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Chris Wratt's discussion posts

  • Chris Wratt 16 Jun 2013 11:36am () in General comments about LEARNZ

    Long time looker/ first time user here. My year 4/5 class here at Hanmer Springs recently took part in the Restoring the Keplar field trip. It fitted perfectly with our term focus on NZ Flora and Fauna and Sustainability.

    I was aware of the LEARNZ concept but had not tried it and was unsure how it worked. Now that I have used it in the classroom, I am in awe of the potential of the LEARNZ trip archive in science learning.

    We did nothing whizzbangy with the Keplar field trip- no great 'taking action' at this stage- but it was an outstanding opportunity to bring authentic nz biology concepts into the classroom. We investigated a real conservation issue- the impact of pests on the Keplar ecosystem-and worked alongside great science experts- Ruud you are a star NZ's Attenborough IMHO.

    Through this project my kids developed a real understanding of how N.Z.'s natural ecosystems are finely balanced and how quickly introduced pests have upset that balance. What a gift of knowledge! All by being enthusiastically guided through an actual conservation project in action, using real science to track, trap, and monitor pest and native animal populations.

    We didn't go for everything- for instance audio conferences didn't work so well for us- but the videos and accompanying resources were outstanding. I especially like the archived nature of the field trips- meaning that I could use them in the classroom at my own pace. For example this one week field trip has been our focus for the last three-four weeks. Looking back through the trip archive there are probably 10-20 archived Field trips which connect to science concepts around native flora and fauna- what a resource!

    Thanks also to Andrew and Pete for the great support and suggestions when I had a query. 

    After my first experience with LEARNZ I would definitely recommend that all teachers give it a go. 

  • Chris Wratt 12 Nov 2012 9:18pm () in Ipad - leasing or purchase

    Hi Michelle

    We have just started ours this year on a 2 year lease from Cyclone. Reason: spreads the cost.

    From memory the difference between 2 and 3 years was just a spreading of the cost plus interest for the third year.

    Our covers are PixelSkin HD Wrap for iPad. Got them from a company in Auckaland, from memory only about  $40 each. Thick rubber total cover front and back. These are definitely worth it- as they do get dropped.

    We didn't take out Applecare, prefering to use the one year manufacturers warranty for the first year, rather than double up, but may purchase it for the second year( you can do this anytime before the first year is up)

    Email me at chris@islandbay.school.nz if you want any more details.



  • Chris Wratt 06 Nov 2012 8:25pm () in So where are schools at with Volume Purchasing?

    Hi Amy

    Good question we too have a small group of ipads here and have been waiting for the VPP to kick off here in NZ. Up till now like most I have been using one App store account and syncing to one master computer.

    Try Apple Configurator...from overseas reviews it seems to be the best way of rolling out apps with the VPP now available. Like you I'd be interested to see if its working here yet.