Cyber-Safety: What can you and your school do?

Brett Lee is fast becoming a leading expert on Cyber-safety and what young people need to be aware of while navigating social media sites.
His unique experience in the cyber-crime unit enables him to share with teachers and parents some of the dangers facing students today and some of the simple precautions they can take.

Back in February he was the keynote speaker at Learning@Schools conference in Rotorua. View his keynote address below.

Things to do:
Use Brett's keynote to provoke staff meeting discussion this term. 
Book Brett to visit your staff and parents
Subscribe to Edtalks
Subscribe to Brett’s newsletter
Join the Software for Learning discussion about Facebook

Teacher PD provision

There are a wealth of information and resources on the Net for supporting students in the classroom but what about supporting teachers’ professional development?

Below are a series of channels worth ‘subscribing’ to:

Then just for fun…

Dr James Hansen - Tour

"Human-made climate change: 
a scientific, moral and legal issue"
Dr James Hansen
Head of Nasa's Goddard Science Institute

Given the inevitible CO2 impact that would follow were the current focus on coal and oil exploitation to go ahead as a panacea for our nation's financial challenges, Hansen's visit is an opportunity for the local climate change/global warming conversation to have a champion of excellent scientific credentials who has been asked to explain the risks to several White House incumbents.

Schedule of public events for Dr James Hansen’s NZ Tour, May 2011
Thurs 12th May: Auckland 6pm
University of Auckland Business School OGGB4, Level 0, Owen Glenn Bldg, 12 Grafton Rd
Fri 13th May: Palmerston North 1.30pm
Japan Room, Massey UniversityTuritea site, Palmerston North
Sat 14 RNZ with Kim Hill 8.15 am
Mon 16th May: Wellington 5.45pm
Rutherford House, welcomed by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown
Tues 17th May: Wellington8.45 am – 5.30 pm
IPS Symposium “Future of Coal,” Victoria University
(he will speak 10.20 to 11.30, on panel 4pm -5.30pm).

Wed 18th May: Dunedin 5.30 – 7pm
St David’s Lecture Hall 231 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
Thurs 19th May: Gore 2 pm
hosted by Mataura Landcare group , Gore District Council Bldg
Friday 20th May: Christchurch 12-1 pm
Uni of Canterbury, room tbc
Friday 20th May: Christchurch 5.30 pm
public talk hosted by Kennedy Graham, MP, venue TBC
Saturday 21st May: Auckland 12-4 pm,
Auckland Town Hall, Festival for the Planet 
- music, talks, dance, action event especially for 
young people with a Pasifika flavour. 
Hansen speaks 2.30 pm.

Much a Do about Nothing on Facebook

Shakespeare is hitting Facebook from today (26th April- 4pm) beginning in a matter of hours. You can be a part of Shakespeare's classic comedy as they present it in real time over three days.

Connect with the characters on this page to see the play happen LIVE in your own Facebook news feed.

Click the "Like Us!" image to the right and, on the next page, click the "like" buttons next to the character images to be a part of the upcoming performance!

Make sure to "like" them all to get the full theater-going experience.

Enjoy, I know I will.

ps. Thanks to Claire Amos, Director of e-learning, for pointing us toward this great project.

Diary 3 Still April 2011

Another week has nearly passed. It has been a busy weekend for me as I have taken some time out to venture into the ‘Easter Sales’ and address an issue that has, for me, been most pressing.

A new computer.

I did not intend to go out of my way to get a MAC but that is what I have ended up with. With my aging PC it was coming down to ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ it collapsed and died on me.

As I am looking at this new Youtube vlogging/ reading project then editing quick clear video is a must. I don’t want my evenings and weekends dominated by huge amounts of time taken for editing.

So iMovie appears to be the way to go.

Enjoy the process in the video.

Having said all that I still can’t let go of Microsoft Office. Some things are too dear tomy heart.

