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Tessa Gray's discussion posts

  • Tessa Gray 16 Sep 2020 4:14pm () in Digital Resource: Using digital tools to connect beyond the classroom

    During COVID-19, many educators experienced (first-hand) the benefits of using technology to connect, share, enhance and blend learning, while making more authentic connections between home and school. 

    This pick-up-and-go teacher resource captures how digital tools can be used to engage with others and create opportunities for; access and inclusion, growing home/school partnerships, sharing and blending learning opportunities, social action and change. This teaching resource also links to place-based learning,  strengthening connections with family and whānau and real-time reporting.

    Please feel free to use and share this resource with others and tell us how you have used this in your classroom, school or kura. smiley















  • Tessa Gray 09 Sep 2020 3:15pm () in Enabling e-Learning discussion: Engaging with the community at Newbury School

    We learned a lot during COVID-19, especially how technology can help bridge the gap between, home, school and students and enable rich distance learning to be guided and facilitated by teachers.

    In this latest Enabling e-Learning snapshot we take a look at how Newbury School responded to distance learning during COVID-19 and see; the importance of underpinning effective distance teaching and learning with school values, a focus on socialisation and collaboration while ensuring the diverse needs of the students and their whānau are being met.

    As well as ensuring that all students had access to digital devices, Newbury School used digital technologies to make contact with parents and whanau to create personalised partnerships. For example, they communicated three different options for families to choose when selecting a distance teaching and learning approach:

    • Option 1 – Choose for your child to engage on a daily basis with teaching and learning.
    • Option 2 – Choose to engage sporadically when it suits you and your family or whānau.
    • Option 3 – Choose to not engage at all and provide other learning opportunities for your child.

    This ensured that everyone was on the same page and there was some clarity and choice around how often students would be expected to engage in learning. They were also mindful of choices about how to engage online and made sure live sessions were recorded for those who needed to access the teaching and learning sessions at a time which suited them.  

    Distance learning

    Some of the lessons seen in other schools, meant sometimes both students and their whānau felt confused or ill-informed about timetables, learning tasks and expectations. Some of the lessons learned from this distance model makes for excellent reading. While none of us want to return to lockdown levels, being ready for the unknown means as educators, we’re doing everything we can to ensure our students have equitable access to meaningful learning experiences and opportunities.

    Find out about more @ https://elearning.tki.org.nz/Snapshots-of-learning/Snapshots-of-Learning/Distance-teaching-and-learning-at-Newbury-School/Engaging-with-the-community-at-Newbury-School

    What lessons have you taken away from COVID-19? We'd love to hear how your teachers and whānau worked together to support learners during this challenging time.

  • Tessa Gray 28 Aug 2020 3:34pm () in Covid 19- Lessons learned going forward

    We're thinking of all the teachers and students in Tāmaki Makaurau who are now readying themselves to return to school next week. This challenges of moving between school and home can be felt around the country and now some of us are wanting to find different ways to support our learners to have more flexibility and freedom in their learning. 

    On Wednesday we took a look at some ideas, strategies and frameworks that would enable classroom teachers and school leaders to trial ways to increase learner agency, such as personalising timetables, creating learning environments that are more collaborative and responsive to diverse learning needs. You're most welcome to view this webinar recording here and follow through on the resources shared win the Google slides presentation. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

  • Tessa Gray 21 Aug 2020 3:36pm () in Enabling e-Learning forum: What does an online programme of learning look like?

    Yesterday we were lucky enough to have Mary Anne Mills share with us strategies and frameworks for understanding our learners better and planning for success by creating enablers and eliminating barriers to learning. In particular, Mary Anne highlighted the science behind Universal Design for Learning framework and how it can be used during planing to ensure we're meeting the needs of all our learners.


    huge thank you goes out to Mary Anne Mills for the taking the time to prepare and for share this process with us in this Google presentation. If you have any pātai (questions) or need some more clarity around this process, please don't hesitate to add a comment below or make contact.


  • Tessa Gray 11 Aug 2020 10:05am () in Forging connections within and across the ILE's

    Engagement with community

    @terrywithers your engagement cycle sounds invaluable. As you say through consultation, sometimes the power goes beyond informing, through to participation and collaboration. ie: Inform (website, fact sheets, displays) >>> Consult (surveys, focus groups, open meetings, call for submissions) >>> Involve (workshops committees advisory panels, microsites) >>> Collaborate (deliberate, forums, summits, juries)

    Helen, are you working in collaborative teams already and do you engage in collaborative inquiry? Here's an Enabling e-Learning resource to support that process.











    Also thought I'd throw out an idea about using social networks across and within your school to help bring your community together to address common goals. Might seem strange as you're in the same location, but there could be increased forms of communication, collaboration or fun challenges to address using social networking tools etc.

    Image source Pinterest


  • Tessa Gray 06 Aug 2020 12:04pm () in Using digital tools to capture learning

    During COVID-19, many of us experienced a more blended approach to teaching and learning using digital platforms to share and capture learning. Some schools are now conducting their three-way learning conversations online, using video tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom. Other schools have sought to create more frequent connections between home and school, where students can share their learning progress in real time and consistently over time beyond two reporting times a year.

    This pick-up-and-go teacher resource curates digital platforms and processes that enable students to take ownership, share and reflect on their learning. This teaching resource links to; assessment for learning, digital tools (e-Portfolios) to support learner agency, as well as strengthening connections with family and whānau. There are also strong connections to current trends in education. 

    Please feel free to use and share this resource with others. Tell us how you get on.














  • Tessa Gray 31 Jul 2020 2:01pm () in Techweek don't miss out!

