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Tessa Gray's discussion posts

  • Tessa Gray 04 Dec 2020 1:20pm () in e-Learning and digital technologies resources going forward

    imageKia ora koutou ma, well here we are, nearly at the end of an interesting, challenging, at times stressful year and as a profession, we kept our heads up and continued with the mahi as best we could. We adapted fast to distance teaching and learning and we shared like we’ve never shared before.

    So it’s nearly time to take a bow and well-earned break and when you’re ready to fuel up on professional learning again (or if you’re in continuous learning mode), there are rich rauemi (resources) for you to access, share and use.


    imageOur Enabling e-Learning community groups (Leadership, Technologies, Teaching, Professional Learning, Beyond the Classroom, Using the e-Learning Planning Frameworks) have an archive of wonderful discussions with members sharing e-learning related resources and ideas and you’ve helped contribute to collaborative projects for everyone to access. Community members have also been generous enough to share their expertise and leadership in our hosted webinars and interviews with gurus.


    We’ve refreshed the look in Enabling e-Learning to make e-learning content more accessible and shared your stories schools in the media gallery and as snapshots of learning. We’ve also created some digital resources you can use (and share) as part of your professional inquiry.


    imageKia takatū ā-Matihiko has a wealth of resources to support the implementation of digital technologies and Technology Online has resources to support how these are implemented within, across and beyond the Technology learning area.


    So, when the school holidays arrive, take some time to top up your wairua, spend quality time with whānau and friends; these rauemi kete will be here for you when you return.


    Image source: Kete:Tessa Gray, Public domain images: Exhausted woman CC0 Public domain


  • Tessa Gray 19 Nov 2020 2:44pm () in Digital Resource: Exploring digital technologies in STEAM/STEM

    While we're discussing STEAM/STEM PLD, this in from Digital Media Academy:

    Authentic Learning & STEAM Education 
     in New Zealand Schools


    This webinar shares the experience of a New Zealand school in implementing a high-quality, STEAM-based learning programme and presents research findings on the significance of digital literacy capabilities in preparing young learners for the realities of post-secondary education, and work. 

    Students who engage in authentic learning and STEAM-based education are better prepared for the realities of 21st century careers and post-secondary education. Despite the benefits of STEAM education, 2018 PISA test results show that New Zealand educators face challenges to implement a STEAM curriculum. 

    In this webinar, you will:

    • Learn tried, tested, and concrete models of STEAM integration in New Zealand schools.
    • Understand the role and importance of 21st century, authentic learning models.
    • Receive free STEAM activities for immediate use in your classroom and school.

    Date: November 25th, 2020.         Time: 09:00 am AUK.    Duration: 1 hour


  • Tessa Gray 18 Nov 2020 5:16pm () in Digital Resource: Exploring digital technologies in STEAM/STEM

    Here's the latest dynamic pick-up-and-go digital resource curating Enabling e-Learning content about effective ways digital technologies can be taught through STEAM/STEM and Makerspace pedagogies. It also links to effective pedagogies such as Project-based learning, App development, gamification, game development, 3D printing, robotics, engineering, coding and Computational Thinking in Digital Technologies. 














    Our collection of up-and-go digital resources are invaluable for anyone interested in personalised pathways for teacher inquiry.

  • Tessa Gray 04 Nov 2020 3:45pm () in Digital Resource: Integrating digital tools into innovative learning environments

    Possibly more exciting than the America election today wink, is the release of the latest pick-up-and-go digital teacher resource; that brings together a small selection of resources from Enabling e-Learning (TKI) on how digital technologies can become an integral part of a pedagogically sound practices.

    This teaching resource references key considerations for; integrating e-learning into Innovative learning environments (physical, social, pedagogical) as well as Quality learning environments (resourcing,  infrastructure). It also makes links to future focused themes such as; effective e-learning pedagogy, inclusive classrooms, learner agency, localised curriculum design, learning design and assessment for learning.














    We'll continue to bring you more pick-up-and-go teacher resources for the rest of the year, in the meantime, dive in, let us know how you've been using them and tell us you'd like to see more of.

  • Tessa Gray 22 Oct 2020 5:10pm () in Digital Resource: Using digital tools to support language, culture and place based learning

    Here's another Enabling e-Learning pick-up-and-go teacher resource that captures how digital tools can be used to support inclusive practices that celebrate language, culture and identity. This teaching resource shares how digital tools can support Māori achieving success as Māori, enhance culturally responsive practice, grow te reo Māori as well as strengthen home/school partnerships. It outlines how we might go about this and why we would use technologies to engage in this way.














    We'll continue to bring you more pick-up-and-go teacher resources this term, but in the meantime, please let us know how useful you're finding these and what you'd like to see more of.