Enjoy your week ;-)

"Espresso Tales" by Alexander McCall Smith

This is the second interview for Book Corner. 
Carolyn talks about 'Espresso Tales' by Alexander McCall Smith. He returns home to Edinburgh and the glorious cast of his own tales of the city, the residents of 44 Scotland Street, with a new set of challenges for each one of them. 

Connect with me:

Stieg Larsson- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This has been an international bestseller, turned into a hugely successful film series and is rumoured to be undergoing the Hollywood treatment even as I type.

Emma shares a little about what captivated her about this book and encourages you to take another look.

Useful links:
Get the book in New Zealand
Get the book from outside New Zealand

Connect with me:

I am neither a Kiwi nor...

I am neither a kiwi nor do I presume this blog reaches around the globe but I can’t help but have the ‘cockles of my heart’ warmed lovingly by the thought that someone, somewhere would take an interest in me.

EveryKiwiCounts is an attempt to draw together the New Zelanders who live in all of the four corners of the globe regardless of their success or status.

Kea New Zealand chief executive Sue Watson says: "New Zealanders living outside the country are some of our most talented people. Every Kiwi Counts is focused on finding out more about these important citizens."

I’m starting to well-up… somebody loves and appreciates you.

But wait… the bottom of this article Sue is quoted as saying:

"We will find thousands of New Zealanders who are interested in investing in this country, helping New Zealand businesses that are expanding offshore, or who might return to New Zealand for the right sort of job,"

There you go, that makes more sense… it's that Kiwi ingenuity and sense of community, supporting one another as we make our way in the world.

Nothing wrong with that…
If you’re a Kiwi living abroad take the survey…. by clicking here

If you’re not a kiwi living abroad DON’T take the survey… by clicking here

Healthy Kids Healthy Education

Thousands of young people are failing at school because of undiagnosed health problems, a research project shows.

The statistics that came from this study are alarming:

  • 315 in the original cohort needed a medical referral
  • 85 individuals needed eye treatment
  • 53 who needed glasses
  • 147 needed dental work
  • 12 needed ear treatment.

Apparently, health care free and access to GP’s is good. It is just that parents are not taking their kids.
There are several questions that need posing:
  1. What is it that is the barrier to parents not taking their kids for a check up?
  2. How effective is the school nurse/ dental programme at identifying need?

This is fast becoming an argument for schools to broaden their scope of care and become the ‘one-stop-shop’ for children’s needs.
Education + Health + ??

So what will address this discrepancy, allowing our children to maximize their potential…

Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Earth Day - Quick turn out the lights!!

View Earth Day and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.
Earth Day

Diary 2: Thoughts on travel book choice and coffee

 This week saw me travel to the Hawkes Bay. I got an opportunity to catch up with my good friend Matt. I continue to battle with the computer, the software and the camera. However, I have managed to achieve a far better quality of video than Diary one.

I managed to complete the first production this week, I even uploaded it to Youtube... unfortunately I can’t let you see just yet due to a time delay with other parties. Follow the link to subscribe and see it first. I’ll be releasing it 24 hours ahead of my usual distribution channels.

What software and computer would you recommend for these video productions.

Ken Robinson on 'Finding your Inner Passion'

Ken Robinson on Passion from The School of Life on Vimeo.

Some highlights from Ken Robinson’s talk about passion:
  • We are all born with extraordinary capability.
  • We aim too low and succeed. Rather than ‘shooting for the stars’
  • We need to find that magic spot where our natural talent meets our personal passion.
  • We need to know ourselves better.
  • Finding purpose in our work is essential to knowing who we really are.

Sir Ken Robinson is a leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources, working with governments and the world’s leading cultural organizations. Born in Liverpool, he was Director of The Arts Project (1985-89), and is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Warwick. He was knighted in 2003 for his contribution to education and the arts. Recent publications include Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (2001) and The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (2009).

