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Tessa Gray's discussion posts

  • Tessa Gray 04 Dec 2019 11:30am () in Recorded Interview: Digital tools to support Māori language, culture and identity

    There are a growing amount of digital tools to nurture and strengthen Māori language, culture and identity for all our learners. In this interview, Te Mako Orzecki talks about his experiences championing te reo Māori and tikanga Māori through pephea, waiata, kapahaka and noho marae in English Medium schools.

    Te Mako (who works in Kia Takatū ā Matihko and TKI) also shares how culture, language and identity can be supported and celebrated through digital platforms and apps. Some of which include:

    • 1000 Māori words - Enabling e-Learning (TKI)
    • Kupu o te rā – Sign up for a service that sends email prompts o te rā
    • Māori dictionary and Google translate - Both must have on your devices to help with te reo Māori.
    • He Pataka Kupu - te kai a te rangatira - monolingual Māori language dictionary or proficient speakers and learners alike.
    • Spark kupu app - Take a photo and find out the Māori kupu (word).
    • He reo tupu he reo ora - A multimedia resource containing unit plans and teacher's notes specifically for Māori in mainstream schools.
    • Puna - An interactive app designed to test your Maori language vocab skills. Puna is the follow-up game to Kura.
    • Taringa - Podcasts in a mixture of Māori and English help you learn te reo and tikanga Māori customs and protocols in a fun and relaxed way.
    • Living heritage  - 
    • CS unplugged in te reo Māori - Resource to help teach computer science in te reo Māori from Canterbury University computer science department.
    • T.I.A - storytelling app that shares the creation story of Ranginui and Papatuānuku through augmented reality.
    • Cultural trails apps - proximity activated storytelling platform that allows you to unlock authentic story in-location at places of cultural significance.

    What have you found useful for your students or yourself, to enhance te reo and te ao Māori in the classroom? We'd love to hear more. smiley

    For more software, apps and digital tools to support Māori, see Enabling e-Learning (TKI):

  • Tessa Gray 03 Dec 2019 12:05pm () in Engagement in technology through authentic learning opportunities

    Technology Online hosted another great presentation (26 November, 2019), where primary teacher and STEM specialist Sarah Washbrooke shares how she makes connections locally across her community to find authentic ways to integrate both Computational Thinking and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes. Well worth viewing and sharing.

    Download the slides: Local curriculum projects and digital technologies (PDF, 3 MB) Taken from Technology Online

    Any other ideas for engaging in authentic contexts?

  • Tessa Gray 20 Nov 2019 6:06pm () in DISCUSSION POST: What does new-age professional learning look like for teachers?

    CelebrateTeaching and learning is a life-long, iterative disposition and state of mind. We need to celebrate our wins (affirm our practice) as well as lengthen our stride (strengthen our practice); as individuals and as a collective. As part of our professional growth, we can mindful of growing trends in education and undertake professional learning to respond to the immediate needs of the students we teach in front of us.

    Our Codes, Our Standards give us clear guidelines about how we can honour our commitment to learners, their families and whānau, our teaching profession and society as a whole. We can see how this might all tie together with culturally responsive frameworks, in a collaborative Bubbl.us mindmap.

    While all schools have differing processes for appraisal, the Quality Practice Template with completion guidelines is a valuable tool to ensure clarity about what the Standards for the Teaching Profession look like and how they can be used to inform professional conversations in your context. https://teachingcouncil.nz/content/appraisal

    Professional learning doesn’t have to be formal, we can make the most of timely updates arriving in email via newsletters, listserve responses and blog feeds. We can search the usual offerings in our educational networks (Education Gazette) and social media (Facebook, Twitter) or disrupt our thinking in like-minded networks. If the PLD budget allows, we can attend national and international conferences, engage in in-school PLD (some of which is centrally funded), or attend short, free workshops like, Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko around the country either face-to-face or virtually.

    In our own time, we can take sneak peek into the practice of others and gain some short, micro-snippets of inspiration from educational video sites including Google for Education, or we can or engage in online courses such as Coursera, to accrue recognised micro-credentials or open, digital badges. For example, Bitdegree.org. We can also continue our learning in a more formal way and complete post-graduate studies through Universities, Te Wananga o Aoteaoa or Toi Ohomai, all of which becomes part of an organic, portfolio of evidence - celebrating our professional standards and achievement.Media Gallery

    Learning opportunities are a-bound, but are often strengthened in numbers, for example inquiry practices through initiatives like the Teacher-Led Innovation Fund. Collaborative inquiry practices help us to keep growing and learning in an iterative cycle and networking in spaces, that inspire us to affirm our practice or shift our thinking by challenging the status quo.

    Whether we’re pursuing learning as a teaching practitioner or a leader, broadening our lens and having an awareness of global trends in education in Aotearoa (including national PLD priorities for 2020) as well overseas, such as Sustainable Development Goals and The OECD Learning Compass 2030 concepts helps us to better understand whom we are teaching and the world they live in.

    What’s on your radar for professional learning in 2020? Please feel free to share what’s near you or others to access i tērā tau (next year) below. 

    For more, see Enabling e-Learning Professional Learning (TKI).