    If your students have been accessing and engaging with Techweek this week July 27-31), we'd love to hear more.

    Yesterday Ko Maui Hangarau in Tauranga saw several talented Māori innovators (Nikora Ngaporo, Young Animators, Hiria Te Rangi Whare Hauora, Clayton Low, Arataki, Dan Walker, Microsoft, Teresa Pollard, Datacom, Kahu and Chey Milne Arataua) sharing their success in the business and tech industry. You can see the recording of yesterday's live feed via Facebook. Do you have any learners who identify as Māori that could be inspired by these super successful mentors? Then feel free to share this with them also.

    Ko Maui Hangarau screenshot


    It's also inspiring to hear stories emerging where schools are recognising the need to create equitable opportunities for Māori and Pacific girls to explore technology - considering a current under-representation in the IT workforce. For example, Aorere College has developed a public-private partnership with IBM, The Warehouse, Manukau Institute of Technology, and The Mind Lab to offer a year 11 course, P-TECH. The course is designed to provide young people with the academic, technical, and professional skills required for 21st-century jobs.

    Pathways for young Māori and Pacific women in technology

    For more, see Enabling e-Learning snapshot, Year 9 and 10 Digital Innovation and Design course at Aorere College. Any inspiring stories to share about tech developments in your rumaki? We'd love to hear more.

  • Tessa Gray 29 Jul 2020 2:03pm () in Year 9 and 10 Digital Innovation and Design course at Aorere College

    With the introduction of the Digital Technologies into NZC and Marautanga o Aotearoa, some of us in primary schools might be asking, how do we fit everyone in and year 9 and 10 teachers we might be thinking how do we integrate Digital Technologies in our subject specific areas?

    The revised curriculum reads, 

    The technological areas provide contexts for learning. At primary school, teachers will generally take a cross-curricular approach, with students learning in the technological areas as part of a topic or theme that encompasses several curriculum learning areas. This approach can also be applied in years 9 and 10, before students begin to specialise in particular technological areas. (Technology in the New Zealand curriculum, page 3)

    In broad terms there is an expectation that; digital fluency and digital literacy is an integrated part of all learning for all students, and that students will also be exposed to Technology learning each year to help build capability in that area. While most primary schools offer an integrated approach, authentic integration of Digital Technologies in Year 9/10 would be developed with the support of Technology specialist teacher/s, then students in Years 11-13 can choose their learning pathways to develop depth of that capability. So what might this look like for lower secondary?

    Enabling e-Learning Snapshot

    At Aorere College, all year nine students take a whole year course called Digital Innovation and Design as a core subject. This latest snapshot outlines the course content, why the school took this route, how the course was developed, and the impact for students and teachers.

    Specialist teachers from across different learning areas develop and teach the Digital Innovation and Design course. This approach:

    • helps to introduce cross-curricular contexts for the students 
    • provides the teachers opportunities to better understand the technology learning area, which they can share with their own departments.

    The course comprises of nine modules delivered  in a localised curriculum that reflects the multi-cultural diversity of the learners in their community. 

    Students with Makey Makey.
    1. Going Google
  Students explore digital citizenship and are introduced to Chromebooks, Chrome, Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Sites, Classroom, Forms, Maps, Earth and so on. Through personalised challenges that help everyone to get to know each other.
    2. Spatial Learning
 – Students design and create characters, buildings and structures using Lego. They create custom car designs using an online CAD application. 
    3. Design
 – Students use magazines as a context for learning about design and visual communication then create their own.
    4. Coding for Animation
 – Students design and create programs to animate objects.
    5. Makey Makeys
 – Students use Makey Makeys to design and create an innovative original construction.
    6. Animation Design
 – Students design and create computer games.
    7. 3-D Originals
 – Students use hard materials to design and create animals, houses, vehicles etc.
    8. Animatron
 – Students design and create animations for a specific purpose.
    9. Sparkling visuals
 – Students design and create videos using a variety of contexts.


    Having teachers from all subject areas teaching the course means:

    • the digital literacies and technologies explored in the course can be shared and applied across other learning areas 
    • contexts from across the curriculum can be applied to the course.

    To find out more about the effective pedagogy, vision and values that sits behind this story, see Year 9 and 10 Digital Innovation and Design course at Aorere College

    With a national focus on developing a responsive localised curriculum, how is your school integrating Digital Technologies in authentic learning contexts? Feel free to share your pātai (questions) or stories below. We'd love to hear more.

    Also see >>>

  • Tessa Gray 29 Jul 2020 11:15am () in Place-based learning and culturally responsive practice in a localised curriculum

    I've just been doing some research lately for a Digital Technologies workshop on telling localised stories and have enjoyed creating my own story in Tour Builder by adding photos and videos. But I'm super impressed with  Google Earth 3D the updates are spectacular - check these videos out...the potential is huge.



    Imagine using this tool to tell stories about our ancestors in te reo Māori?


    Where will your local stories take you? 

  • Tessa Gray 24 Jul 2020 10:18am () in Managing multiple digital platforms - discussion pre-webinar

    A big huge thank you to Warren Hall yesterday for taking us through how to manage learning content, groups, documents and more using Hapara. We had a robust discussion about choosing and using these tools to best suit the needs of our learners using a blended e-learning approach to teaching and learning.

    You can view and access the presentation as well as the webinar recording below.

    There are definitely some great ideas to use in the classroom as well, especially if you're teaching a large number of students. There were also some great ideas for creating/negotiating visible rubrics and frameworks for assessment. Be sure to check out Doctopus and Goobricsmiley Many other great tips and support can be found @ https://elearning.tki.org.nz/Technologies.

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.