Ten Trends by Derek Wenmoth (1 of 10)

Derek Wenmoth discusses the changing nature of the internet and the potential it has on how we learn.
Smart Web:
  • The internet of Things – Everyday objects with ‘intelligence’ will be connected to the web.
  • Adaptive Web – Use of the web causes changes in the way information and services are delivered.
  • Learning Analytics – Is the process of gathering and then using information gleened from students interaction with computers to predict and support next-step learning.

This is the first of 10 Trends to be uploaded, visit the Edtalks site and subscribe to be among the first to view.

Questions arising about the teenage drink problem

Coroner Gordon Matenga said no one person is at fault for the death of the 16 year old who died as a result of alcohol poisoning following a party in Auckland's Grey Lynn on May 8 last year.

  • At what age should people be allowed to drink? 
  • How much legislation should there be? 
  • How much is it down to parental engagement ? 
  • How much responsibility should be placed on the the individual and how much upon their peers?
There must be a thousand factors impacting upon the events surrounding the teenagers death. Some immediate and some from long ago.Where to from here?

Again this is a time for us all, from all sectors of society, to take a long hard look at our responsibilities.
Law makers, law enforcers, teachers, parents, social workers, off-licence owners, bars and puts and club owners, friends and relations.
We should all play our part.

Further reading:
Why Do Adolescents Drink, What Are the Risks, and How Can Underage Drinking Be Prevented?
Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand
ACT - Raising Age Limit Won't Solve Teen Drinking (opinion piece)
DRINKING IN NEW ZEALAND National Surveys Comparison 1995 & 2000

Ideas for supporting kids through the hols.... plus a funny poem

Afina Izzati from
Homework these holidays can be a real pain. Trying to keep kids occupied and engaged in their learning. Especially if they have only been in school for a few terms, total.

There are a few suggestions for making time at the computer active, engaging and educational.

  • Spelling City allows you to input a few choice spellings from the past term and leave them to follow the activity though to conclusion, learning the spellings while having some fun.
  • Wakaaranga Primary School’s wiki is loaded with online activities for Year 1’s covering Numeracy and Literacy.
  • The BBC schools/typing activity, actively engages kids in learning to touch type.
  • The Khan Academy supports students of all ages to develop in their competence in maths.
Hope your kids have a great Easter and stay safe.

Dave Meslin on

I would have liked to have spent time reflecting on this TED Talk but to be honest I’m too selfish and frankly, have better things to do with my time than do your thinking for you. Besides, I only have rudimentary education myself, these are weighty issues and I’m too stupid to process them.
So feel free to open reflective discussion in the blog comments below, unless, like me you’re too lazy.

UPT Digital At Tech Hui - Sponsorship

Click to enlarge
UPT Digital is run by students from the Unlimited school who are based in Christchurch.

They have been invited to do a 30 minute presentation at Tech Hui at Te Papa on June 24, in Wellington.

Unfortunately, their fund-raising effort was greatly affected by the February 22nd earthquake.
They have just got their costings in for the trip and URGENTLY need sponsorship to book flights and accommodation.

“During the earthquake, UPT Digital students were right there, in the city, on Level 2 of our Northern Tower building on the Cnr of Cashel and High Streets. Many students were witness to some traumatic scenes as we made our way through the city to safety. A few weeks ago, we arrived at Halswell Residential School with nothing, and they were kind enough to let us stay and share their space. The students have been using a dorm room space, sitting on the floor, using newsprint and crayons to make game plans. Please, help us to get our unique class up and running again! Help us to go talk about our awesome learning model in Wellington. You can see pictures of our class before and after the quake, at the bottom of this page.”
How The Sponsorship Program For Our Tech Hui Trip Works:
You or your company can buy 1 box space for $200. The more boxes you buy, the more space you get for your logo. We have reserved 20 boxes (can be placed anywhere on the grid) for companies wanting to donate goods or services, such as technology, clothing, or accessories.

Alternatively contact Renea Mackie direct if you would like a spot on their t-shirt.

If you can help or know someone who might be able to please share this and get the word out.

Napier: Beattie & Forbes Booksellers presents MAX LAMBERT

Bestselling Author of:

Now brings you:

Come and Meet the author in store.

