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Reflective Summary


Decile 9 co-ed secondary stand-alone cluster in north Wellington. ICT is in the development phase. We have 4 computer rooms of 30 machines each with other pods in art and music. Some departments use Notebooks/smart-boards  We had a network upgrade in 2010, and this year we are piloting wireless for staff in some areas of the school. No access to fibre so the Wellington Loop remains tantalisingly distant (50 metres across the railway) with no money to join. Wireless access to the Wellington Loop is being explored.


2011 build on developments created at end of 2010 through Guitar Hero competition. This arose from a training session with Ewan McIntosh. We borrowed and adapted this British concept - with the aim of involving year 9 classes in an off-timetable learning as enquiry programme for a week in November.   


This year we introduced Moodle and we see this as way of building staff competence/confidence in creating and using learning objects.

The 2011 version of Guitar Hero will aim for the same enquiry approach, but will utilise Moodle as a repository for information and to assist with collaboration/co-construction.

 What did we do

The embedded Powerpoint was presented at Learning@School earlier this year.

Guitar Hero at Tawa College 

Computers and digital technologies are having a huge effect on the world that we live in, they influence how we work, spend our money, entertain ourselves and how we communicate. 

So it is only to be expected that these technologies will filter into the way that we teach and the way that students learn. In common with many schools, Tawa College faces an increasing problem of engaging students in meaningful learning. So, after spending some time with Ewan MacIntosh earlier in the year, the ICTPD planning team decided to use a game-based learning approach to not only engage the students, but as a means of professional development for the teachers.

A week long project of integrated learning was planned for two classes of Year 9 students for week 8 in Term Four. Expressions of interest were called for from teachers and we had responses from 15 - from a wide variety of subject areas. The game Guitar Hero was demonstrated to these teachers and they were asked how they could make links to their subject area. They were then encouraged to experiment with a variety of software that would support the students' learning. It had to be software or an application that they had not used in their classroom during the year. Professional development was provided for these teachers by the use of the Tech Whina group of students, the ICT staff and the ICT PD facilitator.

The outcome was that students were offered a choice of seven different workshops to attend over four days. They would be working in a small group, the band and would complete the weeks activities by having a 'Battle of the Bands' competition. To ensure that the game was only part of the learning an equal weighting was given to all workshop activities. The band had to have a consistent performance across all activities. The skills that were reinforced throughout the week were teamwork, time management, creativity as well as performance in the game.

The workshops that were offered included interactive design (including animation), design and digital imaging and creating a multi-media package to enable their fans to meet the band in a digital world. The social studies team examined the impact of music on culture and society. The student had to present their research using Prezi as opposed to the more traditional tool of Powerpoint. Another workshop involved video production, the band had to produce their own music video. Each band needed a website, a wiki was used for this and included music, podcast interviews with band members and their videos. From the science teachers, came the idea of building their own electric guitar (involving the physics of sound) and writing of their own music using Garage band. The final workshop was to produce a music poster, using Photoshop, to advertise the concert.

The final part of the week involved the teachers and students completing a survey about their personal learning journey throughout the project, as well as suggestions for improvement for next year. Further information on the project, including all the planning details can be found on the Tawa e-learning wiki

What did we learn

Lessons from 2010 include Need for more student choice

Instructions and directions can be bundled via Moodle - so that students can be directed to aspects of their enquiry / learning that suit them at the time

 Where to next

 Students and staff to work on gaining confidence and competence on Moodle