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How do we convince our colleagues to be in the VLN especially beyond the cluster contracts?

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Started by Annemarie Hyde 29 Mar 2012 8:57pm () Replies (4)

This came up today in our lead teacher meeting.  One member of the group said that he was going to get all his staff to join the VLN.  My questions were:

1. Why?

2. How will you sell it to them?

There are a number of people who are now members; there is a much smaller group of active members, and probably a much, much smaller group who are there and will stay there without the impetus of cluster milestone reporting and evidence loading.

Groups like NAPP are using it for professional discussion but even there, the 240 members are maybe not all there for the long haul.

So...how do we get our colleagues on board?  This question led to a great discussion in our group.

  • a source of professional reading and discussion
  • a place to link into interest areas
  • a place to find resources for inquiries
  • tapping into experts
  • start your own expert group and then attract others
  • not as random as Google - information is sifted by practitioners
  • good pedagogical basis
  • a place to keep an online CV
  • a place to collate resources for appraisal

We could see that the emphasis on eLearning could be a put off for some; why not just use it as a place to share ALL curriculum resources, ideas, learnings? Can you add to this?


  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 29 Mar 2012 9:23pm ()

    Kia ora

    Within my job I have to WORK with my colleagues to get the teachers we will eventually WORK with to use the VLN - This could be easy WORK or hard WORK.  Firstly we will have to decide on the purpose and then in some ways I still see a need to force our teachers to at least get on here with some sort of task just so they get to have a browse at what the VLN has to offer.  Some may see using this space as extra WORK, but now that I am a hooked VLN user (within a very short time I must add) I see how this space can benefit my WORK and the WORK of others.  Don't ask me why I've capitalised the word WORK but I guess it's because I've WORKed out a way to make this space WORK for me.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 02 Apr 2012 12:16pm ()

    Great conversation to bring up the first place Annemarie and thank you Moana – good point about being clear about the purpose of this platform and how it can extend our learning through:

    • Communication
    • Conversation
    • Collaboration
    • Content/knowledge co-creation
    • Sharing
    • Participation

    I recently ran a live seminar,  What does online professional learning look like for learners and leaders? (recorded) which highligthed how the VLN/Enabling e-Learning groups can be used as a personal/ professional learning network. 


    I agree it starts with letting people see what is available in the VLN groups space and offering explanations for how it can help us in our WORK. I'm also wondering if there is one step before that – where teachers ask themselves:

    Where do my interests and passions lie? Or what is the current focus for me at school?

    In identifying a need, interest or passion, we can explore how we can share this with other like-minded educators, who may in-turn extend/enhance these curiosities.


    Following group discussions within the Enabling e-Learning groups, means that many facets of education (for example, Using technology to support Maths - what do you do?) are discussed - which happen to have an e-learning lens. 

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 18 Oct 2012 1:35pm ()

    This is still a very relevant conversation. I am increasingly having discussions with teachers who love the VLN and want to find ways to encourage their colleagues to do the same. Again, two things come to mind. 1. need and 2. area of interest or passion


    There needs to be a perceived need from teachers, so that it can help the work they do, not hinder it. Everyone is time poor afterall.

    QUESTION: What are your teachers interested in? Is it sourcing resources to support understandings in math?  Its it ways to increase literacy through the use of digital story books? Ways to increased collaboration and ownership of learning through BYOD?  What are you and your staff personally interested in? It might well be other teachers throughout NZ are thinking about similar things, in more-or-less at the same time - hence the value of LIVE webinars and on-going discussions, such as those in the Enabling e-Learning groups.

    Interest or passion

    QUESTION: What are your teachers' passions? For some people, its not always about having a need, the interest might be more about having a passion or an area of expertise/strength. Some teachers in the VLN already see the value in sharing those successes with others. Some community members provide technical support (a bit like a helpdesk), others offer theoretical ideas as well as practical examples of classroom practice. This model being one of recipricol (ako) sharing of knowledge, information - with an opportunity for further reflection.


    How do you encourage participation in the VLN?

    Does anyone have any success stories or a strategy they'd like to share - about how you have encouraged your colleagues to particpate in the VLN? What's one top tip for the rest of us to consider?

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