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Rachel Whalley's discussion posts

  • Rachel Whalley 12 Sep 2017 11:41pm () in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

    Kia ora Sam

    You may have noticed that i tried to comment on your blog post, but somehow i lost in the ether. Anyhow i thought it was important to follow up on this with you so here is my second attempt :)

    So firstly we have Networked Nannies / Konnected Kuia teaching children all around NZ online through the VLN Primary. Koka Jules has been teaching te reo Māori online since 2011. Here is the info about our Virtual Rumaki. Our model is not a volunteer model but one where the schools collaborate to provide a teacher to share from their own schools or to contribute funds to bring an expert in to teach across our schools. The VLN Primary developed to meet that need by providing the support for this collaborative network, the coordination and the professional development for teaching and learning online. Any children from any school are welcome to participate.

    I don't want to pop your bubble on Sugata's model and no doubt you might have a good crack at it and enjoy some success with it, but here are a couple of insights from our experience.

    We have had a couple of awesome teachers who were happy to volunteer their time to teach our children. One was a Science teacher, the other taught Cook Islands Māori They were amazing, amazing teachers. Retired, hugely knowledgeable, passionate about their subject and keen to connect with our children. We were in the end unable to sustain those connections because of the amount of wrap around support they needed to be able to teach online. I was co-teaching with them both for a couple of terms which was a privilege, but one I didn't have the time for. It is a rare thing to find a person with the knowledge and the willingness to teach our children in their area of expertise, it is even rarer to find that combined with a minimum level of digital skills needed to teach online. Even with today's easy technology, our volunteer teachers were struggling to teach independently.

    My second insight - or opinion, if you like is - education should not be a voluntary pursuit. The government should ensure that children are able to access the curriculum & in this case te reo Māori. By relying on the goodwill of volunteers you are not building the capacity of teaching te reo māori in schools in a sustainable way. 

    Te reo Māori is our schools' greatest area of need and the VLN Primary would welcome any support Microsoft can provide to strengthen our programmes. If you work for Microsoft you probably know Michael Brick? He is on our Governance team. He could fill you in some more on what we do.

    BTW if your daughter's school doesn't offer te reo māori or any other programmes that she needs you should look at the opportunities the VLN clusters, NetNZ or the VLN Primary can provide.

  • Rachel Whalley 26 May 2016 4:51pm () in Enabling e-Learning forum: Collaborative projects for NZ students

    Kia ora koutou

    Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to this discussion. It is great to hear of these exciting students collaborative projects and to showcase them and inspire others to get involved. I work with the VLN Primary School and our approach is more of a structured collaboration between schools and teachers and the development and support for learning networks, although it also involves some student collaborative projects as described in other posts. 

    Collaboration between schools is coming to the fore politically though the Communities of Learning (IES) government policy so I have been having lots of discussions with Principals and teachers about working in collaborative communities. 

    There are some key ideas about collaboration that i think are really important & these can scale from the student collaborative project to a Community of Learning:

    • Relationships matter - you need high levels of trust to provide a safe environment
    • You need to have a clear and shared sense of purpose about what you are trying to achieve
    • You need to have your eye on the bigger picture - caring about all of our students, not just the students in your own classroom or school

    Nearly all schools now are on N4L - fast, free, fibre - technically we can work as one across schools - the barriers now are institutional, systemic policy such as distribution of resourcing & in our own mindsets.

    I recently held a workshop with Principals about Collaboration so will share some of their thoughts and my presentation. (There are some more quotes to read within the speakers notes of the presentation).

    If you are interested in reading more about collaborative schools networks would recommend Dr Cherie Taylor-Patel "Networking – Weaving the net; gathering the pearls" Cherie writes on her findings during her travelling scholarship where she explored successful schools networks and collaborations. 


  • Rachel Whalley 26 May 2016 3:15pm () in Enabling e-Learning forum: Collaborative projects for NZ students

    Hi Jan

    Love the work you have done with your collaborative music project. Great to see that it is ongoing smiley

  • Rachel Whalley 23 Mar 2016 8:53am () in Free Online Learning Series - 23 Teaching Things

    This would be great for our teachers Bronwyn, do you mind if i cross post this blog entry into our next newsletter?

  • Rachel Whalley 23 Jul 2015 11:36am () in help with Maori tuition in class

    Kia ora Andrew 

    Thnx Tessa, we aren't active in the Learning Exchange anymore, you will find this mainly has a Secondary focus. Though we are active here in the VLN groups area.

    You are welcome to hook in with our te Reo Māori kaiako Jules from Whatatutu, Gisborne area. There are schools from all over NZ learning with Jules. Her classes are a lot of fun with a big focus on tikanga Māori alongside learning te Reo so include karakia, waiata & kapa haka also. Happy to help just get in touch.

  • Rachel Whalley 13 Mar 2015 11:10am () in Kids teaching kids Te Reo online

    Kia ora Justin

    You are welcome to hook in with our te Reo Māori kaiako Jules from Whatatutu, Gisborne area. There are schools from all over NZ learning with Jules. Her classes are a lot of fun with a big focus on tikanga Māori alongside learning te Reo so include karakia, waiata & kapa haka also. This is run through the VLN Primary School - get in touch if you want to follow up.

  • Rachel Whalley 08 Mar 2015 9:50am () in Meet and Greet Hui Kaupapa: March 2015

    Sorry i missed this, look forward to getting new dates on my calendar & joining in. Thanks for all your great work in coordinating this Jeanette yessmiley

  • Rachel Whalley 13 Oct 2014 3:02pm () in Looking for students to participate

    Crossposted from our blog:

    Student Participation in Connected Educator Month

    Come on Connected Educator's - Connect your students...Looking for keen participants.

    These events are for students to participate in and are designed to introduce and model simple activities where students can connect and learn together online.  This is a real time quiz based competition. We would love an international challenge - Global Connected Educators!

    literacy.PNGLiteracy Challenge

    Thursday 16th October 10 - 11 am
    This has a focus on literature, suitable for your avid readers.

    Maths Challengeimage

    Thursday 30th October 10 - 11 am
    Test your Maths brain - suitable for students who are working at L4+ NZC
    Both of these competitions are aimed at Y7 & 8s but Y5 & 6s are also welcome to participate if their teachers think they will be able to compete. Students can compete in teams of 2 - 4 (but no more than 4).
    Sessions will be in Adobe Connect - connection details emailed to you on registration.
    To Register please email Rachel rachel.roberts@vln.school.nz - limited to first 6 schools.
  • Rachel Whalley 19 Sep 2014 9:01pm () in A few links from our Meet and Greet Launch

    Hey everyone great to meet today at Edgecumbe Primary Laughing

    Thanks Jeanette for driving this along, Tristram for hosting us & Anne-Marie for supporting. 

    Here are some links to some things discussed:

    VPLD (Virtual Professional Learning & Development) you need to look at this soon (closes 1st October), nominations are being called NOW for 2015 VPLD participants - awesome programme to be involved in.

    We talked about how Connected Teachers networks are 'doing it for themselves' - very exciting to be a part of. Also be mindful that we have an opportunity to contribute to the shaping of PLD resourcing in schools by giving feedback on this recently released PLD report - here is a link to the short version.

    eLearning Planning Framework is here.

    VLN Primary School can be found here.

    Connected Educators Month #participate!

    ka kite till next time

  • Rachel Whalley 08 Sep 2014 2:28pm () in Article sharing

    How about setting up a group in Zotero - really recommend this referencing/cataloguing tool. 


    I have set one up to try it out if anyone wants to jump in and test it out with me.