  • Tessa Gray 16 Oct 2020 1:07pm () in Revised Technologies content in Enabling e-Learning

    EEL technology banner

    There's so much to see in the revised Technologies content in the Enabling e-Learning website (TKI). Here you'll find easy-to-use and up-to-date support material on topics such as:

    • Communications technologies as well as technologies to support Māori learners and te reo Māori
    • Hardware, infrastructure and technical support
    • Strategic planning and review
    • Quality learning environments, 3D printing, 1:1 and cloud computing, data and software for learning, assistive technologies and more...

    There is something for everybody; with practical tips and information, as well as technical support for schools starting out, or those continuing to build an e-learning rich environment for their learning community. https://elearning.tki.org.nz/Technologies

    Check out the schools stories in the Media Gallery from around Aotearoa and tell us what you've enjoyed the most. We'd love to hear more.

  • Tessa Gray 24 Sep 2020 12:28pm () in DISCUSSION POST: Game-based learning and game design

    Games based learning report There’s a growing body of work to support current theories about the power and potential of games, to aid learning and performance - from the classroom to the boardroom. It is interesting to see how close learning theories (ie socialist, humanist, developmental, behavioural) and human psychology in gaming aligns; especially in regards to intrinsic motivation (Gamification 101: The Psychology of Motivation).

    Psychology of motivation and the more commonly used gaming mechanics/elements (tasks, goals, challenges, strategy, levels, competition, social, community, rewards, points, leader board etc) can be used to influence engagement motivation, learning (gamification) as well as game design. For more on Gamification  (Enabling e-Learning TKI) for more information

    Game design in action

    In some classrooms, game based learning has also been used as a context to develop digital capabilities in contexts like STEAM/STEM. As NZCER research shows, At the heart of game design lies an iterative design process. No game can be devised and created by mapping out a plan from start to finish. All game designs start with an idea, or several ideas, that must be prototyped, tested, changed, retested, tweaked, and refined through many cycles of play testing.  (Games, gamification, and game design for learning Innovative practice and possibilities in New Zealand schools (Rachel Bolstad and Sue McDowall, P22).

    One particular example from this report shares what game design can look like in a secondary context.

    Students undertook research into digital games, including playing 1980s Commodore 64 games, through to looking at emerging fields such as virtual reality and using Google Cardboard. They worked through a storyboarding process, and designed game objects that they then created through 3D modelling and 3D printing. They built games in Gamefroot, a digital 2D game-building platform, and wrote about computer science concepts they were learning. The final step was to use graphic design tools to mock up a product and packaging “as if they were to put it their game up on the App store, what that would look like, with description, screenshots, etc.” (p16).

    In the Enabling e-Learning video below, Game design process students worked through a process of inquiry (in a cross-curricula approach), developing their ideas in authentic contexts using a design thinking process. The students researched game mechanics and ideated different ideas, created prototypes of their games, tested their games with end-users and made modifications ready for potential manufacture.

    On another Enabling e-Learning snapshot, Totally realistic sledding we see how Virtual Reality (VR) can be a powerful tool in supporting and facilitating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in secondary education.

    In another example from Technology Online, Digital technologies curriculum content and designing games we see a variety of digital platforms introduced (Minecraft, Unity, W3 schools, Lego Mindstorm EV3, Micro:bits) to help advance some game development skills in the context of Technology, in particular Computational Thinking and Digital Technologies and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes.

    Where to start

    With game development, the possibilities are endless. You’re the master of your domain, you can teach others, lead a hikoi, build a village, slay a dragon, fight for survival or change the world – both unplugged (board games, card games, physical games) and digital (Scratch, Gamefroot etc). It’s also a fast growing area of the tech industry.

    You can try an idea where your students become game developers. Individuals and/or teams can think of a simple game - it doesn’t have to be digital. They can brainstorm using the following ideas or use a template (Gamification cards) to present their ideas in a Dragon’s Den type scenario.

    • Name of the game   
    • What is your idea? What type of game is it?
    • What’s awesome about the game? Why?
    • What does it do? What’s the core challenge?
    • What will motivate the players?
    • Where do/ how would people normally play the game?
    • What’s the payoff for players?

    You can also explore this game making lesson sequence, What makes a good game? Think like an inventor where students investigate how games are designed, created and played, analyse the audience of games - understanding the importance of empathy in the design process. The learning sequence culminates in a showcase: students sharing the games they have designed with the school community. This sequence of lessons could be completed over several lessons or developed over a term-long inquiry unit.

    Design thinking

    At the heart of the game development process is design thinking. Find out more about this in Enabling e-Learning, Design thinking and Game development in the classroom.

    Thinking about incorporating some form of game design in your practice? We'd love to hear more.

    Also see:


  • 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.