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Ginette Van Praag's discussion posts

  • Ginette Van Praag 30 Aug 2017 3:24pm () in Food for thought...or maybe not?

    Several suggestions that came to mind to help mitigate the digital divide (not mentioning rural and remote schools where internet connectivity is still unreliable / patchy for some) are:

    • Schools provide after-school / school holiday access to technology
    • Schools and communities work together with local experts to facilitate community based access to technology and activities - the Digital Technology Equity For All Fund will help build these connections and facilities
    • Low priced yet high-tech technology that is afforded through physical computing with the Raspberry Pi can also make a significant contribution to bridging the divide.  A Raspberry Pi with peripherals and electronic bits n pieces can cost under $300
    • Smartphones with Internet connectivity are available for $29
    • Chromebooks for $200
    • If schools insist on BYOD they should ensure that learners without devices have access.

    The experts in this space are The 2020 Trust, who have been providing computers, connectivity and training to communities for many years....Computers in Homes

    You may find their article: New Zealand’s Digital Inclusion Challenge: Beyond Computers in Homes an interesting read.

    NEWS: The 20/20 Trust today (30/08) released the Digital Inclusion Manifesto: All New Zealanders have affordable access to the internet and the skills and confidence to use digital technologies for learning, for work and for life.

    (great timing Tessa!)

    Ngā mihi

  • Ginette Van Praag 04 Jul 2017 10:51pm () in New Draft Digital Technologies Consultation and Feedback

    Thank you for sharing this article. It is good to have a forum for a range of viewpoints because it affords opportunity for clarity.

    The purpose of the new curriculum is to enable learners to understand how these new technologies work rather than just be users or consumers. What this means in the classroom is that the learner is firmly at the centre. Children learn to develop and use computational thinking skills in a safe environment to explore, inquire, create, debug, test, feedback, collaborate, feed forward, in fact, to LEARN to THINK for themselves in structured ways.

    They also develop the skills and confidence to reach for new technologies, to help them further make sense of their world.  This is sound, modern, multi-modal pedagogy and there will be plenty of PLD and resources to support teachers to help unpack the language and computer science concepts.  It's no surprise there is fear, we are at a watershed, but this knee-jerk reaction comes from not recognising the potential for personal empowerment such an approach affords for the learner and this curriculum offers a unique opportunity to elevate our children to a new level.  

    No fast one, this curriculum has been written by educators who have been doing this with learners for years in New Zealand and have witnessed first-hand the good it brings to the young people who experience it. No neo-liberals (whatever that means) just a bunch of educators who want to see our kids and our country fly in a very uncertain world dominated by tech.

    For those who are nervous or think they're being 'done to' - this needs to be put in perspective; let go a little, do a bit at a time and trust the journey is my advice. Your learners will thank you for it.


  • Ginette Van Praag 29 Jun 2017 4:45pm () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum
    Kia ora koutou
    The new DT curriculum is now available for consultation and there are workshops being run for Leaders, Teachers and the wider Community across the country.  
    Please see here for the details and to share with your networks.
    Ngā mihi
  • Ginette Van Praag 26 Apr 2017 7:16am () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum

    Hi Katrina

    You might find the following useful as a starting point:

    1. The work of Seymour Papert, he invented Logo programming language
    2. The work of Caitlin Duncan, University of Canterbury. She has been doing research study for past 3 years on CS in Primary Schools with Tim Bell and the Department of Fun Stuff. This work is largely responsible for the adoption of the new curriculum in 2018. They have been running teacher pld workshops.  Have a look here for more info: http://cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/cs4ps/
    3. Code Club Aotearoa

    My advice would be to look at your teaching in this space as action research also. The more NZ teachers can contribute to the pedagogy, the better in my opinion ☺

    Nga mihi


  • Ginette Van Praag 06 Feb 2017 3:39pm () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum


    Thank you Warren for starting this group :-)

    As one of the 9 organisations working on the Strengthening Digital Technologies project I just wanted to let you know that I am developing a range of teaching units for year 6-9 using the Raspberry Pi.

    The topics are:

    1. What is a Computer? Inquiry
    2. Introduction to Algorithms and Programming with the Pi
    3. Introduction to GPIO projects (real world projects)
    4. Introduction to Programming GPIO

    These are being trialed with a group of schools who have been provided with Raspberry Pis and peripherals (theirs to keep).  The teaching units will be made available for free through creative commons once the project is completed mid-year.  

    If you have any questions or want more information around this please see my profile for contact details.


    Ngā mihi