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Tessa Gray's discussion posts

  • Tessa Gray 19 Sep 2018 10:14am () in Breaking down Digital Technology progressions for CT and DDDO 

    We’ve recently posting regular updates about revision to the Technology learning area. We also think wherever you are in this journey, you and your learning community will no doubt want to unpack possibilities for designing programmes of learning, that align with the digital technologies progress outcomes.

    In this Technology Online webinar, Getting started with Years 9 and 10 digital technologies programmes Cheryl Pym (Accredited Curriculum and Learning facilitator, Otago University) recommends teachers start with what they’re doing well and see what can be strengthened when designing programmes to meet your student’s needs.

    Important to note: the strands are compulsory, but realistically not all AOs and POs will fit or can be taught in a given lesson, topic or theme. The focus becomes more on learning about digital technologies and becoming creators/innovators, rather than just users and consumers.

    Here’s a brainstorm on some ways to unpack Progress Outcome 1 (PO1) for both computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes. We invite you to add to the shared Google docs and add your own ideas.

    Progress outcome 1: Computational thinking

    Please note: to edit these, go straight to the Google docs themselves.

    Progress outcome 1: Designing and developing digital outcomes

    1. In regards to differences between digital technologies and e-learning/ICT capabilities, how many of these examples are e-learning in action and how many are creating solutions by learning about digital technologies (digital technologies in action)?

    2. As Anne Robertson shares connecting gadgets in the curriculum, she also reflects that, they could be used to enhance a project, so that they are integrated into the learning. That is more of a challenge!  What kinds of concepts and contexts can you see tying these processes together with other areas of the Technology learning area and the wider NZC curriculum?

    If you’re wanting more specific support examples and discussions around progress outcomes, moderation around internal/external tasks and assessment, please subscribe to DTTA (Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa) network - where specialised teachers are open to sharing ideas and resources with each other.

    Also see:

  • Tessa Gray 18 Sep 2018 5:15pm () in Preparing for Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko in the Technologies learning area

    As we know, the technology learning area has been revised to strengthen digital technologies – two new areas computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes. The intention is to ensure all learners have opportunities to become digitally capable individuals – beyond users and consumers to creators and innovators. Schools will be expected to fully integrate the revised learning area into their curriculum by the start of the 2020 school year.

    Technology learning area 

    So what do we know already?



    • Three Technoloigcal strands – Technological practice, Technological knowledge and Nature of Technology remain an integral, embedded part of the five technological areas
    • The Achievement objectives provide some scaffolded outcomes across the three strands as students progress through the year levels
    • The Progress outcomes describe the significant learning steps that students take as they develop their expertise in computational thinking for digital technologies and how they align to the rest of the levels of the NZC.
    • Two new DT areas focus on computer science, algorithms (CT), electronics (DDDO) programming, digital information and design – an iterative process, informed by critical and creative thinking designed to expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities

    Our reality:


    • Teachers and kaiako:
      • are currently becoming more familiar with new revisions, the rationale and content in the Technology learning area of both Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko
      • understanding more about how the revised areas fit into the wider Technology learning area and the NZ curriculum as a whole
      • engaging in PLD, with each other and their communities to understand and implement digital technologies and Hangarau Matihiko
      • implementing new DT & HM content (computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes) into teaching and learning programmes
      • unpacking the strands, Achievement objectives, Progress outcomes and exemplars as sign posts for what is possible as progressions across the levels

    It is generally understood that schools will interpret the design and implementation of the curriculum; based on their own School technology curriculum. ie: A localised curriculum (from vision to reality) where students are offered learning pathways that best meet their needs. (Technology in the New Zealand Curriculum 2017 (PDF, 354 KB) P5) Most notably;


    ….schools 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.

    Wherever you are in this journey, you and your learning community will want to unpack possibilities for designing programmes of learning that align with the digital technologies progress outcomes. In tomorrow's dedicated post we'll dive a little deeper to unpack one progress outcome for CT and one progress outcome for DDDO to see how we can extend our own thinking and strengthen these areas in our curriculum design.

