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Tessa Gray's discussion posts

  • Tessa Gray 22 May 2019 1:34pm () in Computational Thinking in a Literacy programme

    Computational Thinking compliments the Key Competencies, so students can develop a way of thinking that enables them to hone their critical, creative, problem solving and collaborative skills.

    With CTDT Progress Outcomes starting with, “In authentic contexts....with end-users in mind...” it makes sense to integrate activities that make natural connections to the NZ Curriculum, where students can learning about, with and through Digital Technologies. CT Progress Outcome 1 introduces non-computerised concepts, while Progress Outcome 2 builds on this and reads,

    In authentic contexts and taking account of end- users, students give, follow and debug simple algorithms in computerised and non-computerised contexts. They use these algorithms to create simple programs involving outputs and sequencing (putting instructions one after the other) in age-appropriate programming environments.

    Progress Outcome 3 introduces the concepts of decomposing problems as step-by-step instructions, logical thinking, prediction of programmes, variety of algorithms, and understanding that digital devices store data as two ‘binary’ bits.

    Literacy is an obvious vehicle to explore these processes and concepts more in-depth, so we’ve done some digging around on the Internet and come up with a few activities (both plugged and unplugged) in the presentation below for you to try with your students. Like a good stretch, some activities just take a few minutes a day. 

    While we've collated some ideas, please feel free to click on the Google slides, either add text or a slide of your own to help create a crowd-sourced resource for us all to use. 

  • Tessa Gray 20 May 2019 12:17pm () in Techweek don't miss out!

    This is just too much!!! Gaming for kids, Lego Mindstorms and lego challenges, virtual reality experiences, coding, robotics, geospatial, 3D printing, Minecraft, coding, using technology for good and human advancement... and much much more!

    Techweek screenshot

    Techweek 20 - 24 May 2019 has fantastic workshops for teachers, students, parents, whānau and business right across the motu. Check out the events near you. Don’t miss out, some of it’s FREE!

  • Tessa Gray 15 May 2019 4:07pm () in Real-time reporting using e-Portfolios

    By now, most of us are familiar with the purpose, potential and tools for e-portfolios – a digitally visible and accessible way to capture, celebrate, reflect and feedback/forward on learning. We know that regular connections between parents and whānau and school and kura can have a positive impact on learners.

    In this Enabling e-Learning video, Students at Motu School use e-portfolios as a way to share and explain goal setting, sharing their learning, and reflecting on their progress as they lead three-way conferences with parents and teachers. Having the portfolios online means parents can access and be part of their children's learning at anytime.

    Fast forward to now, and some schools are taking a fresh look at their twice yearly reporting processes to rethink what a personalised and responsive model for reporting could look like; using digital solutions to provide a more accurate picture of their child’s real-time performance (Ten Trends 2019 PDF p10).

    With technological advancements, anyone can receive ‘on demand’, real time, personalise feedback (how am I doing) on pretty much anything - from health records to bank records. So it would seem six-monthly, one-size-fits-all reporting model is an outdated and ineffective way to provide real-time formative assessment to inform next steps in learning. (Ten Trends 2019 PDF p10).

    What does real-time reporting look like?

    PLD Facilitator Katrina Laurie has been working with schools unpacking the Ten Trend: Real-time reporting using digital platforms like Seesaw.


    In Linton Camp School (Palmerston North), there has been a PLD focus on assessment capability and learner agency so students can articulate and share their learning via digital portfolios with parents/whānau. Teachers have been creating 60sec elevator pitches to explain: Real-time reporting, drivers for this change, how this will look, and what is needed for this to be successful.

    Westmere School (Whanganui) have engaged in Digital Fluency PLD with a growing focus on using Seesaw to replace their mid-yearly reporting format. They have created a draft framework, so that students can share their learning with parents and whanau using Seesaw. For more on this framework and the rest of the story see, Ten Trend: Real-time reporting. 


    Is your school looking at your current reporting processes? Is there something you’d like to do differently, improve, change or replace? We’d love to hear more. Feel free to join the e-Learning Leadership group and add your comments below.

    You might also like...

