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Getting to know each other.

As we are coming together, from working in a range of projects, for the hui, it would be great to start getting to know each other before we meet face to face.

How about introducing yourself and saying what you are passionate about in relation to education.


  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 16 May 2013 12:52pm ()

    Kia ora all and welcome to our shared space for the 2013 VPLD and DigiAdvisor hui.

    I am Catriona Pene and I am based in Whangarei where I work as a BeL facilitator and online in the VLN. I also help Merryn and Hazel put together the monthly VPLD newsletter and keep the VLN VPLD space up to date.

    I am passionate about e-learning as a way of upgrading teaching practice to improve engagement, accessibility and outcomes for all students.

    I am looking forward to meeting you all face to face at the hui.

  • Merryn Dunmill (View all users posts) 16 May 2013 2:35pm ()

    Kia ora koutou, talofa lava, malo e lelei, kia orana and warm greetings to all


    Ko Merryn Dunmill taku ingoa, no Otautahi ahau. I'm lucky to work in both VPLD and Digi-Adivsor programmes so feel I know or have met, at least, most of you who will be attending what we hope will be a fantastic learning experience for everyone - our joint hui. Big ask! The good thing about this two day hui, is that you peeps will be the facilitators, workshop planners and presenters - a very organic and collaborative process. Not often educators get to do that. Each and every participant is so very talented, committed and enthusiastic and you all have the students at the centre, the heart, the focus of all you do in your work. So, I'm passionate about working with and learning from all of YOU.

    It's going to be a fun-filled, experience-packed two days  of PLD - we're doing all we can to ensure you enjoy every minute of it. 

    See you there!

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 17 May 2013 8:34am ()

    Thanks Merryn for kicking this off - love the look of the programme : )

  • Vicki Hagenaars (View all users posts) 16 May 2013 10:05pm ()

    Kia Ora to our Community!

    My name is Vicki Hagenaars.  I teach at Wanganui Intermediate School, also fulfilling the role as ICT Lead Teacher with a wide range of responsibilities.

    I am gaining confidence in the fact I am actually on the right track, dragging our staff along behind, through the VPLD.  This includes the learning spaces my learning team inhabits, ideas I have for moving the school forward (I think the principal dreads my "Do you have a minute?" chats as they end in $ signs!), and where my own learning is headed.

    I am passionate about sharing my own experiences and collaborating with other like-minded individuals who are also challenging the traditional view of teaching and learning. This allows all of us a chance to learn.  I view myself more as a facilitator than a teacher walking alongside my students as they explore their ideas, skill sets and develop understanding of all around them. I am indeed one of Merryn's peeps who, with my lovely assitants, will facilitate a session at the Hui.

    This will be my 2nd Hui and, if I get as much out of this as I did from the first, my boss is going to dread the Tuesday after Queen's Birthday! 

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 17 May 2013 8:37am ()

    Kia ora Vicki,

    Sounds like the hui is a great place to recharge our inspirational batteries and catch the enthusiasm from our peers. Looking forward to your session Vicki and meeting you face-to-face. : )

  • Hazel Owen (View all users posts) 27 May 2013 4:04pm ()

    Ko Hazel Owen taku ingoa, no Kerikeri ahau. I can't wait to catch up with everyone whom I have already met, again, and am very much looking forward to meeting folk who are new to the VPLD and/or DA programmes.

    A little bit about where I am from, and how some of those experiences have shaped how I feel about learning.

    I emigrated to NZ in 1996, and then worked with exceptionally gifted children (with Rosemary and Rory Cathcart at the George Parkyn Centre), did some time in industry, and then trained as an ESOL tutor before heading over to the Middle East for 6 years (Doha initially and then Dubai). Working with a huge range of learners gave me an an ever growing awareness of the importance of non-cognitive skills, culture, identity, as well as how they impact learning.

