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  • Tessa Gray 20 Jun 2018 2:41pm () in INTERVIEW WITH A GURU: Makerspace with Digital Technologies in a primary classroom

    This month, we’re very privileged to bring you an interview with Warren Grieve (ICT Facilitator/ Digital Technologies Specialist, Medbury School), who talks about Digital Technologies being part of mobile Makerspaces.

    Some of you might know Warren already, seen his work online or familiar with his experience supporting the teaching of Digital Technologies in all classes at Medbury School. Warren has also been generous enough to create the VLN group, Digital Technologies: Ideas, implementation, inspiration for the new curriculum. In this group, Warren has shared resources (digital tools, lesson ideas) and invited us to engage in conversations around implementing Digital Technologies - Learning with/through and more recently about Digital Technologies.

    In this video (10.45min), Warren talks about supporting all staff to bring learning outcomes (both Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes and Computational Thinking) into authentic classroom contexts - much like we would with Te Reo Māori.

    Warren says, These experiences (teaching Digital Technologies) are very few and far between"The big thing we want to do at the end of the day is to impact learning." "As we integrate these technologies, we ask ourselves, how often are we exposing the kids to the skills, knowledge and even vocabulary of the units?" and one of the challenges is, "How are we going to integrate it in such a way that means the kids are actually moving on and the learning outcomes are being achieved and they're having enough experience in those."

    Find out more about how they're achieving this in a natural way at Medbury school.

    Note: Some portions of this video have Internet interference.

    What do you think of Warren's question, Is Digital Technologies the same as e-Learning? I know Warren would love to hear your thoughts there.

    Also see:

    Warren's Pond resources for Digital Technologies and e-Learning

  • Tessa Gray 15 Jun 2018 10:58am () in Coding and robotics at Intermediate level

    Ahh Heather tis always good to connect! smiley I think if you're needing some time 'breaking this down' (like a good dance move), then so will many others.

    The CLA can help as they've been doing some work around this as well, so will nudge @Anaru.White, @Clive.Francis and @Ray.Burkhill and Jess.Bond1 to come and dive in this discussion as well. I really like how the teachers created kidspeak progressions for literacy, so can't see why we can't do this here too.

    I know we're all going to want to explore the knowledge area of the Digital Technologies (and so we should), so we're more up-to-speed with the terminology and processes; as someone wise recently shared with me there's also the importance of keeping the Technology strands at the fore as well - ie design processes (Technological Practice) and understanding where technologies have come from and how they're changing - Nature of Technology. So lots to take in, baby steps for some of us, already doing it for others...

    There's a whole lot of support coming too, so as well as the Digital Passport, keep an eye out for professional learning support available. Oh and tell us how you get on...yes

  • Tessa Gray 14 Jun 2018 8:59am () in Not receiving group notifications

    Hi Julia, no doubt the Help Team can provide some clarity for you, in the meantime, just just double check your Account settings (top right hand side), scroll down to Group notifications and see if the/your group is ticked for email notifications. smiley

  • Tessa Gray 13 Jun 2018 3:28pm () in Maker culture, is it really all that new?

    As part of Enabling e-Learning's future focused series, we've got some fantastic resources developed by schools who are designing and creating exciting, authentic learning opportunities where students are developing important skills such as: problem solving, creativity, collaboration, team building, and most importantly, learning to fail! 

    Authentic learning in a makerspace at Taupaki School

    Over the next few weeks and months we're going to highlight some innovative examples in schools, where students are gaining practical hands-on experiences with new technologies and innovative processes to design and build projects (What are Makerspaces Enabling e-Learning). We'll shine a light on some creative Makerspaces, where authentic learning tasks naturally integrate areas of the curriculum - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths (STEAM, sometimes STEM) - in terms of design, implementation and assessment.

    Several schools are forging ahead in this area - you might like to touch base with their stories and themselves...

    In this snapshot of learning, the year 7 and 8 teaching team at Marshland School share (through spirals of inquiry) how they have developed a Makerspace to increase engagement and enable successful learning for their priority learners.

    Starting a makerspace at Taupaki School

    With a new emphasis on learning about Digital Technologies (Computational Thinking and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes, we can see that Progress Outcome 2 for DDDO reads, 

    In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students make decisions about creating, manipulating, storing, retrieving, sharing, and testing digital content for a specific purpose, given particular parameters, tools, and techniques. They understand that digital devices impact on humans and society and that both the devices and their impact change over time.

    Students identify the specific role of components in a simple input-process-output system and how they work together, and they recognise the "control role” that humans have in the system. They can select from an increasing range of applications and file types to develop outcomes for particular purposes.