    Why not join us then and tell us how you're interpreting these developments in your classroom, school or kura.

    Image sources: Technology learning area, NZC, Richard Giles, Suitcase without my clothes, Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • Tessa Gray 18 Sep 2018 1:40pm () in Whakawhanaungatanga - Getting to know our learners

    Oh that's so annoying Gretchen, the Youtube clip has been removed by the hosts and there is no other version of that. It was basically bestowing the virtual of getting to know your students - beyond all the data collection and analysis. Webinar recording on, Whakawhanaungatanga - Getting to know our learners still works though. It might prompt you for your name and to open in Adobe Connect.

    Any gems you have to share are most welcome as well.

    Smiles, Tess smiley

  • Tessa Gray 14 Sep 2018 2:58pm () in Snapshot of Learning: STEM learning at Muritai School

    Since 2015, Muritai School, has believed that STEM education is necessary to equip Muritai School students for the future. STEM learning incorporates a blend of hands-on learning activities and online learning applications to solve real-world problems while integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths.

    In this snapshot of learning from Enabling e-Learning, we highlight how Muritai School has bought this vision to fruition so far.

    Muritai SchoolInitially staff needed to be on-board, so professional development sessions have focused on building capacity in a range of STEM-related subjects, such as:

    • 3D printing
    • robotics
    • coding
    • construction
    • engineering challenges 
    • science lessons.

    This in-turn has resulted in a dedicated STEM room and a programme where,

    • Each syndicate has an allocated day a week and each classroom uses the space once a week.
    • Activities and/or equipment is on-hand and can be setup for multiple users during for the day. 
    • Work in progress can be stored safely on shelves until the next session.
    • Students use this space for different STEM activities including science lessons, making things, 3D printing, robotics, coding, construction, and engineering challenges

    With a dedicated focus on computational thinking and coding, as well as developing digital outcomes designed for an authentic audience, the essence of the Digital Technologies areas of the Technology curriculum are also being realised.

    For more on how they have done this and the tools and resources used, as well as the benefits and learning outcomes for students, see, STEM learning at Muritai School (Enabling e-Learning,TKI).

    What kinds of STEM, STEAM ideas are being 'thought about' or implemented at your school? Are these integrated through bigger contexts for learning?

    Do you have specific space/s set up for STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths) activities, is this taught in every class or do your teachers share rotations? We'd love to hear more.

  • Tessa Gray 10 Sep 2018 3:06pm () in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2018

    It's te wiki o te Reo Māori, but as NZ moves towards becoming a bi-cultural country, wouldn't it be ideal for us to become more fluent in te reo as well, all year long? Here are a few resources to help get us started.

    What resources do you use to help nurture te reo Māori?

  • Tessa Gray 10 Sep 2018 12:53pm () in INTERVIEW WITH A GURU: Flipped learning for students at Ashhurst School

    Flipped learning isn't new, but if done well,  it does require a radical redefinition of the role of the teacher, the student and the best use of time between them. (flglobal.org/).  So what is flipped learning?

    Traditional classroom

    In the traditional classroom, the teacher delivers new learning to the students face-to-face. Students listen, interact, take notes, and then consolidate new knowledge during homework or followup tasks.

    Flipped classroom 

    In the flipped classroom, students do the basic learning prior to working with the teacher and then cover the applied learning and any problems in class. This means there is less passive learning in class and more active and personalised learning. Students access a teacher-created website and/or watch teacher-created/sourced videos on their devices. They are able to stop and rewind the information as often as they need until they understand the concept.

    Enabling e-Learning: Flipped Learning 

    In this interview, Heath Chittendon (principal of Ashhurst School) talks about how his dedicated teachers are examining and changing their role as teachers, to source, create and share flipped content; in order to free-up-time to better meet the needs of their learners. 

    Because strong relationships have already been established between the students and their teachers, the instruction remains with the same; except the delivery method is via video clips. As Heath reflects, what's the difference between talking in front of a white board or using a flip board and video to introduce the same content? 