    Way back in the mists of time I studied in the UK both face-to-face and distance (using good old text books, and experiencing all the loneliness etc.). I then worked for the Open University there, and started to build awareness that learning is often social and that conversations are essential; also, support at a time when you are struggling can turn your engagement in a programme of learning right around. It was formative to see how a more tailored approach that recognised how varied my students' backgrounds, experiences and requirements were, worked.

    Just over 13 years ago I started to work with ICT enhanced learning and teaching, and it was then that I gradually came to realise how social networking, multimedia, ePortfolios etc can empower learners of all ages and backgrounds - helping them to communicate, recognise and celebrate their experiences and expertise, as well as scaffold their learning journey.

    As a learner myself - I was studying an MA in Applied Linguistics with the University of Waikato in distance mode - my epiphany was when one night after a long day at work I was just trying to get my head around my final research paper. My tutor at the time had not provided a marking rubric to indicate what he was looking for, nor had he provided models, examples, or guidelines, and I was ready to weep - and to chuck the course in. Luckily, one of my classmates was completing another paper in the early hours of the morning in NZ and I popped in to chat. She was amazing!!! She had completed the research paper the year before for this tutor, and was able to give me some great guidelines, and let me have a copy of her paper to give me an example of the type of thing that was being looked for. It turned me around. I understood how much, even though I am an independent learner with a preference for working alone, that we are social. We all need help and support, whether we are learning formally. non-formally, or informally.

    Looking forward to finding out more about everyone else, and to working with you all at the hui Cool

  • Peter Holmstead (View all users posts) 28 May 2013 8:46pm ()

    Kia Ora

    My name is Peter Holmstead and I am the ICT leader and Digi-Advisor for Houghton Valley School, on the beautiful south coast of Wellington.

    This is my first hui and I am looking forward to the workshops, discussions and other learning opportunities. My school has recently embraced Gmail and Google Docs, both for staff and students, and I am interested to meet up with other educators and discuss the sphere of e-learning and how it can engage all students, but in particular those who are gifted and talented.

    Roll on Thursday

    PS Even though I love my class and being a classroom teacher, I am also excited to be getting away...

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 28 May 2013 8:51pm ()

    Welcome Peter and like you I love my job but am really excited to be spending 2 days with like minded educators - roll on Thursday!

  • Ross Alexander (View all users posts) 29 May 2013 9:31am ()

    Kia ora. Talofa lava. My name is Ross Alexander and I work as a digital content advisor for CORE Education. I come from a primary school teaching background, and am passionate about the way e-learning can motivate and engage students to create, communicate, and collaborate in new and exciting ways.

    I live in Houghton Bay on Wellington‘s beautiful south coast. My other passions are cooking, craft beer, travel, and motorcycling. Looking forward to catching up with you all at the hui.

  • Ryan (View all users posts) 29 May 2013 10:13am ()


    My name is Ryan Pearce and I am the E-Learning lead teacher at South New Brighton School on the east side of Christchurch. 

    My school has recently got over 100 ipads. I am looking forward to seeing how I can make the most of the iPads available in our school. I am also keen to chat to people about the technical aspects of ipad roll out.

    I look forward to meeting and working with you all.


  • Nigel Bailey (View all users posts) 30 May 2013 9:42am ()

    Hello, I'm Nigel Bailey and I teach Geo in the sunny (and cold) Wairarapa. I am also the e-Dean there and have been in th VPLD for a number of years now. I have developed online courses for my Geo classes, both f2f and VC.

    Need more computers in the class to develop further or go to BYOD quickly


  • Chrissie Butler (View all users posts) 30 May 2013 10:28am ()

    Chrissie Butler Kia ora koutou, talofa lava, I'm Chrissie Butler, part of the CORE Education whānau and here as part of the VPLD and Blended e-Learning team with Te Toi Tupu.

    Over the hui, it will be good to catch up with folk F2F. Great to have 2 days together. On Twitter you can find me @chrissiebutler.

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