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VLN Primary School's blogs

  • 2017 Information and enrolments are here!

    Do you want your students to be #connectedlearners, lead their own learning and build key competencies? Do you want to share in the expertise of a growing collaborative network of schools? Are you looking to extend the walls of your classroom and work with other like minded schools? 
    We are now taking registrations for our 2017 Semester 1 programmes.
    Mangere Central Students Learn Japanese Online
    We offer the following language classes at the beginner and intermediate level: Te Reo Māori, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Afrikaans and Tagalog, as well as Asian Culture taster classes (5 lessons) in Japanese, Korean and Mandarin.
    In addition to languages classes we have Asia Aware Inquiries (Korean and Hosting Chinese Visitors), Astronomy, Extension Maths, Programing & Computer Science and Visual Arts.
    All our Asian Language tuition is currently FREE OF CHARGE  as part of our ALLiS contract.

    All NZ children are welcome to learn with the VLN Primary - Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

    Register your interest online or contact primary@vln.school.nz with queries
  • Kia ora koutou katoa

    Naumai, haere mai ki te Kura Tuatahi - Akonga Aka Mariko.Welcome to the VLN Primary School

    Our goal is to:

    Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes

    In this newsletter we are thrilled to announce the VLN Primary is a finalist in the Australia/NZ Internet award, this is awesome recognition of the work we do across NZ schools. 

    We encourage schools to register and participate in online classes running in Term 3 & 4. There is no cost to participate in our Asian Languages as our schools are lucky to have a MoE contract that supports this. Now is a really good time to try out learning Mandarin and Japanese. Great PLD for teachers too in learning languages and digital capabilities. Give it a go! 

    Geoff shares the benefits to his students and ours, of tuakana/teina learning relationships online through the Over the Back Fence Project. Find out more about the possibilities and how to participate. We hear about a new game app, Shark in the Park, designed to get kids out and active. Melanie would love to hear from teachers who are wanting to trial this with their children. 

    We highlight some free PLD designed to bring you up to speed with the basics of using Google Apps for Education and we say Hooray! for our new system ZOOM! A great cloud based web-conferencing solution that is helping our eteachers and students make their learning connections.

    Ngā mihi nui


  • How do we equip our students to thrive with Asia?

    By the time the school entrants of today enter the workforce, Asia’s middle-class is expected to have reached three billion people. The Asia-Pacific region will be home to 60 per cent of the world’s middle class.
    In 2030, three of the four biggest economies will be in Asia. China is expected to have the largest economy, followed by the US, India and Japan.
    Asia’s transformation is transforming New Zealand too. Forty percent of our export goods go to Asia. China is now New Zealand’s largest trade partner. More than 20 percent of in-bound tourists are from Asia and China is our largest source of overseas students.
    Nearly one in four Aucklanders are of Asian descent, a figure projected to grow to nearly one in three by 2038. Asian populations are also rising in other parts of New Zealand.
    Jeff Johnstone, Education Director at the Asia New Zealand Foundation, shares how school leaders can ensure their school equips students to thrive in their future lives and careers in this Asian century.  

    Last week Jeff presented to lead teachers and Principals from our ALLiS project about being equipped to thrive with Asia. He outlined the growing influence of Asia in NZ, not only through trade and economy but also through cultural influences. Auckland is already being labelled a super diverse city, there are high numbers of migrants but also increasing numbers of kiwi born Asian. The demographics show that Asia will be a big part of our students future lives and we need to help them prepare to engage. Our discussions focused on maintaining the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi and te Reo Māori first; consulting with the school community; weaving in an Asian perspective to our charters and curriculum (integrate not add on). 

    Jeff talked about the role of Asia New Zealand Foundation - subscribe to their newsletter to be part of their Educator Network; in country teacher immersion opportunities; and upcoming teaching resources portal launching next year. 

    Listen to Mai Chen talk about 'Superdiversity and the challenges we face as a multi-cultural society and what we need to do as a nation to ensure that we adapt to the needs of 'a new New Zealand.'

  • VIA DEANZ On behalf of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

    K-12 Mobile Learning Webinar

    Wednesday, 11/18, 9pm EST

    This week, we'll be hosting a webinar on Wednesday evening. The late start time better accommodates some of our presenters, who will be participating from Australia. Our session will explore emerging themes from the research on mobile device use in K-12 schools between 2010 and 2013, including the finding that students can become collaborators in designing their own learning process through mobile learning.

    Cathy Cavanaugh, Microsoft Worldwide Education
    Dorit Maor, Murdoch University
    Aidan McCarthy, Microsoft Worldwide Education

    All webinars are held via Adobe Connect (https://connect.mivu.org/mvlri) and require only an audio output device. Attendees are encouraged to interact and ask questions using the text chat window. We also encourage attendees to chat on Twitter using #MVLRIchat.

    Michigan Virtual Learning

  • Check out the Over the Back Fence Project - Global Connections, Collaborative Inquiry, Reciprocal Teaching. Plan to participate for 2016!
    Mitiaro-to RC June.png
    Mitiaro Students from the Cook Islands connect with students at Rosmini College.
    Our Over the Back Fence project has provided a weekly video lesson to over 40 classrooms across New Zealand and 23 classrooms overseas. Rosmini College Year 12 students have led 8-10 minutes lessons to some of these schools for more than four years. Connections occur at a mutually agreed upon time. There will be up to 90 different connect times during 2016. Classroom teachers select topics for the Rosmini to develop and present.
    Registration for the 2016 programme is now underway. 
    Teachers interested to join their class with the Over the Back Fence project should contact gwood@rosmini.school.nz for further information and a registration form.

