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Barrie Matthews's discussion posts

  • Barrie Matthews 26 Mar 2015 2:28pm () in Digital resources for ANZAC Day

    The latest LEARNZ Memorial Park field trip which looks at the completed Pukeahu National War Memorial Park that will be opened on 18 April and used for Anzac Day commemorations on 25 April. 

    Details at http://rata.learnz.org.nz/summary.php?vft=memorialpark151

  • Barrie Matthews 24 Mar 2015 1:17pm () in Text-to-speech and UDL: a tool for ALL primary and secondary students - Dyslexia Advocacy week Tip 2

    Hi Lynne

    Yes, good for students to use technology to create something of their own to show their learning. It's a good UDL principle to differentiate ways for students to demonstrate what they know.

    In a LEARNZ field trip there is a wealth of material - text, photos, diagrams, sound, and videos. Students can include any of our material in their presentations or edit it to show what they know. And it's arguably much easier with ICT tools like those you mention..


  • Barrie Matthews 24 Mar 2015 9:52am () in Reflecting on the limitations of print for students in secondary: Dyslexia Advocacy tip day 1

    LEARNZ virtual field trips are online and help teachers move away from reliance on print. As well as web pages with text, each field trip has many photos, sound files and video clips to tell the story and connect your class with experts in the field (like a scientist or wildlife conservationist).

    Students are further engaged using interactive activities to test their new learning. Optionally, teachers book their class into live audioconferences and web conferences.

    LEARNZ is free for NZ teachers who are teaching in a NZ school. Register with LEARNZ.

  • Barrie Matthews 24 Mar 2015 9:30am () in Text-to-speech and UDL: a tool for ALL primary and secondary students - Dyslexia Advocacy week Tip 2

    I agree that text-to-speech is a useful technology tool and have successfully installed and run an app on my smart phone that does an acceptable job of reading web pages. However, at LEARNZ we decided to go a step further.

    LEARNZ field trip teachers narrate selected material, which means it is spoken in a real voice with a New Zealand accent and intonation, and there is correct pronunciation of Maori and Pasifika words and scientific words.

    Here is an example from the Memorial Park virtual field trip for a page called First World War and New Zealand's Involvement (click on the Listen button at the top of the page).

    In feedback about LEARNZ, teachers tell us that this is a great feature which helps emerging readers (and writers). 

    "The quality of resources is exemplary. Being able to access audio to support the readings is crucial for a number of learners in my class. The field trip met all of the learning intentions outlined by the LEARNZ overview and opened new lines of discussion and knowledge for all students." Beverley Kemp from Karoro School about the Wetland Biodiversity field trip. More comments about how teachers have used LEARNZ.

    Dyslexic students in your class? Try a LEARNZ virtual field trip and the rest of your students will thank you too!

  • Barrie Matthews 12 Feb 2015 3:36pm () in Supporting students as they prepare for life beyond school

    Part of a mix could be the motivation that students get from reading about and hearing from young people who are already in the work force. Here, a number of young people talk about their careers as part of the Memorial Park construction project in Wellington. http://www.learnz.org.nz/memorialpark134/experts

    Every LEARNZ virtual field trip has experts interacting with students in live audioconferences but students also get to know the experts through videos made as they go about their work. All good careers material embedded in a wider teaching and learning programme.

    From a UDL point of view, students hear about careers in the audioconferences, they see and hear more about careers in videos and they read about careers in the expert's profile page. And the careers are presented in context of actual work taking place as part of a bigger picture.

  • Barrie Matthews 23 Oct 2014 3:21pm () in Tell a tale DigiAwards 2014 and your LEARNZ experience

    Hi Teachers

    Here is a chance to tell a story about how you have used LEARNZ - and maybe win something (entries close Saturday 1 November).

    Details at /groups/profile/867818/tell-a-tale-digiawards-2014

    There are 5 categories at /groupcms/view/870237/the-categories-explained

    We suggest that the best option for teachers who use LEARNZ is the fifth category; Ripple. Why? Because we hear from teachers when they use a LEARNZ field trip it is often a springboard to taking action in their community. Sometimes a school helps design and plant a wetland. Sometimes they do a beach cleanup. Sometimes they install energy-efficient lighting and recycle more. Some build a web site, write a blog and use social networking to get the wider community involved in a project.

    How about entering? Maybe ask your students to help with your submission.


  • Barrie Matthews 29 Jul 2014 2:32pm () in Waterview Connection - going underground with New Zealand's biggest road project 2014 -2017

    Welcome to this discussion strand for Waterview Connection, which is part of the LEARNZ group on the VLN.

    Get help and ideas about how this works and what to post, including examples of student learning.

    In a series of virtual field trips starting 26-28 August 2014 and going through to 2017, LEARNZ can take you and your class underground (virtually) to New Zealand’s biggest roading project. 

    Get information about the Waterview Connection field trip.

    Auckland is our biggest and busiest city. This field trip relates to big ideas like transport, sustainability, roading, urbanisation, environment, business, and the economy.

    We look forward to your posts.

    Barrie, LEARNZ Project Manager

  • Barrie Matthews 21 Jul 2014 5:32pm () in Support for Priority Learners

    Hi Ros

    You could find LEARNZ useful as we make an effort to engage with NZ learners in more than traditional ways and to save you time. It won't cost you anything - it is partly funded by the Ministry.

    You might be interested in one of our examples of a reading scaffold which could work with your emerging or reluctant readers. Each of our LEARNZ virtual field trips aims to conform to UDL principles, including material in written, oral, and visual forms so students can get familiar with the topic whether they are good readers or not.

    It could be also be good way to incorporate science in a cross-curricular way. If any of your students have smart phones or if your class has access to tablets or computers, the experience should be rewarding. Otherwise a teacher can do quite a lot with a laptop and data projector. 

    Happy to suggest a particular field trip or to help further.

  • Barrie Matthews 16 Jun 2014 1:53pm () in Airport - International Gateway to Christchurch

    Welcome to this discussion strand for Airport! , which is part of the LEARNZ Group on the VLN

    Get help and ideas about how this works and what to post, including examples of student learning. 

    Get information about the Airport! field trip. 

    Christchurch is an international airport, a gateway to the South Island and a key part of our nation’s transport infrastructure. This field trip relates to big ideas like tourism, immigration, biosecurity, sustainability, border control, transport, environment, and the economy.

    We look forward to your posts.

    Barrie, LEARNZ Project Manager

  • Barrie Matthews 13 Mar 2014 2:20pm () in Raising achievement for below students in Reading and Writing.

    Hi Amy

    Some education web sites are well designed so reading is not a total barrier and students can interact with them. By using sound, images and video students can become more motivated to drill down and read. Also, every smart phone has some sort of free text-to-speech app that can assist emerging readers - just highlight any word or sentence, then press-and-hold to get an option to hear it.

    At LEARNZ, we are working to improve the accessibility of our material for all students. I invite you to have a look at LEARNZ as a reading resource which is under the Support section of LEARNZ.

    This is also explained on the VLN under LEARNZ field trips as a reading resource.

    Hope this helps and feel free to contact me directly.