    Image source: Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

  • Tessa Gray 18 Nov 2019 11:50am () in Preparing for Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko in the Technologies learning area

    We're fast approaching 2020 and our sights are set on planning for ā tērā tau (next year). How ready are we to kōrero and/or implement Digital Technologies - the two new technological areas Computational Thinking in Digital Technologies and Designing (CTDT) and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes (DDDO) into our localised curriculum? 

    In this latest Enabling e-Learning webinar, Janelle Riki-Waaka, Project Lead for Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko, Digital Technologies National Readiness Programme (for both Māori Medium and English Medium) shines a light on the revised area of the Technology Learning area and shares how we can get ourselves ready to implement and/or lead change in our schools and kura. Check out Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko, share with your friends and colleagues and tell us how you get on below. smiley

    For more see:

  • Tessa Gray 11 Nov 2019 2:08pm () in Engagement in technology through authentic learning opportunities

    If you missed the Technology Online webinar on, The revised Technology Learning area, it's well worth checking out. Both the webinar recording and slide deck are now available in Technology online.

    The takeaways for me were; where Computational Thinking in Digital Technologies and Designing and Developing Digital Technologies sit inside the Technology Learning area, as well as making deliberate and planned connections to the three Technological strands. There were also some examples in different year levels, linking to the wider curriculum.

    For continued support from Technology Online, register for their next webinar (Tuesday 26 November 3.45 pm - 4.45 pm) with Sarah Washbrooke on local curriculum projects in digital technologies. 

    Have you seen any other resources supporting schools implement and integrate Digital Technologies across the curriculum? Feel free to share these here.

  • Tessa Gray 06 Nov 2019 8:02pm () in DISCUSSION POST: How do students travel with their data?

    How do students (and teachers) travel with their data?

    Cloud dataIt's fast approaching that time of the year, when students and teachers either transition from one school to another, or leave school altogether.

    This week we're lucky enough to have Clive Francis and Karl Summerfield (previously from the Connected Learning Advisory) craft a new resource, What to do with User Accounts and Digital Data when Students and Teachers leave your school?

    This resource talks about who owns data, migration processes and makes some suggestions about a number of different apps and services that are typically used in schools. You’re invited to contribute to this doc where the need arises. What's missing and can you help add some recommendations for others?
    What do you find is typical practice in your school? What are the most commonly asked questions about shifting/moving data across and between platforms? What are your suggestions and/or solutions. Feel free to add these here.

    Please note: If the view below is too difficult to navigate, go straight to the Google doc itself. Please note: To view this doc below in it's entirety, click on the 100% (in the document itself) and scroll down to Fit.

  • Tessa Gray 30 Oct 2019 2:30pm () in DISCUSSION POST: Break out the games in your classroom PT1


    Risk board gameGames in the classroom is a theme we often return to in Enabling e-Learning. Break out the games in your classroom is the first of a series of four discussion threads, posted this year and the next talking about the value and place of games, game-based learning and game development in the classroom. In this first instalment, we take a peek at games for learning.


    Humans enjoy overcoming challenges and love playing games. Our ability to imagine, analyse, communicate and collaborate (amongst other things), means it’s in our DNA. So what’s in a game - fun, strategy, fantasy, imagination, luck, skill, conflict, competition, collaboration?


    What do you think makes a game - separate to other human activities? Post your definitions of characteristics of a game in the comments section below.

    Games have also been part of our curriculum. Outdoor games with players, rules and skills, competition (touch rugby, netball), games with collaboration, strategy and reward (capture the flag), card games and board games; offer the opportunity to think, plot, plan, react, adapt, master, all the while building social skills and self-esteem, as well as learning about rules, competition, fair play and values. 


    Games come in different genres or formats (such as, puzzles, adventure, strategy) and often share elements that make them a game, ie: players, objects, story, scene. Video games also come in different genres including; Simulation games, First Person Shooter, Real Time Strategy, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, Role Playing Game, Massively Multiplayer Online and more. Make-believe games (including role-play) involve imagination and imitation and enable players  to take on other roles (heroes), fulfil fantasies, analyse and interpret scenarios, overcome conflict, create new outcomes, using original creations and assets (paper, props, scenery). 


    In this Enabling e-Learning video, Games as a context for learning, Rachel Bolstad has some tips for teachers wanting to find out more about games for learning.



    From Checkers to Candy Crush, from Capture the Flag to Pokemon Go, the challenge of learning through curiosity, strategy and play are a fundamental part of our cognitive and social well-being development. Games have a remarkably close connection to theories of how we learn and effective pedagogies for how we teach. Building in a game a day (plugged or unplugged) could help increase motivation, increase knowledge retention and mental cognition, encourage responsibility through controlled collaboration and competitiveness, and of course, problem-solving skills (10 Benefits to Playing Games in the Classroom - Teach Starter Blog). You only need to Google a few key terms to see what pops up in terms of research in this area. What’s not to like about games?



    But what about video games? Do these have the same learning potential and value as well? Or does having a screen add another dimension of complexity, that we need to discuss further?



    What games did you play when you were a child? What did you learn from playing games?