    The biggest difference at Ashhurst school is that there is far less teacher talk or 'waffle'. This means more targeted delivery of concise information and quality content via video resources, freeing up time for teachers to become activators of learning - where students have more time to process, delve deeper and apply new learning.

    Successful implementation of flipped learning requires a mastery of the pedagogy and best practices of the flipped classroom. (flglobal.org/).

    Keep an eye out over the next few days: as Enabling e-Learning releases several new school stories sharing changes in teacher practice at Ashhurst school, and the benefits this is having on their students in a student-centred learning environment.

    Do you use technologies like video, or voice recorders (talking tins) to source/create instructional teaching resources? We'd love to hear how you're 'recreating yourself' to help free-up time in the classroom. Feel free to share below.


    Also see:

  • Tessa Gray 04 Sep 2018 5:47pm () in 3D gaming and virtual reality

    Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality are changing the way our young people (and ourselves) communicate, see the world, frame reality, get their entertainment and content. You don't have far to look to see immersive experiences are becoming part of the way we interact in business, travel, training and now education.

    In this Tedtalks video, This virtual lab will revolutionize science class, Michael Bodekaer talks about how virtual reality is no longer part of some distant future, and it's not just for gaming and entertainment anymore but can help make quality education more accessible. 


    So why is this so important? Out of a study of 160 students (undertaken by a learning psychologist) they found a whopping 76% increase in the learning effectiveness when students accessed virtual laboratories over traditional teaching methods. But even more interestingly, the second part of this study investigated what the teacher's impact was on the learning and they found that when you combined the virtual laboratories with teacher-led coaching and mentoring, they saw a staggering 101% increase in the learning effectiveness, which effectively doubles the science teacher's impact with the same amount of time spent 'teaching'.

    Michael Bodekaer also says, 

    We really need teachers to push forward and drive the adoptions of new technologies in the classroom. More universities, teachers need to collaborate with technology companies to realise this full potential. 

    This is what excites Rob Hanks, Founder of Curiat Ltd - a tech innovator wanting to create inclusive, immersive digital experiences in collaboration with teachers - to give our students more access to exciting and engaging augmented learning experiences. 

    Want to know more?


    Rob is inviting all teachers to a free Augmented Reality Meetup (Auckland) where he'll be showcasing studies of augmented reality in the classroom and letting people play with the newest e-learning tools and techniques for themselves.

    Imagine if we gave virtual access to 'worlds' our young and bright students don’t already have access to, what could be possible then?

    Also see:

  • Tessa Gray 23 Aug 2018 2:25pm () in FORUM: Snapshots of Universal Design for Learning

    Planning for learner centred design  - Using UDL and inclusive pedagogies


    More and more schools are freeing up their curriculum, ‘unleashing the passion’ and putting an emphasis on the things that really matter - equity and excellence in education, where every child can reach their potential.

    One way to do this is to design learning tasks and opportunities that that are learner centred that focuses on all students including: cultures, identities, languages, and abilities, not just those with additional learning needs. We call this an inclusive pedagogy. See a model for learner centred design:


    Learning model

    Lynch, D. & Smith, R. (2006). The learning management design process, in R Smith & D Lynch (eds), The rise of the learning manager: changing teacher education. Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 53-67. 

    Learning design is the practice of planning, sequencing, and managing learning activities, usually using ICT-based tools to support both design and delivery. Learning pedagogy and design-theory meet to define a people-based, flexible learning environment. Taken from Enabling e-Learning, Learning Design (TKI)

    In this video from Enabling e-Learning, Steve Collis explains how the design process can connect with students to redefine the way we organise our learning environments. When thinking about learning environments, the design process starts with empathy for the people you are designing for. 

    Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is much the same. It provides a global framework that helps teachers to plan for the diverse and variable needs of their students including making decisions about the goals, culture/s of learning, the environment (resources) and teaching methodologies and assessment practices. Using a UDL thinking cycle can help you when planning learning opportunities, tasks or events.

