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  • Thanks Niki from DEANZ for sharing this:


    Call for papers for a special issue of Computers in New Zealand Schools

    (http://education2x.otago.ac.nz/cinzs/ )

     Assessment and ICTs: Innovative practices and future possibilities

    Guest Editors: Elaine Khoo and Bronwen Cowie (University of Waikato)


    The New Zealand Curriculum document states that information and communication technology (ICT) and e-learning has considerable potential to support the teaching approaches recommended in the document. In this special issue, we would like to explore the potential for ICTs to support assessment practices to complement innovative teaching approaches including, teaching and learning as inquiry. Such innovations provide for students’ developing understandings and knowledge, sense of responsibility for their own and group/class learning and positive attitudes and motivation towards the learning of a content area and learning in general.

     Developments in ICTs and social networking tools offer teachers and students new ways to construct, represent, develop and report on what students know and understand. Students can draw from a rich range of resources albeit in multimodal formats and means to better express and manage their learning. When teachers use ICTs to support students to construct and represent their learning through images, videos, podcasts, e-portfolios and blogs, for example, they can help cater for diversity in student approaches and preferences. This can help break down traditional space and time learning configurations.

     ICT-rich environments can also inform teachers and students explicitly about what is being learnt and offer teachers with new and different opportunities for involving students in assessment in a meaningful and equitable manner. Students are able to obtain feedback on their learning not only from their teachers, peers but also from sources and people outside the classroom.

     We hope that the papers in this special issue will help disseminate innovative practices and open up a space for the discussion of future possibilities for ICT-based assessment approaches. All papers will be peer reviewed.

     We invite research and practice-based papers related, but not limited, to the following topics:

    • Frameworks, principles, methodologies
    • Teacher and student experiences of classroom assessment practices
    • The use of ICT in assessment for reporting/ student data analysis purposes
    • The use of ICT tools such as video, social networking, online environments

    Research papers: Articles that report on original research or evaluation, syntheses of the literature, and theoretical or conceptual works. 5000 words or less, including references with APA style referencing. Shorter papers are welcome.

    Practice papers: These papers describe school/classroom-based projects focusing on an ICT supported practice. Up to 3000 words, including references with APA style referencing.

    Deadlines are as follows:

    Submission of abstracts:               1 March, 2012 (200 words) (extended deadline)

    Notification of acceptance:          5 March, 2012

    Submission of full paper:              13 April, 2012

    Submission of revised paper:     5 June, 2012

    Estimated publication date:         July 2012

    If you wish to discuss your thoughts for an article, or would like to submit abstracts and papers, please contact Elaine Khoo at ekhoo@waikato.ac.nz.

  • image

    Welcome to Sue, new ePrincipal of the Volcanics cluster. Sue took up this position in term 4 last year, though she has been involved in the VLN Community as an eteacher, a lead school principal and now as VLNC Council chair.

    From the The Rotorua Daily Post - "anywhere, anytime" aspect of learning is one of the things Rotorua's Sue Winters loves about e-learning.

    She loves the way students can live locally in their community, yet their learning can be done nationally and globally." Read more...

    What is an ePrincipal? What do they do? 

  • image

    Thanks to Mark Quigley at Orewa College for sharing the journey of introducing iPads to their school. A case study article and presentation are available as a resource from the LCO Handbook.

    Schools interesting in learning more about these types of initiatives should also check out these groups:

    BYOD in schools

    School iPad/iPod User Group

  • What do our students have to say about their experiences learning online? Here are some excerpts from our survey—you can view the full survey analysis here.

    (Cross-post VLN Primary)



    • “I enjoyed Maori because I can talk to my family members in Maori and when they are talking to each other in Maori i can understand what they are saying. I would like to learn Japanese.”
    • “I like doing online learning because it means i can communicate from miles away plus it means i don't have to walk such a distance.”
    • “We had a problem with school events clashed with the Fridays, It was great because I meet new students and a new teacher, I would like to learn Russian.”
    • “It was easier to talk to the teacher online then face to face. And I learnt a lot.”

    Hear what students at Thorndon School have to say about their Astronomy class and learning online.

  • The biennial conference of the Distance Education Association of New Zealand is being held in April this year at Te Papa in Wellington. As a member of the DEANZ exec and organising committee, it's excting to see the lineup of conference speakers and delegates. While not usually a 'big' conference, this is an opportunity for those with an interest in sharing experiences and pursuing understandings of open, flexible and distance education to do so in a more intimate environment. 

    Featured speakers at this year's conference include:

    • Professor Paul Bacsich - Canterbury fellow visiting the University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab in 2012
    • Professor Kwok-Wing Lai - Professor of Education, University of Otago
    • Dr Diana Oblinger - President and CEO of EDUCAUSE
    • Dr Caroline Seelig - Chief Executive, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
    • Ken Kay - CEO EdLeader21 (joining by video conference

    This is a great line-up, and along with the myriad of workshops and paper presentations, will make this a very stimulating conference as we've enjoyed in previuous years.

    We've had representatives of the VLN community at previous conferences, and it would be great to see more attending this year. 

    Registrations are still open - and with the growth of interest in open, flexible and distance learning in all areas of the educaiton sector in New Zealand, this will provide an excellent opportunity to engage with others in the field, to go beyond the fascination in the tools and technology, and delve deeply into the issues around the changes we're seeing in our education system as these practices are adopted more widely. 

    I'm also the convenor for the DEANZ award which will be presented at the conference. Applications are still open for the 2012 DEANZ award, which is open to individuals or groups in New Zealand, or New Zealand citizens living overseas, who have completed a project that meets the criteria of the Award.