    Technology Online has published some snapshots and exemplars that help to illustrate how students can understand how Digital Technologies are designed and created by humans to respond to a need (PO2). You can also see examples of older students are responding to need here and in Technology Online: DDDO Progess outcome 6.

    Starting out or want to know more? Also see:


    Taupaki School videos in Enabling e-Learning:

    The Grass Roots Ideas initiative: Helping schools better understand how to use Digital Technologies to enhance teaching and learning.

    We'd love to hear how your students are tinkering in the arts, maths or science or maybe creating solutions to human problems using Digital Technologies? Why not share a photo or short story of your master creators below?

    Or equally, feel free to ask any questions you might have about practical aspects of setting up and teaching in makerspaces or STEAM.

  • Tessa Gray 13 Jun 2018 2:26pm () in Coding and robotics at Intermediate level

    Kia ora Heather, great questions about starting where the kids are at, what background knowledge could be needed. Sounds like you're having fun already. smiley

    I'm currently examining at the DT progress outcomes more closely looking at what kinds of teaching tools, resources and lesson ideas are out there to support this new learning. For example, resources and support from Connected Learning Advisory (CLA) have helped me to think about breaking down the progress outcomes into actions ie: Computational Thinking :

    Progress outcome 3

    In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students decompose problems into step-by-step instructions to create algorithms for computer programs. They use logical thinking to predict the behaviour of the programs, and they understand that there can be more than one algorithm for the same problem. They develop and debug simple programs that use inputs, outputs, sequence and iteration (repeating part of the algorithm with a loop). They understand that digital devices store data using just two states represented by binary digits (bits).  

    In real-life situations and appropriate to people's individual needs…

    I can identify problems that digital technologies might be able to solve.  

    I can break down (decompose) a problem into step-by-step instructions that I can use to create algorithms for computer programs.

    I can use logical thinking to predict the behaviour of computer programs.

    I understand that different algorithms could be used to solve the same problem.

    I can create a simple program that uses inputs and has outputs. My program uses algorithms in the right order (or sequence). My program includes repeating part of an algorithm using a loop (called iteration).


    Having unplugged lesson ideas from experts like Tim Bell and the team at UC Computer Science Education, can also help to make correlations between the progress outcomes and lesson ideas before/during or at the same time you dive into codingThen there would be some students breaking away, ready for independent challenges to develop skills in this area like CodeclubNZ, Codecamp, Hackerank, Codewars etc. 

    I guess just as you would teach/explain/demonstrate writing elements, teaching computer science concepts/knowledge and skills (algorithms, binary, error detection etc) as well as design thinking (iterative process) is also important for scaffolding technological understandings (knowledge). The key words/reminders for me are: Real life situations and appropriate to individual needs. What do you think about this part too?

    But there are more experts than me that can help you, so I'll send out a request amongst the wider network (like DTTA) for some support. smiley

  • Tessa Gray 13 Jun 2018 10:44am () in Preparing for Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko in the Technologies learning area

    Two weeks ago, Technology Online hosted a webinar: Getting started with the learning progressions for digital technologies in primary. Key takeaways?

    "Just get started", is the message from two enthusiastic teachers beginning their journey with digital technologies.

    In this webinar recording, Phillipa Dick (Hatch Education), Rebecca Allnutt (Maori Hill School), and Ryan Inglis (Kaikorai Primary School) share their enthusiasm for digital technologies – and discuss the progress they are making together on their digital technologies programmes.

    Download the slides: Getting started with the learning progressions for digital technologies in primary (PDF, 8 MB)

    For more ideas on getting prepared and integrating Digital Technologies into the curriculum, see Enabling e-Learning's page, Digital Technologies and the national curriculum – what’s it all about? 

    How are you and your students learning with and about Digital Technologies? Any lessons to share - good, bad or otherwise? We'd love to hear more smiley

  • Tessa Gray 12 Jun 2018 12:32pm () in Preparing for Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko in the Technologies learning area

    The digital landscape in schools is changing everyday, so Enabling e-Learning wants to be right there, to help inform and support you as you prepare to implement Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko in the Technologies Learning area in your school and kura.

    The Connected Learning Advisory | Te Ara Whītiki has prepared this useful PDF document to help you plan for these changes. One valuable place to start, is to see where your school fits, in terms of readiness for change in regards to the PLD opportunities on offer. Check out the reflective questions that will help you do this with your staff and wider learning community.

    Please feel free to download and print this document and let us know if or how this has been useful for you at all.

  • Tessa Gray 06 Jun 2018 10:04am () in Designing and developing digital outcomes in secondary schools

    If it's Digital Technologies at a secondary level you're interested in, then you wont want to miss out on this series of webinars (3) from Technology Online: NCEA level 1 digital technologies achievement standards.