    Ask your students what games they play. Ask them what skills they need to play the games and what makes them fun or what makes them what to go back and play this game some more.


    How do you or could you add a game a day to your classroom teaching? Feel free to post your findings and experiences below.


    Join us in the next instalments as we explore how (and why) we might introduce Games Based Learning, Gamification and Game Design in our classrooms using e-learning tools and strategies.



    Also see:

    Gamification - Enabling e-learning (TKI)

    Teaching Strategies: What Students Might Learn from Playing Board Games

    Using Minecraft for game-based learning in the classroom  (EEL discussion VLN)

    Digital gaming and games for learning ((EEL discussion VLN)

    Game-based learning: are you playing? (Older EEL discussion VLN)

  • Tessa Gray 25 Oct 2019 10:22am () in Real-time reporting using e-Portfolios

    Kia ora Trish, what platforms were you considering?

    Seesaw is one of many tools that enables this to happen, and I can see this could get easier with senior students collating, curating their own content. The biggest challenge comes with how far/wide this process can be adopted within and between schools and understanding about purpose and potential .

    For example, What content will become part of the e-portfolio (including micro bits/units of learning), and will this be recognised as part of a bigger credentialing system (open badges etc)? Who will manage and own this (data moveable between schools), how will it be used as part of a feedback-feedforward process (formative/summative), who has access to help feed into the learning? Can this become part of a larger, recognisable system beyond the kāhui ako?

    Trish, you might be interested in this NEW page published in Enabling e-Learning TKI, Real-time reporting .

    CellphoneSchools that have implemented real-time reporting experience significant benefits.

    • Students engage in conversations about their learning while it’s still relevant. 
    • Teachers can easily monitor progress and support student learning in a timely manner.
    • Parents are more connected with their child's learning.
    • Deeper conversations about learning can take place at parent-teacher-student conferences.

    Find out more about engaging your community, different software, and overcoming some of the challenges with a change. Enabling e-Learning newsletter (October 2019)

  • Tessa Gray 25 Oct 2019 9:57am () in App development in the classroom

    Anyone who has seen this story from Frankley School, has been raving about it, and now Enabling e-Learning (TKI) has posted this new series of videos in the App development page (TKI). The videos illustrate the design process students went through to develop apps.

    Computational thinking and coding through app development

    What do you think? Is this a process that some of your students can undertake, to solve local issues/problems? Any questions for Brendon?

  • Tessa Gray 23 Oct 2019 6:50pm () in DISCUSSION POST: Looking ahead with 2020 vision

    Education, now more than ever is one of the most complex and ever-changing 'things' we’ll ever be a part of. Important considerations about who we are and what we want for our young people; are driving collective conversations about the future of education. Questions and discussions around social equity, cultural locatedness, acknowledging what our past says about who we are and where Aotearoa fits on a global stage are central to education.

    Add to this, influences from growing issues for humanity, of which quality education is one of the Global Sustainable Development Goals; to home-grown social, economic and environment issues, and it becomes increasingly important for educators to have both outward and inward facing conversations about where we’re heading in the future.

    We are descendants of explorers, discoverers and innovators who used their knowledge to traverse distant horizons. Our learning will be inclusive, equitable and connected so we progress and achieve advances for our people and their future journeys and encounters.

    The government has understood the need to continue these hard conversations and after consulting with our national community, Kōrero Marautanga has settled five key objectives and a 10 year action plan, some of which might require turning our thinking on it’s ear. These are:


    • Learners at the centre of education – learners with their whānau at the centre of education
    • Barrier-free access –great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner
    • Quality teaching and leadership – quality teaching and leadership make the difference for learners and their whānau
    • Future of learning and work – Learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives
    • World-class inclusive public education – New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable.

    In addition to these long-term goals, there is a continued focus on national priorities for professional learning and development (PLD) for both English Medium and Māori Medium. In 2020, there is a continued focus on digital fluency as well as:

    • cultural capability                            •   mātauranga and te reo Māori
    • local curriculum design                   •   marau ā-kura
    • assessment for learning                  •   aromatawai

    In response to an ever-present influence of technologies, CORE Education’s Ten Trends identify gradual and pervasive ways in which technologies impact both society and education. These big picture views and trends at a macro view directly influence our profession as a whole. The challenge is whether a 10-year action plan or school-based strategies can step out of the norm and make the very changes needed.

    Looking towards 2020, we can ask ourselves, what stories are we telling? Whose voice is the loudest? Who has been underserved? Who is making critical decisions in our school? What can we do well, differently or better to reflect a bi-cultural learning culture and an accessible and equitable education for all? How can e-learning and digital technologies make a difference for our learners?

    Speech bubbles

    Having conversations in our own networks and settings at a micro view helps us make wise choices and decisions in our own settings – to either adopt ,embrace, discard or disrupt our practice to ensure our young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make similar decisions in their own lives and into their future. CORE Ten Trends 2019, (PDF)

    Where will your campfire kōrero take you in 2020? For more on curriculum design see, Local curriculum design tool | Rapua te ara tika.

    Also see:

    Image source: Maxpixel: Speech bubbles CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay children

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.