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Tessa Gray's discussion posts

  • 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 01 Oct 2019 2:59pm () in DISCUSSION POST: Using 3D printing in real-world contexts

    Kia ora Tangihia, ngā mihi a koe and thank you for your feedback. I found the webinars incredibly insightful and a useful place to start for both.

    Do you have a wero or learning goal you'd like to trial in Term 4? Love to hear more.

  • Tessa Gray 27 Sep 2019 8:38am () in DISCUSSION POST: Using 3D printing in real-world contexts

    A big huge thank you to Karl Summerfield and Warren Hall who up-skilled us about types of 3D printers, practical tips to consider when purchasing and using them, as well as contexts and examples of effective use in yesterday's webinar. Anyone starting out or already using 3D printers will get something out of this webinar. The recording and presentation slides are available below. Please feel free to share with others.

    Also feel free to add any expertise, experiences of your own below or contact Karl Summerfield and Warren Hall directly if you'd like to discuss more.

  • Tessa Gray 18 Sep 2019 2:14pm () in DISCUSSION POST: Using 3D printing in real-world contexts

    Technology is science or knowledge put into practical use to solve problems or invent useful tools. Enter 3D printers. These have revolutionised how we invent new things and respond to human needs. Now we can imagine, design and make just about anything (from food products and reproducing fossil bones to human organs), in unique and sometimes cost-effective ways; like making a assistive bottle opener or a house in day.

    The evolution of this technology offers many opportunities to discuss the philosophical and ethical implications of advancements in our society. The Technology Learning area not only teaches our students to understand technology as an intervening force in the world (Nature of Technology strandbut puts them in the drivers seat – where they get to be the designers, innovators and problem solvers. Like this STEM example from Whakarongo Schoolwhere students have used a design thinking process (Technological practice) to develop a device/s in response to a real world issue, while making connections to Māori world views and understanding technological advancements.

    For a growing number of schools, resourcing STEM/STEAM projects now include using 3D and/or laser printers and software programmes like Tinkercad (free), Autodesk (fee) to turn 2D designs into 3D objects and artefacts. Students can learn about the properties of materials used (Science) as well as Characteristics of Technological outcomes (fit for purpose, social historical contexts), Engineering, Art (and design processes) as well as Mathematical skills while Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes. 

    So how do we go beyond printing keyrings? Maybe rather than saying, “Let’s make a …”, why not start with a design challenge in a context that means something to your students, like the examples shared in this 3D Print School blog. Students can ask or respond to provocations like, “What is worst possible way to solve this problem…? Or they can create 'unuseless' inventions like a Chindogu, the Japanese art of designing everyday gadgets. Sometimes, it doesn’t mean printing something as a whole, rather creating objects or pieces, that become part of a bigger collaborative project. For more ideas, check out how other students have imagined and created something new or create a class challenge with 50 Cool Things to 3D Print in September 2019.

    Video from Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko Pīkau 12: DDDO PO1: Challenge yourself with PO1

    Sometimes, in reality, a 3D printer arrives in school and teachers have little experience or PLD and then wonder how to make this wonderful opportunity 'work'. Want to know more?

    Come join us in next week’s webinar with Karl Summerfield and Warren Hall in a LIVE WEBINAR: Using 3D printing in real-world contexts, 26 September, 3.45pm - 4.45pm where we’ll explore the potential, as well as some practical considerations and examples for using 3D printers in a primary and secondary school context. Register Now. Bring your experiences, ideas and questions - also feel free to share these below.

    For more ideas see:

  • Tessa Gray 12 Sep 2019 12:26pm () in Place-based learning and culturally responsive practice in a localised curriculum

    What great timing! As we celebrate Te wiki o te reo Māori 9 - 15 Mahuru as well as stories of how our young people are exploring and celebrating the rich cultural history of the whenua (land) and it's tangata (people), we hear the announcement from the Prime Minister today that, "The Government will make changes to the education curriculum to "make clear the expectation" New Zealand history is taught in all schools and kura from 2022." New Zealand history will be compulsory in all schools by 2022

    While our history in Aotearoa is full of blood and betrayal, we need to openly teach our young people the truth about our colonial past, and the evolving history and identity (including land wars and grievances) that have shaped and influenced where we are today. There is some urgency to this now, it's too important to leave to chance.

    While additional support will enable schools and kura to implement teaching NZ history in schools, we have a growing wealth of school stories and a rich resources , for example see Māori history in New Zealand curriculum.

    Māori meet early settlers Hawkes Bay

    Image source: Wikipedia CC image

    Is this something you are doing already? We'd love to hear how digital tools are enabling localised stories to come alive.

  • Tessa Gray 11 Sep 2019 11:01am () in DISCUSSION POST: Te wiki o te reo Māori 9 - 15 Mahuru

    Kei te mihi nui ki a koutou i tēnei wiki, te wiki o te reo Māori. Whakanuia! smiley We're already well half way through Māori language week 9–15 September. The theme for this year is, "Kia Kaha te Reo Māori" Why not make Māori language strong during te wiki o te reo Māori in your classroom using some of these tools and resources with your ākonga (students) this week. Hour of Code te reo Māori

    or interested in:

    If you want to give yourself a challenge or wero for integrating te reo Māori and digital learning opportunities, check out this bingo challenge board (shared Google doc) from Digital Circus on Twitter. Let us know how you get on smiley

    Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko If you straddle both worlds and want more professional learning in readiness to implement digital technologies and/or hangarau matihiko, then Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko is a bi-cultural programme made just for you! Sign up, complete your self review and become familiar and confident with the DT content (mostly short videos). For more online resources to support learning and teaching using digital tools, check out Enabling e-Learning resources tab. Or if you any more digital resources and stories to share, we’d love to hear below. 

  • Tessa Gray 10 Sep 2019 12:38pm () in Virtual Reality

    Always great to have your expertise and input thanks Sam smiley

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.