    Hear Julie McMahon (HOD Technology, St Hilda's Collegiate School) and John Creighton (HOF Technology, Burnside High School) discuss these revised assessment tools and how they can be utilised in programmes of learning. 

    Part one: The new structure of the technology learning area (14.35in)

    Part two: New terminology common to the digital technologies achievement standards (12.26min)

    Part three: Changes to specific achievement standards (34.00min)

    For more, see Technology Online and professional learning support available. Both Julie and John are part of this community (and DTTA), do you have any questions for them about any of these changes?

  • Tessa Gray 25 May 2018 3:23pm () in Designing and developing digital outcomes in secondary schools

    Secondary schools have been teaching computer science for a while now (since 2011), so we're lucky to have a passionate group of experts and gurus in the DDTA (The Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa) association to help share resources, communicate and talk all things computer science. You're invited to become a member if you aren't already.

    As part of Techweek NZ, we're also lucky to see how several talented students are using digital technologies to transform how we live; shaping our homes and our workplaces, changing the way that we interact with each other and live our everyday lives. Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko

    Check out these amazing stories below.


    For more stories of how digital technologies are supporting and facilitating learning for all, see Enabling e-Learning's Media Gallery.

    Anyone interested in entering their students in national competitions in problem solving and computer programming might also like:

    Do you have a shout out for other secondary school teachers about developments in e-learning and/or computer science? We'd love to hear more smiley

  • Tessa Gray 25 May 2018 1:05pm () in From Hawaiki to Minecraft

    Cross posted from Te Ao Māori me te Hangarau Matihiko.

    Kia ora, I’ve just been looking into maps about ethnic migration and in particular fascinated by the history and stories (some we’ve got wrong) about Māori migration to New Zealand. A couple of things struck me, early Māori arrived in Aotearoa:

    • in carefully crafted double hull waka;Waka at Waitangi
    • a long time ago – thousands of years of migration;
    • over time - not one isolated incident;
    • and also emigrated out of Aotearoa as planned events - not by accident or blown off course as some previously thought;
    • each tribe (iwi) are descendants of the ancestors of those waka - all with different stories associated to each;
    • first migrants all demonstrated sophisticated ancient knowledge of the stars, ocean currents as well as migration of migrational creatures like birds and whales.

    The knowledge of the stars is passed down to us to this day in the tukutuku weaving which adorns the walls of our carved and embellished whare (houses). Many of these tukutuku panels descend from the star charts carried by ancient navigators. https://maaori.com/people/maoriara.htm

    Māori have long had a close affinity and relationship with the earth and the skies, the lands and the seas, as well as with all the creatures of the earth which also becomes an integral part of introducing creative ways to problem solve using the modern tools and digital technologies of the day. Now jump forward a thousand years or so...

    In 2016, Microsoft New Zealand partnered with technology education group OMGTech! and CORE Education to translate the Minecraft coding sessions into te reo Māori for the ‘hour of code’. They all wanted to make sure young Māori were being encouraged to engage in digital technology by having digital resources available in Te Reo Māori. Our very own, Wawaro Te Whaiti of CORE Education says;

    “This is a fairly new realm for Te Reo Māori and requires some very careful thinking about terminology and the development of language. We’ve made a great start, but there is still a lot more to achieve,” Minecraft tutorials now available in Te Reo for ‘Hour of Code’

    Anne Taylor, Schools Manager for Microsoft New Zealand, says

    “The Hour of Code teaches kids the basics of coding, and how to use digital skills to help create, innovate and solve problems, and it is critical for the next generation of students of be equipped with these skills for future jobs, regardless of the industry.” Minecraft tutorials now available in Te Reo for ‘Hour of Code’

    Here’s a taster of some of those resources in Te Reo Māori, for more about their purpose and potential see, Microsoft tutorials now available in Te Reo for 'Hour of Code' and the resources @ https://code.org/learn

    Screenshot of hour of code resources in te reo maori

    Coding doesn't just have to happen once a year (or in an hour), it can become a regular part of a learning day. In Rotorua, tamariki and rangatahi have been learning about computer science and coding through making games - like building a marae in Minecraft to show how tikanga Māori can be used in a digital space.

    “We want to level the digital playing field for Māori and show tamariki and rangatahi that while coding is part of a new future, it can still acknowledge the whakapapa of the past,” Potaua tells us. How can you make your own Minecraft?

    Are there any other resources, top tips or ideas you'd like to share in this thread, so that our students can increase their participation in computer science, the language of digital technologies as well as Te Reo Māori?

    Also see:

    Image source: Māori waka at Waitangi Dirk Pons

Tessa Gray

Enabling e-Learning online facilitator. I'm excited about the prospects of the VLN and how it can bring like-minded people together online. I am here to help promote discussions and share effective practice.