    UDL approach to learning

    What's your context? You might be a school who plans for authentic learning, curriculum integration with a focus on learner agency, you might be adopting/adapting project-based learning and/or student inquiry models in your school; if so:

    • What inclusive pedagogies are part of your planning? Ie: What headings or statements are in your planning documentation?
    • What conversations or frameworks guide this process? Ie: What kinds of learning conversations with learners, teachers parents, whānau take place?
    • Is this process collaborative? Ie: Do you plan alone or with others, including students?

    If you have any stories, examples or planning templates to share, please feel free to share these below. Equally any questions around UDL and learning design are welcome too. Sharing might just inspire or help others on the same journey as you.

    Also related:

  • Tessa Gray 21 Aug 2018 2:41pm () in Designing and developing digital outcomes in secondary schools

    For those who missed it, here’s the Technology Online webinar, Getting started with Years 9 and 10 digital technologies programmes with Julie McMahon (HOD technology St Hilda's Collegiate School) and Cheryl Pym (Accredited Curriculum and Learning facilitator, Otago University) talking about possibilities when designing programmes of learning that align with the digital technologies progress outcomes.

    This webinar recording is well worth watching for those looking for more authentic ways to integrate Technologies in and across the curriculum.

    To start, Cheryl placed an emphasis on planning and designing programmes with the Technology strands (these are compulsory). She made mention that while learning opportunities can combine the technological areas and make links with other learning areas, there’s still a need to keep the integrity of the strands and learning outcomes for Technology as a learning area.

    She invited teachers to start by looking at what they’re doing already and to see what they can add or strengthen to in programmes - in relation to the achievement objectives and progress outcomes, that  best fit within each context or unit. Realistically not all AOs and POs will fit or can be taught.

    CT progress outcomes

    Cheryl also clarified that the achievement objectives and progress outcomes are not assessment tools, they are designed to support teachers make judgments about what the learning looks like (at one point in time), what the students can do and what is needed in the learning progressions to get to the next point.

    The examples of authentic student work (trialled and tested, research-based) are also designed to help teachers unpack what the students’ learning looks like, as evidence of outcomes achieved at a particular level. The exemplars ensure the learning progressions work with students and teachers, so that next steps for learning can be defined.

    Year 9 technology projects

    When planning, both Cheryl and Julie recommended teachers start with rich, real world engaging contexts – something that sparks students to have a passion or interest for, where they can see a real purpose or problem to address; then find natural ways to integrate the AOs and POs. For a coherent approach, timetables may need addressing and opportunities made available for staff to plan collaboratively together.

    Julie went on to demonstrate how she has planned with the strands in an interdisciplinary way, that combines technological learning areas as well as DDDO and CT. For example,

    Sparkfun electronics

    • Finding out about pixel art, how colours are represented and creating digital imagery 
    • Learning about mathematical concepts like angles, modulo, algorithms, creating digital games to teach those concepts
    • Collecting, tracking and analysing data with rockets by coding electronic sensors like Accelerometers, Gyros and IMUs.
    • Creating interactive, informative art installations with conductive paint and electronic circuits like Makey Makey in Te Reo Māori
    • Combining materials to design wearable art using conductive thread and led lights. WOW awards here they come!

    Julie also shared how her Year 10 student undergo a cohesive design process for designing physical spaces (container mall) and information apps - all demonstrating the creative and interactive design aspect of integrating technologies with an emphasis on end users their social, ethical and cultural capital in mind.

    You can download the slides from Technology Online. Cheryl and Julie also made mention of the following, which can be found in Enabling e-Learning (TKI):

    Image by SparkFun electronics (Flickr)

  • Tessa Gray 21 Aug 2018 11:27am () in Preparing for Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko in the Technologies learning area

    Here's a great resource from the Ministry of Education on, Digital Technologies and the New Zealand Curriculum. Your guide to finding support and getting ready (PDF). Feel free to share this with others.

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.