    This presents an excellent opportunity for VLN members to promote the excellent work they're doing and draw attention to what is happening in the school sector. 

    Awards are given for projects that;

    • Advance understanding of best practice in e-learning, distance, open and flexible learning in New Zealand.
    • Are original or innovative in concept or application.
    • Are relevant to and whose outcomes are useful to the e-learning, distance, open and flexible-learning community.

    Applications for the DEANZ Award 2012 should be linked to the conference theme. Interpretations of the theme will be broad, but should include reference to one or more of…

    • Resilience
    • Relevance
    • Reform

    For further details download the guidelines and application form - you've still got a fortnight before applications close ;-)

  • "Michael Barbour, Assistant Professor in Instructional Technology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, was recently in NZ researching the Virtual Learning Network (VLN). Michael describes specific examples, "pockets of innovation", that offer glimpses into the future of NZ's networked schools, and demonstrate how flexibility of scheduling opens opportunities to change the nature of schooling."


  • Last week the VLN Community met with Marg McLeod, Acting Group Manager, Curriculum Teaching and Learning, and Eddie Reisch from the MOE to discuss the proposed Network for Learning.

    ‘The Network for Learning, available progressively from 2013, will provide schools with affordable, safe, ultra-fast internet access as well as a range of online content and centrally-procured services.’

    It was great to see such a good turn out from the VLN Community, including many Principals from various clusters, to listen to Marg and be involved in discussion and consultation prior to the development of this initiative. As Marg discussed with us, here in NZ we have a more devolved approach to elearning developments compared to many other countries that push things through from the top down and the VLNC has an important role to play as early adopters. So now is the time to make sure you are involved in the consultation process, beginning at Learning@School and following up with regional seminars in 2012.

    The following are some notes from Marg’s presentation":

    UFB in Schools – Strategic Issues:

    • Use of ICT in classroom teaching and learning
    • Changing patterns of educational provision
    • Formal and informal learning
    • Supporting learning networks for professional practice
    • Public engagement on education issues
    • More informed parents, communities, and then general public

    Expected Benefits:

    • more equitable access to online learning opportunities
    • more effective sharing of resources and knowledge
    • reduced ICT complexity and cost
    • increased operational efficiencies
    • improved connection and collaboration between learners, teachers, school leaders and school communities.
    • opportunity to move to more modern learning environments that support 21st Century education delivery
    • lift in student achievement through greater engagement driven by innovative approaches to teaching and learning

    Why UFB in Schools?:

    • Online world now integral to students’ lives
    • Increasing evidence that learning in online environments can significantly enhance engagement and lift achievement.
    • Particularly effective for students who are underserved by traditional teaching methods
    • Potential for increasing collaborative learning opportunities can particularly suit preferred learning styles of many Māori and Pasifika learners

    What the MoE is Currently Doing:

    • Providing information and support for schools pre, during and post UFB connection
    • Supporting schools in upgrading internal network infrastructure to be ‘UFB-ready’ via SNUP
    • Providing hardware and software
    • Supporting schools in building e-Learning capability
    • Establishing a Network for Learning to optimise the Government’s investment in UFB to improve outcomes for learners

    KAREN & the NEN trial?:

    • Ministry currently undertaking trial with 102 schools, using REANNZ’s KAREN network as backbone
    • Trial investigating issues and opportunities for schools in accessing online content and services over a dedicated network
    • Findings are informing planning for development and implementation of the Network for Learning
    • KAREN’s role in the Network for Learning will be determined as part of procurement process

    A N4L for NZ Schools:

    • Progressively available to schools from 2013
    • Intention is all schools will be able to join
    • Not mandatory – therefore benefits need to be clear and compelling
    • Network will be the channel for education content and service delivery
    • Major implications for the way the Ministry and other agencies deliver content and services to schools
  • 'If we could put all our teachers and all our children in one room how would we organise learning?' Trevor discusses the potential of UFB to enable us to approach learning in innovative ways but it is down to us to work collectively to realise those opportunities for our students.

    It won't happen automagically for us when we switch on the fast internet switch, we have to make it happen ourselves! So get up and start learning with others beyond the walls of the classroom. VLN schools are already starting down that journey, some on Number 8 wire & satellite connections - roll on UFB!

  • Thanks to Michael Barbour for drawing my attention to this. Check out Computers in NZ Schools (CINZ). There are several links to articles from our publications page. Every issue will have a column about Virtual Schooling in NZ.

    Here is an excerpt from Niki Davis first column:

    "This virtual schooling column is addressed to all of us who have an interest and a role in using communication technologies to extend the reach of school teachers and to improve access to education. This includes teachers who teach students who are not in their classroom and those that facilitate the learning of school students who are learning from a distant teacher, including e-learning coordinators, school principals, ICT coordinators. The specialised ePrincipals for e-learning clusters of schools are also an important audience and hopefully contributors too. This column and related articles are also for those involved in the development of policy and support services, including our strong supporters in the Ministry of Education's Virtual Learning Network (http://www.virtuallearning.school.nz/)."

    I encourage VLN Community members to take up this opportunity to contribute to CINZ.


  • (Cross posted from VPLD ning)

    I haven't explored this site thoroughly yet but it looks like it would be an awesome resource for all things about Learning & Teaching online.

    imageHere is the blurb: "The Learning to Teach Online project is a free professional development resource designed to help teachers from any discipline, whether experienced in online teaching or not, to gain a working understanding of successful online teaching pedagogies that they can apply in their own unique teaching situations."

    There is lots of video here from teachers talking about everything from engaging & motivating students to facilitating effective online discussion, as well as many case study examples.

    Check it out!

    Please comment on this post if you would like to recommend anything you discover here :-)