Purchase your own signed copy!
Wednesday 20th April

(Please RSVP for Catering Purposes)

p: (06) 835 8968

Vlogging is not as easy as people make out

It all very well knowing what equipment you need to begin your vlog.
  • A camera
  • Some editing software
  • A Gmail account
But there needs to be a smattering of inspiration and a focus.
Those that follow this blog regularly are familiar with my first attempt at a vlog post which sort to lay out what I had in mind.
To reiterate it there are three main components:
  • The ‘online diary’ vlog posting – which I suspect to be weekly
  • What I am referring to as ‘Book Corner’ (unless someone comes up with a cooler title and leaves it in the comments) which is basically a smattering of regular people I happen to come across talking about their favourite book and why they like it.
  • Finally there is the production side (which is proving had to get off the ground) But it basically focuses on a new book that has an engaging beginning and would make a nice short clip to enthuse us about stepping out of our usual reading pattern and trying something different.
Below is my stab at the weekly vlog Diary – Its not until you try these things that you come across so many potential issues. For example:
  • The Software editing lost the picture but inserted the sound.
  • The file type camera B used was not accepted by said software.
  • Backup software tool saved file type in a stupidly pixelated resolution.

The great thing about these holidays is that I get a chance to go shopping and find what I think I need.
Referring to the above list it appears I need:
  • A new Camera with decent mic
  • Decent spec computer – I’m not too keen to go the MAC way but if needs must.
  • Movie Editing software Am leaning towards Sony Vegas or Adobe.
Any helpful hints please leave a comment.
One of the highlights this week was helping put together a Grammar quiz. It is designed for a class of Year 6 students, identified as ‘Kauri 3’. However, the content is appropriate for any class to share on their blog as the embed code is regularly available. Try the quiz out below and see how you go.Good Luck!

Check your spelling against Webster's Dictionary

I have been reading ‘Mother Tongue’ by Bill Bryson.
The book appeared in my other post about Books Educators will LIKE to read. Interestingly the Qwiki for Webster’s Dictionary appeared in my inbox.
Noah Webster was quick to claim credit for creating words.

But spelling is very tricky. Mr Bryson runs a test with his readers to see if they can spot the spelling mistakes, check his list of words below, how many can you spot? No cheating. Leave a comment and I’ll post the answers in a week.

Which of the following words are mispelled?
  • supercede
  • conceed
  • procede
  • idiosyncracy
  • concensus
  • accomodate
  • impressario
  • rhythym
  • opthalmologist
  • diptheria
  • anamoly
  • afficianado
  • caesarian
  • grafitti

CORE Achieve- Training available for NZ schools

CORE Achieve - online professional learning courses begin in Term 2

Are you looking for online professional learning that is:
Affordable, flexible, accessible, engaging and future-focused?

Check out what CORE is offering and register online.

Courses include:
  • Using wikis effectively with your students
  • Blogging for teachers
  • Collaborative curriculum design
  • e-portfolios
  • Digital and cyber citizenship
  • Enhancing learning using digital technologies
  • Communicating with social media
  • Principles and practices of online teaching
  • Raising student achievement in literacy through e-learning

Our courses provide quality professional development and support using a blended online learning approach. They are designed to:

Develop innovative teaching and learning programmes, based on effective practice and evidence
  • Support teacher inquiry into classroom practice
  • Promote school/centre-based curriculum and assessment design and implementation
  • Build a professional learning culture of sustained learning
  • Supported by webinars, forums and social networking software
Choose to learn individually, as part of a group, or as a whole staff or cluster with our range of course options.

Around... around the garden... like a teddy bear.

The New Zealand Principals Federation yesterday passed a vote of no confidence...

