our success as a nation – the question is, how to do this within the resources available and in a way appropriate to New Zealand’s own cultural values.” – (Consultel report Exec Summary, page 8) Education has long been one of the ‘big three’ in terms of government spend, regarded as an investment in the future of our society, emphasising sustainable growth and economic prosperity,  as well as providing citizens with … Continue reading Virtual learning in NZ schools