  • Tessa Gray 09 May 2019 3:33pm () in Flipped learning and the changing role of the teacher

    Throughout the Enabling e-Learning community, we’ve hosted discussions about flipped learning before, to help build understandings about flipped learning. We’ve hosted a webinar sharing how one teacher (Angela Stensness) has flipped learning in maths for her secondary students and Warren Grieves has shared a resource on how to teach/use Scratch through flipped learning instruction. The whole notion of flipped learning prompts us to reflect on teaching in a traditional sense – a model where;

    ...teachers share knowledge with students on a particular subject, through lessons that build on their prior knowledge and moves them toward a deeper understanding of the subject. (Ten Trends 2019 PDF, p22).

    One of CORE’s Ten Trends 2019 looks at the Changing role of teachers, where we acknowledge a shift, is marked by a move from a “one- size- fits-all” approach of delivering and receiving knowledge, to an approach that honours the individual and their diversity (Ten Trends 2019 PDF, p22).

    The demands on teachers to make this happen in a responsive and manageable way, could sound alarming for most, but at Ashhurst School the teachers are training themselves to implement strategies where students can learn new concepts through sourced or prepared video content; so that by the time they get to the teacher, time is freed-up for higher order application of the learning to occur. Ie; the students then do something with that learning. Who wouldn’t want to ‘free’ themselves up more to do what we’re meant to do – teach?

    In this video, Teachers, Sara and Emma, explain how they plan their lessons for a flipped classroom including how they make their instructional videos. In this context the flipped learning occurs in the classroom but parents and whānau can also access the content if need be.

    The digital tools they have used to create instructional videos include:

    • Quicktime: to video themselves or a screen capture
    • Explain Everything app: to video instructional video with voice-overs
    • Youtube: to store videos and create embed code to host elsewhere
    • Playposit: to insert learning activities (pause to reflect or discuss, links to websites etc)
    • Google site: to create a portal to house the content

    Playposit tools

    Playposit instructions tools

    Are you interested in giving this a go on your own? Then you might like to:

    If you're already flipping your lessons or have any questions, we'd love to hear more...

    Also see:

  • Tessa Gray 09 May 2019 9:46am () in FREE DT & HM Readiness Workshops in your region

    ERO recently conducted a survey of 221 EM schools (with 97% response rate) asking about their awareness, understanding and readiness to implement the Digital Technologies content as part of the Technology Learning area by 2020. You might surprised by the results. 

    Just under half of the survey group reported that their teachers were starting to engage with the DT content, but only 16% of schools have teachers already working on it. Most of that percentage of schools are planning at classroom level with slightly fewer planning at school-wide level. https://www.ero.govt.nz/footer-upper/news/ero-insights-april-2019/digital-technology-curriculum-content-survey/

    There is an expectation that DT is integrated across the curriculum and compulsory to Year 10. How ready is your school? Are you part of the 45% starting to engage or the same as 16% who are currently working on this already? For more support check out:

    Enabling e-learning

    The readiness programme  Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko

    Technology online

  • Tessa Gray 11 Apr 2019 9:34am () in Scratching our heads for ideas with Scratch!

    If you missed yesterday's webinar with Nicki Tempero on Scratch in the primary classroom, you can see the webinar recording here and as well as the presentation (with links) below.

    During the session we made connections to the Progress Outcomes 1 and 2 as well as the exemplars for both Computational Thinking and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes. 

    You might also enjoy seeing how Te Kura o Matapihi uses their design thinking process to plan an interactive story in Te Reo Māori in Scratch. For more see the snapshot in Enabling e-Learning, Design thinking and hangarau matihiko in a kura kaupapa setting

    This was a simple introductory session introducing the new Scratch format and some of the variables for simple block coding. What else would you like to see more of, in regards to learning/using Scratch in the primary classroom?

  • Tessa Gray 03 Apr 2019 4:22pm () in Last call for submissions to Tomorrow's Schools Review

    As you’ll be aware, the consultation around the report on Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini (Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce) is closing soon and submissions to the taskforce close on 7th April. See, Have your say 2019. 

    So far this year, educational communities have been invited to feedback via meetings, surveys (closed) and by oral and written submissions. This is an important and large piece of work that requires some in-depth thought, input and debate on our behalf - 30 years after the tomorrow schools model was first introduced.

    Whether it means we unpack the intention of the key findings, debate the issues around equity, discuss proposals for rearranging administrative arrangements or each of the key issues and their recommendations, we need to be; informed, understand the issues at hand, and show some empathy while engaging respectfully with others who have differing opinions to our own. We need to be strong and stand up for what is good for all of the learners in our communities, and we need to be heard to our voice can help shape future policy, because who knows education better than the stakeholders themselves?