This news story slipped passed me over the weekend. Maybe it was because we kinda feel like we’ve been here before. It would have been bigger news had Mrs Tolley been sacked as a result, like in Wall Street. But the fact that the ‘top people’ in the sector have no faith in the minister seems to not matter one jot.
Robin Duff said it best at the bottom of the article, saying...
“He said there would always be differences on contentious issues in the education sector, but it was important to maintain open communication.”
With so little meaning in the gesture I wonder what purpose it serves to say it again.
  • Was anyone aware of the vote result? 
  • Was it truly unanimous?
  • If it were, does it hold more weight?
  • Does the fact she knows HOW unpopular she is have any weight the minister? 
  • Does it normally have much weight with any MP?

National Standards continue to be unpopular with the sector. I get that. But, are they unpopular with the electorate as a whole? I doubt it.

Read... Read... Read...

Photo credit: middlewick from

Well, I’ve finally decided to do something constructive with my Youtube channel. The title of this post may give a little clue but ... watch the video to find out.
If you have any suggestions leave a comment either here on the blog post, under the Youtube video itself  or if you’re feeling less adventurous just in the Facebook stream.

I have also created a page here for listing all the videos I’ve created... not that there are a lot at the moment but hopefully it’ll grow.
First interview is arriving shortly...

Private funding for schools

New primary and secondary schools to be built in Hobsonville will be the first in New Zealand constructed with private money.
Not actual building being proposed... unfortunately.
It appears that the move toward privately funded schools is fraught with difficulties. It is far from agreed and if the arguments laid out by the above mentioned article are anything to go by finding a private partner is going to be tricky:
  • The land and school will be owned by the government. 
  • The board of Trustees will remain wholly in charge.
  • The private-sector partner will carry the risk around time-consuming and expensive problems like leaky buildings.
So, let me get this straight. I as a private investor  I will foot the bill for the construction of a building I will not own, with tenants I am obliged to house, with little or no say in how the buildings are to be used, oh and if the those building come under disrepair it is I who have to find the money to fix or replace even though it is not I who have warn them out... Is there an upside here I can’t see?
“If suitable bids are not received the government can revert to traditional funding. It can also terminate the agreement if key performance indicators are not met.”
... which is somewhat of a relief to parents, students and staff as  I would suggest the chances of finding someone willing is slim at best.
The government must be fairly confident with the outcome, howeve, as it's sitting in the PM’s backyard with an election on the horizon.

Please excuse me if I go a check my other pants for that spare 40-mil I had kicking around the other day.

Breakfast in Wellington with Cathy Wylie


Breakfast in Wellington 

with Cathy Wylie

Chief Researcher - NZCER

"Building learning identities: what we've learnt from the Competent Learners' longitudinal project"

Breakfast Seminar
Friday, 20 May at 7.45am

Cathy Wylie is a Chief Researcher at NZCER, and is currently the J.D. Stout fellow at Victoria University. She has led the Competent Learners' project as it has followed a sample of students from the wider Wellington region from their final early childhood education days through to age 20. She is currently co-editing an international handbook on student engagement. She also researches the impact of educational policy on schools and learning opportunities, including the ways in which schools can engage students.

The Competent Learners' project provides a rare opportunity to follow the development of individual students through primary and secondary schooling. In the age-20 phase of the project, we see out how earlier experiences and performance levels on both cognitive and attitudinal measures related to some of the Key Competencies, influence secondary school engagement, achievement, and what happens post-school. We also see the kinds of learning opportunities and support, in and out of school, that can make a positive difference.

This session will discuss key findings from the age-20 phase of the Competent Learners' phase. To find out more information about the Competent Learners' project click here.

This CORE breakfast session will :

  • Discuss the factors that allowed students with low levels of performance at age 8 to achieve well at NCEA
  • Show the importance of Key Competencies in gaining NCEA Level 2
  • Discuss the importance of the period from age 10 to age 14 in terms of forming or maintaining positive learning identities
  • Question the reality of 'second chance education' for those with low engagement in secondary school or low qualification success

This session will be particularly useful for school leaders, classroom practitioners, and policy advisors.

