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Nathaniel Louwrens's discussion posts

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 28 Sep 2016 11:47am () in FORUM: What does innovation look like in your school? | An Enabling e-Learning event

    Thanks for sharing further Nikki! I really think this might help others who are looking for ways to develop agency in their students. Totally love that your students have chosen to step up and offer workshops. 

    We now have 57 teachers in our class and we are all seen as learners.

    That statement really excites me! 

    I must admit I have seen as quite daunting posting my ideas, but I guess the more you do it the easier it becomes!

    So, just to encourage you a bit further (I hope!), I wonder, now that you're experiencing this level of student agency, what your next steps are to develop it further? Or perhaps what your students next steps are, if they've already got further ideas they would like to implement?

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 28 Sep 2016 10:45am () in FORUM: What does innovation look like in your school? | An Enabling e-Learning event

    Hi Nikki

    Thanks for sharing your story! It's amazing what we can accomplish when we put ourselves in situations that we know will stretch and challenge us.

    I wonder if you could expand a bit on the statement, "through pushing the boundaries in terms of student agency"? What did you do? What led to the greater attendance, engagement and enjoyment?


  • Nathaniel Louwrens 15 Sep 2016 4:06pm () in Communities of Online Learning

    Kia ora Hamish

    Thanks for your thoughts. These ideas and changes can seem challenging so it will be interesting to see what possibilities come from them.

    We already have successful organisations such as NetNZ and VLN Primary who offer online courses to support flexible learning. You might be interested in the following video of a Student perspective of learning online through NetNZ.

    Derek Wenmoth shares in What's cool about COOLs?,

    The reality in New Zealand is that online programmes of learning have been available to students for nearly twenty years through the virtual learning network and, more recently, the VLN Primary. These programmes cater for the needs of learners who cannot access the full range of curriculum options they want at their local school, and have a very successful track record in doing so. The case for students requiring attendance at a physical school where they can develop social and emotional skills is not argued — indeed, they get the best of both worlds.

    I think at the moment, while there is more detail to come about COOLs, it's a great opportunity to think about how we would like to see online learning in our schools and how this new initiative of COOLs could benefit our learners.

    How do you see online learning being used to benefit your students?

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 15 Sep 2016 10:15am () in Communities of Online Learning

    With the recent announcement of schools, and other organisations/groups being able to establish Communities of Online Learning (COOL) there has been a lot of interest and conversation going on.

    The Bill proposes to enable new partnerships between schools and online learning providers, and enable children and young people to access their education through online delivery. Online learning providers will come from the schooling, tertiary education, and private sectors, and will be able to seek accreditation as a Community of Online Learning (COOL). (Ministry of Education)

    Education Minister Hekia Parata talks about COOLs in this video: Communities of Online Learning.

    NetNZ has published an opinion piece on Scoop, COOLs - Opportunity or obstruction? In it, they suggest (among other things) that online learning can definitely (and already does) have a place in the New Zealand education system. It provides opportunities for students to learn subjects/topics that are not readily available in their own schools, for example.


    Enabling e-Learning held a live discussion yesterday afternoon to explore what a COOL could look like and how it could support the learning of our students. It was really interesting to get an early perspective of the possibilities that COOLs could have for our learners.
    Watch the video of the discussion here:


    • What do you think are the possibilities of COOLs for your school and learners?
    • How do you think your school and students could benefit from COOLs?
    • What excites you about COOLs?
  • Nathaniel Louwrens 14 Sep 2016 2:21pm () in Online learning translates to improved classroom practice

    Wow! What a fantastic story of how the support given through the Enabling e-Learning community groups has helped not only change the practices and outlook of a teacher, but also had great impact on students as well. It's great to hear how the conversations and learning that we have online can translate into real-world examples and have an effect on our students that they can put voice to.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 14 Sep 2016 1:23pm () in FORUM: 7 principles of learning | Building horizontal connections

    Some great wonderings Philippa!

    I always remind the teachers I work with that digital citizenship isn't a one-off lesson or unit, and it's definitely not just something the computer teacher or e-learning leader has to do and be aware of. DC is an ongoing conversation involving all staff and students as well as the wider community.

    So if we're looking at connecting with the content taught, the curriculum, the students, staff, parents and wider community, surely there are some great opportunities for horizontal connections. 

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 14 Sep 2016 1:19pm () in FORUM: 7 principles of learning | Building horizontal connections

    Hi Stuart

    Your third point has really resonated with me. Giving students opportunity to use tech and in ways we might not have considered opens up possibilities for learning. Sometimes us adults like to be in control and always know what's happening, but we can learn so much from our students.

    And yes! Just do it!

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 19 Aug 2016 2:59pm () in Forum: How do schools ready themselves for modern learning pedagogies?

    Hi Erika

    Thanks for sharing. It's always great to hear success stories like this. The inquiry process is clearly in action here.

    I wonder, now that you've made these initial changes and seen positive results, what your next steps are going to be to support these boys some more?

    There are some other great school stories on the Enabling e-Learning Innovative Learning Environments page that you might find interesting and useful.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 19 Aug 2016 2:48pm () in FORUM: 7 principles of learning | Building horizontal connections

    Hi Stuart

    I agree with the connection you have made around digital technologies enabling horizontal connections. They open up so many possibilities to connect with others nearby and around the world (and even into space if I think about the connections students had with Commander Chris Hadfield while on the International Space Station a few years ago) to learn together. Digital technologies have helped break down barriers between school and the global community.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    I wonder if you have any tips for teachers who are still in the early stages of using digital technologies (or about to be) around developing horizontal connections?


  • Nathaniel Louwrens 19 Aug 2016 2:43pm () in FORUM: 7 principles of learning | Building horizontal connections

    Kia ora Tony

    Thanks for sharing! Like Tessa, I've just learnt so much about you.

    I would love to hear (and see) more about what your students are doing in regards to Mahuki. I wonder if their learning is being documented in a way that could be shared?


Nathaniel Louwrens

Connected Learning Advisory Facilitator, Enabling E-learning Online Facilitator; Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator