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Tessa Gray's discussion posts

  • Tessa Gray 26 May 2017 9:44am () in Enabling e-Learning forum: Digital technologies in the national curriculum

    Yesterday was a great webinar with workshop participants contributing and sharing their own knowledge (Picaxe, SumoBots and more). A HUGE thank you to Nick Booth (HOD Technology Pakuranga College, Robotics and electronics teacher) for sharing this journey with us. 

    His students experience some amazing opportunities to be creative and innovative, competitive and collaborative - while developing their digital fluency in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths) areas of the curriculum. Here's a snippet of the students battling it out in the SumoBots competition, which Pakuranga "does very well in".

    The webinar recording is now available from Enabling e-Learning on demandRobotics, coding and 3D printers. If you want to make further contact, Nick Booth's details are part of this presentation. Also check out the twitter feed @ .

    Screenshot robotics webinar

    If you attended or watched this webinar, tell us what you thought?

  • Tessa Gray 26 May 2017 8:51am () in FORUM: Assessment in a digital age May 26 - June 26

    Come and join us for this four week discussion...

    Current educational pedagogy driving 21st Century learning see concepts like co-constructivism, student agency, collaboration, flipped learning, authentic learning come to the fore. A changing PLD landscape sees Kāhui Ako (Communities of Learning) forming to focus on raising achievement in target areas. Professional inquiry becomes an important framework, which helps make this process more cohesive and transparent. So where does evaluation and assessment fit into all of this?

    Assessment for learning

    Conversions already exist in the VLN, about concerns for assessment practices that benefit different students - in particular those who may not ‘fit’ the standardised testing system. This opens up dialogue about the need to look beyond standardised data to an interpretation of more broader sources of data (quantitative, qualitative), such as demographics, behavioural, worldviews (including Māori) and perspectives. (NEW: Enabling e-Learning different types of student data)

    Effective pedagogies and strategies such as: clear, negotiated learning goals, success criteria, feedback on next learning steps, self and buddy evaluation systems, progress continuums, e-portfolios that encourage students to build peer-tutoring and self-directed/monitoring skills; can increase a sense of ownership and student agency.

    Goal setting and reflection: Literacy learning supported by Google docs

    Some food for thought:

    What does assessment for learning look like for everyone involved - students, parents, whānau? Is this negotiated? Does this look different with a Māori world view? If so how? How do we get our parent community on board with new ways of looking at assessment, when they are most familiar with what they already know?

    Data literacy skills in professional inquiry

    Professional inquiry is about asking what is working for which students, when and why and similarly what’s not working and why. Collecting data as stories, helps to provide evidence to inform targeted actions for change. Data literacy skills are needed to get to the source of an issue/need/trend - teachers are increasingly asking rich questions in a spiral of inquiry such as:


    What’s not working well? What do I want to change? What is the evidence? What the strengths or positives for my learners? What are the problems or challenges? How do I know all this? Have I spoken to the learners, their whanau, other staff, other agencies or specialist providers?


    Using effective data literacy skills can turn hunches into credible, evidence–based springboards for taking action (NEW: Enabling e-Learning: Using data to support teacher inquiry). Having open, honest, ongoing conversations that effectively analyse what the data is saying, is an integral part of professional inquiry and professional learning.

    Some food for thought:

    How does your organisation collect, discuss, analyse data? Is this an individual, group or school-wide activity? What learning language, research, resources are needed for this to work well? What does this look like between schools in Kāhui Ako?

    Digital tools to track and analyse shifts, change and progress

    There are a number of digital tools that can help us capture, collect and analyse data. These include; using survey forms to collect responses, video for observation, voice recordings for reflection, graphs to track data shifts over time - all can be archived in digital e-portfolio formats that invite comments and feed-in from others, such as parents, caregivers. Digital tools are also being developed to help make data collection easier for teachers. For example, Literacy progressions app have been developed to help New Zealand teachers to use the learning progressions frameworks – used in the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) – to support teaching and learning.  


    Digital tools can also be used to track learning analytics in online learning programmes hosted in tools like Moodle. For example tracking engagement and on-task performance (NEW: Enabling e-Learning: Learning analytics). Digital data can be used to create quick reference student stories and inform next steps in teaching and learning, such as infographics.These are an effective way to illustrate stories in a clear format, where well-constructed symbols and information (ie: student learning) can be processed much quicker than bulk chunks of text.” Digital tools for connected schools.

    Some food for thought:

    What training or professional learning support mechanisms need to be in place for teachers to learn more about a variety of digital tools for assessment? What infrastructure needs to be in place to support this?

    If being digital means we can create, duplicate and aggregate data, how is this helping teachers and more importantly, our students? We’d love to hear what you’re doing already. What’s working, what’s not...


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  • Tessa Gray 24 May 2017 4:09pm () in touch screen chromebooks???

    Hi Karen, how exciting new shiny devices! No doubt there's some soul searching happening before the big purchase is made.

    There might be some key pedagogical ideas that can help drive your decisions in this older post, BYOD - Challenging old school beliefs including:

    Blog post by Warren Hall on, DEVICE CHOICE IN SCHOOLS DRIVEN BY THE ‘WRITE’ THINGS? (CORE Education blog 2015), where he talked about decisions being made in regards to communication tools (keyboards, typing, video) and made some valuable comparisons between laptops and tablets in regards to their potential to aide innovative learning practices.

    Enabling e-Learning has created a concise, interactive tool to help schools when making decisions about Learning with 1:1 digital devices, including policies and strategic planning. There are also a large number of schools sharing their stories around BYOD trials and implementation – which are very useful for those who are starting out on this journey.


    The Connected Learning Advisory (Ministry-funded unbiased support for schools) has created some resources to help schools when choosing the right device. There is a webinar recording and a guide to download as a PDF file, which is also invaluable. 

    ...and even more... such as putting the learning first when making these decisions @ BYOD - Challenging old school beliefs.

    Let us know if this has been helpful at all, and what direction you end up taking? smiley

  • Tessa Gray 22 May 2017 3:34pm () in Homework and authentic learning

    Shortest school year, shortest school days no homework and yet Finland is ranked one of the successful education systems in the world.... how come? Loads more from Michael Moore in this short documentary (as seen on Facebook).

    What do you think?

  • Tessa Gray 19 May 2017 5:08pm () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum

    Kia ora tatou, just thought I'd pop a notice in here for anyone interested in our up-coming webinar next Wednesday, 3.45pm with Nick Booth talking about the amazing things his secondary students are doing with technology, robotics, coding etc. Feel free to pass it on...be great to see you there and love to hear your stories as well.

    smiley LIVE WEBINAR: Robotics, coding and 3D printers, 25 May, 3:45-4:45 pm


    What do you think of this? Here are some secondary students designing and printing parts for moving vehicles using a 3D printer and then creating some code to make them move. Inspiring! In this webinar, we talk to those involved  at Pakuranga College and find out why and how the students were able to get inventive with robotics, coding and 3D printers. REGISTER NOW!


  • Tessa Gray 19 May 2017 11:51am () in Help please? What digital tool would I use?

    Hmmm you've REALLY peaked my interest now Dave... I know teachers often talk about, does e-learning really add value to learning and how would we know? Do you track these students at your school? 

    I reason why I ask is because I'm working in some schools a the moment and we're about to do just that - with a small group of students, looking at their e-asTTle writing data (quantitative) and what they (and their parents) have to say about their writing (qualitative). Veerryyyy interesting. We're just starting to collect some base-line data now and want to trial some of the ideas shared in this thread.

    Have you been able to show shifts (attitude, aptitude achievement) over time in certain literacy areas, especially for originally disengaged learners? And if you don't mind me asking.... how did you go about it?

  • Tessa Gray 19 May 2017 10:19am () in Help please? What digital tool would I use?

    Thanks so much Dave, I think there is an add-on for text to speech in the Google docs too. I'm off to investigate that. Am loving how responsive speech-to-text or Voice typing is in Google docs too. Now some of our struggling kids can focus on getting out their ideas, rather than being caught up with the process of handwriting. yes

    Voice to text tool Google docs

  • Tessa Gray 19 May 2017 10:15am () in Help please? What digital tool would I use?

    Ohh thanks heaps Maree, I did remember that I could set my preferences but didn't realise it was Accessibility, I think it used to be Dictation? Thanks again, you've fast-tracked me!

  • Tessa Gray 17 May 2017 3:20pm () in Help please? What digital tool would I use?

    Thanks Rebecca, fantastic idea. Great way to hear punctuation and spelling errors, especially when kids will read right past these! 

    I used to be able to have a text to speech option in Word too (I'm on a Mac) but I've forgotten how to do that, any ideas?

    Tess smiley

  • Tessa Gray 17 May 2017 9:26am () in Evaluating e-learning implementation

    This is an older thread that's still relevant to us today where educators are asking, (and so they should) Where's the research to support digital technologies can have a positive impact on learning? 

    New research on Digital Technology in Schools released May 16th, 2017

    Eight-in-ten principals report that digital technologies are having a positive impact on student achievement, according to the 2016/17 ‘Digital Technologies in Schools’ survey, prepared by Research New Zealand for the 20/20 Trust. The survey was shorter and simpler than the 2014 survey and it was again open to all New Zealand schools. A total of 464 schools completed the survey.

    Summary: Digital technologies are having a positive impact on student achievement (4MB, pdf) – includes the 2017 report card, enabling schools to compare their position against the national average.

    Full report: Digital Technologies in Schools 2016-17 (3MB, pdf)

    Really exciting to read,

    Positively, more than three-quarters of principals reported that teachers in their school view integration of digital technologies in their teaching as being relevant, and more than half of principals felt that their school’s teachers have a good knowledge about what to do to achieve good integration of digital technologies in the teaching and learning process.

    This aligns to the research that implementing technologies effectively in the classroom really comes down to teacher beliefs


    Does this research match up with what's happening in your school/kura?

Tessa Gray

Enabling e-Learning online facilitator. I'm excited about the prospects of the VLN and how it can bring like-minded people together online. I am here to help promote discussions and share effective practice.