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Welcome to the Tertiary Track group

Started by Tessa Gray 01 Aug 2014 10:42am () Replies (7)

While some people have shared wonderings, ideas, resources, research and readings throughout the Virtual Learning Network, others have observed a need to bring like-minded people together, who might be engaging in formal study of some kind.

imageIf you're currently studying or have studied, and thought others could benefit from your notes, wonderings, findings or research, then please feel free to dive in, introduce yourselves and make this space your own!

Here we can share papers, readings, research, start and add to discussions, post reflections in the group blog and ask for some peer reflection and feedback.

Come and tell us what you're currently studying.


  • Anjela Webster (View all users posts) 01 Aug 2014 11:49am ()


    I'm hoping to meet up through this thread with some like-minded others who are on the journey of tertiary study with an e-lens.  It can be daunting if you're just starting out, and what a great forum to encourage eachother whatever stage we're at. 

    I picked up Masters' study through Waikato Uni at the start of 2013. While I had completed a Post Grad Cert at the end of 2004 and was a confident 'online distance learner', I have to say, I nearly pulled out in the very early stages of my first paper, last year (when still eligible for a full refund!). Moodle and online Library etc are quite different from the days of receiving your readings in the post, and hoping online through a basic forum platform and relying on email.  Gearing up for a school year, and gearning up with the 'academic speak' of readings and sourcing them, online contributions via Moodle, and assignments saw me drowning in study sludge. 

    The good news is, I hung in and produced results I am very proud of.  I am now three papers down the track, and ready to start my thesis in September. My interest and inquiry is primarily in young people's (and adults) activity online from the perspectives of digital literacy, citizenship and safety (more on this in another post). I am involved in the leadership of e-learning, am the HOD of Technology and Visual Arts, and syndicate leader of a Year 5/6 group at Hereworth School in Hawkes Bay (Anglican Y1-8 Boys' school). 

    We have to believe and we are life-long learners, and take action at times, as educators, and this sometimes means we are extremely uncomfortable. This in itself is a rich lesson, giving us a fresh lens on our own students' needs, and what it is like to be 'learning' in the full sense of expectations and assessment pertaining to our own performance. 

    Looking forward to hearing from other fellow study geeks :)

    Anj Webster Laughing


  • Megan McLellan (View all users posts) 01 Aug 2014 1:17pm ()

    Hi all

    I completed my Post Grad (endorsed in E-Learning and digital technologoes in Education) last year and this year I am working on my Masters (via courses not a thesis).  I have done all postgrad study onlive through Canterbury which has been interesting in itself, especially having completed their courses on how to teach online/blended courses!  This year my studys are focusing on leadership in education and a educational law paper.  

    I love learning and find that distance study is a good way to get some PD which can be very difficult to access here on the West Coast.  This year I am lucky enough to be on study leave thanks to TeachNZ so am missing the day to day grind of going to work Wink which means I am always keen to chat with others so I don't turn into a crazy acedemic hermit!



  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 01 Aug 2014 3:17pm ()

    Hi everyone

    I think the launch of this group is really exciting and I'm amazed at how quickly the membership is growing! Looking forward to the conversations!

    I actually completed my MEd (E-learning) earlier this year after being awarded a TeachNZ Study Leave award in 2012 (for which I am incredibly grateful). My thesis was about online student engagement of NZ middle school students. Hopefully soon I'll summarise it a bit, but if you're really interested you can read it here.

    I also did my study post-grad study at a distance through Massey. For me this was beneficial for several reasons including finding out what works well online and what doesn't!

    I'm keen to keep my toes dipped in the research arena so think joining in these conversations could be great.

    - Nathaniel 

  • Rachel Whalley (View all users posts) 01 Aug 2014 3:25pm ()

    Thanks for sharing Nathaniel this topic really interests me as our VLN Primary kids are all online learners. Maybe i won't need to do my research after all , you might have answered all my questions ;-) i will go & check it out.

  • Anjela Webster (View all users posts) 03 Aug 2014 6:03pm ()

    HI all

    Great start to the thread! 

    I am wondering if contributors can maybe drop in key concepts/understandings/bullet point essentials that they acquired through their studies/thesis so far, so we can nibble on bite-sized pieces and chew them over together?   

    For example, I am in the throes of getting together my Lit Review prior to starting my thesis in September (formally).  My thesis will unpack preteens notions of privacy at large, how this transcends to privacy online, and in relation to this, how they employ online tools to support their notions.  I am reading some very interesting material on the increasing risk taking that preteens/teens are undertaking online with regard to disclosure of personal information. (Too many reading titles to list here).

    • Key motivator that encourages disclosure to occur, is the need to connect socially. If a young person has the intent to socially engage online, they are more likely to give out personal info to websites/apps/persons online. 
    • There is less caution applied to what, who, when and where personal info is shared, when there is something in exchange that appeases the social need of the young person.
    • In constrast, if the intent online is to source information, younger user are less inclined to pass over personal information to sites/apps/ people online.

    Implications - How are younger users managing online risks? Whose role is it to support and foster awareness and skills online? Is the younger user becoming more at-risk?  As educators, to what degree are we responsible for developing awareness in our students of digital literacy issues around online behaviours and risky activities? What is government's role? parental role? 'Managing Self' KC within curriculum? etc etc 

    Anyone have any cool resources or thoughts on my thesis Q's at the top, or want to respond to the literature concepts?



  • Judith Smallbone (View all users posts) 08 Aug 2014 9:25am ()

    Good morning, I have just started study again - after 25 years. I am upgrading my Dip Primary Teaching through Waikato. Underway on my first paper - Curriculum and Assessment which happens to be an interest of mine, so a gentle start! I was wondering if there was anyone else studying in Rotorua at the moment? 

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