    Environmental Health Project--register for a Term One start.

     Three hundred G7 (Year 7) students from Texas are joining the 4th edition of the Our Environment: Our Health 2016 inquiry project. The Texan's will be joining students from New Zealand, Australia, Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Finland, India, Bangladesh and Canada in February through May. This year the project is going co-curricular, adding language, digital technology, science and social studies to the blended content. Schools are currently registering students now. New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Island students will have a summer vacation place where they can join other students research environmental health issues. Thirty-eight topics will be under study and groups are to action and measure outcomes from solutions.
    If you are a Y8 classroom teacher seeking a project for your class or have a few students seeking extra challenge next year, contact Geoff Wood at gwood@rosmini.school.nz
    Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 3.23.11 pm.png
  • Here is an article i wrote for the NZ School Trustees Association about the VLN Primary School. It gives a pretty good snapshot on who we are and what we do:
    "At a time when schools are increasingly stretched to find the resources to provide a broad and relevant curriculum for students, they are also being challenged to become more collaborative and future focused. We are on the cusp of major changes both politically driven through IES Communities of Schools and technologically driven through the N4L managed network for schools. There is a drive to harness the power of technology to change the way we learn, make learning more student centred and personalised and for collaboration across schools. How are schools meeting these challenges? With a deluge of ipads, the ‘appification’ of learning (there’s an app for that), should we have 1-1, BYOD, Chromebooks, Google, Microsoft, Wireless, have we been snupped, when do we get on to N4L?  We are getting close to the point where technology is ubiquitous, a utility like power or water. Schools need to look beyond the digital network and environment to the people network that connects and learns in that space.

    The Virtual Learning Network (VLN) Primary School has as its’ tagline “Connecting Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes”. It is a people network collaborating online and dedicated to providing equity and access to learning opportunities for New Zealand students. It aims to connect schools through a collaborative online network (the virtual school) in order to open up access to specialist teachers, share the best of our teaching strengths, and to build professional capability that enables schools to become more flexible and open places of learning for our children. It began as a school cluster hosted within Matapu School, South Taranaki, and has evolved into a Charitable Trust led by school leaders and virtual learning advocates. It is partly funded in partnership with the MoE and contributions from participating schools.  
    The VLN Primary School builds on work that has been developed in the schooling sector, over the last nearly 20 years where programmes have been provided ‘virtually’ through online classes & projects taught by NZ based teachers. Approximately 80 primary schools and 1000 students have participated in the VLN Primary School to date since 2009. Learning opportunities are developed through the needs and strengths of the schools themselves and eteachers and tutors are provided by schools themselves or contracted into the network.There are regular weekly scheduled classes for extension maths, literacy, science, Astronomy and a wide range of languages - Te Reo Māori, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Cook Islands Māori, German, Japanese, Afrikaans, Korean, Bahasa Indonesian and Tagalog. 
    In addition to this the ‘Over the Back Fence’ run by Rosmini College, has regular connections with schools in NZ, Pacific, India & globally focussing on Health & Environmental topics. Our Rural & Remote Schools Project brings together schools from Stewart Island, Great Barrier, Eastern Taranaki & Wairarapa with the goal of reducing the social isolation of these distributed students, giving them opportunities to learn alongside peers their own age and preparing them for leaving their districts to go to High School. There is a great opportunity to build on this project to extend the benefits to many other small and isolated schools, but sustainability of resources has prevented us from scaling up this very successful project. 
    Participation in the VLN Primary School gives students a voice and choice in what they learn, how, when and where they learn, and who they learn with; regardless of their geographical location and economic means. It aims to provide teachers and school leaders across networked schools with professional learning and support to enable them to develop as future focused learning organisations. When you next think of your school network, think beyond the technology to the people network and how your school can become connected to an online community of learners."
  • We are very excited to be offerering Te Reo Māori Kuki Airani online classes again for NZ children.

    Big thanks to Junior Pauka from Mangere Central School who will be teaching our children this term. This class is suitable for students with little or no te reo, and for students who are NZ or Cook Island students. Our main student group is between Years 6 - 8, but older students are welcome, as are younger, although younger students will need more learning support in their home schools.

    Mural - Cook Islands

    Classes will be scheduled weekly in our virtual classroom Adobe Connect, during schools hours (time to be confirmed). WeLearn (image below) will also be used to support students learning. Students will be expected to spend some time in self-study & practice, schools & whanau will need to help them out with developing these self management skills. Here is more information about Connecting to your Virtual Class. Check out our Protocols for Participation that outline costs of participation.

    Think about the students in your schools that would benefit from joining in with this class and help them participate! Make enrolments here, or further queries to Ginette ginette.vp@vln.school.nz 




  • Just pulling together my pictures and sharing some video from this day and want to say what an awesome project this was and really looking forward to what might be coming next from Theressa at Ahuroa School.

    If you have a project you want to share, need support with collaborating online, access to virtual school environments and connections to networks of schools - get in touch would love to work with you!

    15 Schools, 300 Students, 1200 Photos!

    'It is always such an amazing feeling being able to meet face to face with friends who you have learned with online. This was especially so with the opening of the My Story, Your Story, Our Story  exhibition at Orewa Estuary Arts Centre on the weekend. Students, teachers and parents gave up their weekend, traveled many miles, took ferries, flights and vans to meet in Orewa and be with the amazing Theressa Butler from Ahuroa School at the opening of their Photography exhibition. Great to see students from Kaitoke & Mulberry Grove Schools, from Great Barrier; Kaikohe West, Hobsinville Point and Ahuroa Schools; and teachers from Devonport and Moanataiari Schools.'                                   June Newsletter

    Check out our Google Photo Story here