    There is a lot at stake in the current proposals…New Zealand society has changed so much over the same time, that any reform that could make a difference needs to be very carefully considered. Professor Martin Thrupp and Dr Katrina McChesney, University of Waikato The Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce Report (Part 1 of 4): The lack of debate, one of four blogs submitted to Blog of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education.

    Screenshot Tomorrow's school review 

    Tomorrow's Schools Review from Ministry of Education on Vimeo.

    In this video Bali Hague (Chair Tomorrow’s schools review taskforce) asks some overarching questions about whether or not our system is working effectively to prepare all of our children and young people for the future. One way to tackle the complex issues in this report, might be to address one/each of the key findings by using a Design Thinking model for thinking, where discussions can be facilitated enabling us to:

    • Empathise: Understand who is involved, who has the most to gain or lose and who is currently least well- served.
    • Define: Clarify and clearly define the challenges and issues at hand.
    • Ideate: Judgement is suspended where new proposals are explored.
    • Prototype: An iterative process is adopted through consultation, conversation and collaboration, where recommendations are shaped to meet the needs of those identified.
    • Test: Feedback is sought to help reshape recommendations and seek alternative solutions.

    Critical element here is collective feedbackWhat conversations have you had in your learning community and what moves or concerns you the most in regards to the 8 key issues and their recommendations?

    Also see, If you were the boss of education what would you do first? 

  • Tessa Gray 03 Apr 2019 2:33pm () in STEAM Design for Building

    Kia ora again Warren, good to hear from you. I can just visualise your TI now smiley after you shared your story with us last year.

    A couple of questions: How do you see STEAM being taught (integrated, bite sized, subject focused, problem based, tinkering, collaboration), what is year level you want to observe, what areas of the country would you be willing to visit and do you have a budget?

    Four schools come to mind:

    Also see Enabling e-Learning's Learning spaces - different spaces and their purposes (TKI).





  • Tessa Gray 25 Mar 2019 3:52pm () in Dealing with negative social media

    Christchurch city Last week was a very hard week for our own nation and while our hearts go out to all our whānau and friends in Christchurch, closer to home we’re taking some time to discuss the negative implications of social media on our young people.

    Live streaming through Facebook has come under heavy scrutiny recently and while Facebook ‘scrambled’ to remove the horrific footage, one Twitter user said, too late, half of my two classes of children have already seen it. I know of least one 15yr old who viewed the live footage and that teenager’s family is now working through talking about what cannot be unseen

    While social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) continues to block the many versions of the video, we need to have conversations with our young people about what is shared, what is seen and how to navigate those space that can violate our viewing - in a matter of seconds. Child development expert Nathan Wallis has some good advice on how to process this harmful and disturbing content (Christchurch shootings: You watched the shocking video but how do you forget it?).

    Netsafe has a Christchurch attacks advisory page on this very issue and reminds us that the offensive material is both harmful and in breach of New Zealand Law. While it’s an offence to view or pass on objectionable content, Netsafe also offers their services if anyone is struggling with what they’ve seen (free call or text 1737). 

    While the content is online there is some risk that children or young people may come across it. We encourage all parents to proactively discuss with their children what they should do if they come across distressing content online. Further information is available at netsafe.org.nz/upsetting-content/

    As educators, we need to look after ourselves and our young people, for more support, see Netsafe’s Harmful content advisory page as well as online resources for schools, Support in the wake of Christchurch.

    Image source: Flickr, CC Public Domain Bernard Spragg. The Brill in The Square.Christchurch NZ

  • Tessa Gray 25 Mar 2019 1:28pm () in Engagement in technology through authentic learning opportunities

    Anyone who attended last week's Technology Online webinar will know how good it was - where several examples of Technology in action were shared that had natural links to designing/creating/presenting using digital tools and technologies. 

    The resources for this webinar, including the presentation (PDF) can be downloaded from Technology Online

    These powerful examples show how primary children are responding to human needs in authentic contexts. What do you think? Do you have any questions for presenters Deidre Senior or Cheryl Pym? 

    Also see:

    A recipe book: Linking technology and literacy

    Primary playground redesign – a rich local curriculum opportunity

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.