Breakfast will be served at 7.45am, with Cathy beginning the discussion at 8am. She will wrap things up around 9am but you are invited to stay and chat with Cathy, CORE staff and one another after the seminar.

Wellington breakfast seminars will be held at Connelly Hall in Guildford Terrace while our usual breakfast venue is undergoing renovations.

Click here
to register online.

Connelly Hall
Guildford Terrace

Click here for more details on the venue

* Please note the change of venue due to renovations at our usual breakfast venue *

$30 including GST

By Monday, 16 May
Register online
Click here to view our cancellation policy

Launch my Youtube channel

I am launching my channel on Youtube. Over the past several weeks I spent time searching out and enjoying some great vlogs.
From what I can tell, the most prolific vloggers are Canadian and in their twenties. There appears to be No New Zealand vloggers, in fact the only vlog that appeared when I typed ‘New Zealand’ into the search bar was nayders07, who happened to be on a vacation in New Zealand... oh and she appears to be Canadian too. Check out her adventures here if you’re interested.

Although I am neither Canadian nor in my twenties I think I perhaps have something to say. I have begun by sharing, again, the introduction I created for the recent CORE event. Although, if you are a regular reader, you may be one of the 70+ who saw it the first time around, however, I have inserted a few links into the show notes and played around with those onscreen thingy-ums everyone seems to be getting.
Chocolate fish to the first 5 people who subscribe.
Vlogs I follow:
All are worth looking at for a little light relief even though they don’t really fit with my education and parenting themes.

The Reading list you'll want to read

There are a myriad of books and plans and work to be read by the average teacher. The New Zeland Curriculum, Effective Pedagogy, What Literacy/ Numeracy looks like.
These are not the materials I am talking about today. The list of books below is a mere smattering of material that will not only assist you in the way you teach but broaden your understanding of the material presented. What’s more they are an interesting read.
Background and history, insight, personal perspective and personal motivation are the things that enrich the students lives and make teaching and learning much more engaging and fun. The books below are those that have packed out my teaching with fun facts, clever insight and enabled me to inject humour and perspective into my teaching.
  • Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson. It compiles the history and origins of the English language and the language's various quirks.
  • History of New Zealand – Michael King. It catalogues the history of New Zealand from the various theories of initial settlement right through to the previous government.
  • How to talk so kids can learn – AdeleFaber & Elaine Mazlish. With practical ways to help kids to cooperate, self-discipline, commit, and show creativity, this deserves to be on every teacher's bookshelf.
  • One Minute Manager - Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson. It is an easily read story which quickly shows you three very practical management techniques. As the story unfolds, you will discover several studies in medicine and the behavioral sciences which help you to understand why these apparently simple methods work so well with so many people; kids and adults alike.
  • Freakonomics  / Superfreakonomics  – Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? 

What would you add? 

Bullying: Who should be doing the doing?

Photo credit: anitapatterson

"The Government have taken away any authority to bring up our children. Children need to learn boundaries and sending kids home on suspension is not adequate. Everyone needs to get together and start addressing this for our children."

A further call to action over addressing the bullying issue in our schools. I asked earlier “What you gonna do about it?”
And more to the point, who is doing the doing?
It seems that that the solution lies with all of us:
  • Principals and teachers need to foster such environments with the school which make bullying difficult to get away with and that remove the sigma of ‘telling’.
  • Parents need honest and open relationships with their kids which foster good communication, during the good times and the bad.
  • Students need to ‘look out’ for one another. Take the time to care. A strong, positive circle of friends means builds healthy and constructive self-esteem.
I tweeted “Thinkin this issue [of bullying] is born out of an overinflated avocation of Children's rights” – I want to qualify that by saying the pendulum has swung from the one extreme to the other. In my parents' day if the policeman clipped you around the ear and sent you home dad would say “What have you been up to? Let that be a lesson to you. Now, I don’t want to see you again until dinnertime, go to your room.”
Now? If the policeman clipped you around the ear and sent you home dad would say “Right, I’m going to have him up on charges for assault.”
I am in no way advocating violence toward children, merely highlighting the discrepancy in the perception toward ‘authority’.
It seems that every child has the right to be molly-coddled, wrapped up in cotton wool and told they are the centre of the universe. All this seems to lead to is an overinflated sense of entitlement.
As the declaration of Independence so eloquently put it - Everyone has the right to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” - but surely there is a rider of ‘so long as it doesn’t blatantly and wantonly impede the same goal for others.”
I think bullying, fights and stealing come under the ‘so long as’ category.
What is at the heart of each may be similar... Is it a lack of respect? Lack of care? Empathy? Or something altogether fundementally different?

ULearn 2011 – Update information

"We are happy to be able to tell you that we have been able to secure venues and accommodation in Rotorua so that ULearn 2011 can still go ahead.   It is with great regret that we have had to pull the conference out of Christchurch, but many of the hotels and venues we traditionally use in that lovely city will not be able to host us.
We will be pulling out the stops to recreate the magic of ULearn in its new environment.  We already have considerable interest from overseas for this iconic event and a great line up of speakers including Jack Bacon, Stephen Heppell, Jan Herrington and Tony Ryan.

Registrations are now open!
Please go to ULearn11 to secure the earlybird discount registration fees.

Call for papers
Our regular call for papers for workshops and presentations is also now open online.  This year we continue to develop our refereed stream which will help to recognise researchers and consultants, teachers and other educators involved in research and development and/or postgraduate study.
Tourism Services have secured accommodation for our delegates and we recommend that you use them as there is competition for space in the town and some hotels are definitely exploiting the world cup situation. Visit the accommodation page  for more details."

RSA Animate - The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens?

Came across this video just now and although it does not fit particularly well with the focus of this blog I wanted to share it anyway.
Assuming the internet provides a catolyst for change is a somewhat naive. No notes here just watch as Evgeny Morozov presents an alternative take on 'cyber-utopianism' - the seductive idea that the internet plays a largely emancipatory role in global politics.

Exposing some idealistic myths about freedom and technology (during Iran's 'twitter revolution' fewer than 20,000 Twitter users actually took part), Evgeny argues for some realism about the actual uses and abuses of the internet.

Under-achieving 0-3 year olds

Education for 0-3? Surely if they have learnt to eat, sleep and breathe they’ve made a pretty good start. But it seems according to this article from 'topnews' it just doesn’t cut it. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner states in a report that because the human brain is the most open for change in the first three years of a person’s life it means we need to over stimulate and chivvy those littlies along with their language skills and maths and a little of science and social studies?
Perhaps there is a need for centre staff, qualified or otherwise, to be multi-lingual. I don’t just mean English and Maori which some seem to tick the multi-lingual box for, but rather a language of the Philippines , Chinese, Spanish or Japanese.
But then, if there is no one, mum or dad or grandma, speaking the language on an ongoing basis what would be the point?
...Wait. Perhaps let use this as an opportunity to raise the language learning curriculum in primary and secondary schools too.

Welsh ...anyone? ... anyone?

Do we need cybersafety agreements?

Tara Taylor-Jorgensen share her thoughts on cyber-safety and poses something interesting questions.

  • Why do we force agreements on students and their parents when we don’t do that for any other curriculum area?
  • Does it assume that students will do something BAD on the internet even before they are introduced to the media?
  • Is it relevant for the students when they sign these agreements on school entry at five years old?
  • Are we compromising student empowerment for the sake of wellbeing?
  • Is cyber-safety the new ‘stranger danger’? Even if it is, violence against children, more often than not happened within families and communities.
  • Is it about the victims? Or should it be about those that are hurting people?
  • Is there not more bullying in schools and the community than in the ‘cyber-world’?
  • Is web- filtering doing our students a disservice?
  • Is it not better to have real conversations with the kids while working with them online?
  • Does there need to be a national framework that school implement or will those decisions be left to the individual institutions?

Good questions...

How would you answer?