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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

#edchatNZ is back!

Welcome to 2015!
As we kick of the school year, it's time to join in the #edchatNZ community for another year of inspiration, motivation, challenge and excitement.

This year, we have some prizes for you to win just for retweeting! So, vote for this week's #edchatNZ topic and retweet to win a copy of Austin Kleon's fabulous book, Show Your Work. This is a fantastic, quick read that summarises exactly why we (should) tweet, blog and share our practice. It's a definite must read.

Voting for this week's topic is now live. Make sure you have voted and also checked out our new #edchatNZ site -!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The next frontier of #edchatNZ

What a year it has been for #edchatNZ! Our fortnightly chat has expanded to include subject specific chats like #scichatNZ, #engchatNZ and more. We had our own conference with well over 300 delegates attending. We participated in Connected Educator month and had fabulous guests such as Rachel Bolstad and Grant Lichtman. What a year it has been!

As the year draws to a close, we would appreciate your feedback as we kick into the planning for 2015. You might also like to think about whether you would like a greater role in 2015. If you are interested, complete the form here.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Demonstrating our digital citizenship to support Movember

We thought it was time for our edchatNZ community to unite and use our network to raise money for a good cause whilst having some fun at this stressful time of year in schools. In demonstrating our digital citizenship to support Movember, we will also share photos, laughs and possibly a few badges or awards over the month.

At the start of Movember, guys take action by signing up with a clean-shaven face and for the 30 days of November commit to growing a moustache. These selfless and generous men are known as Mo Bros and groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Mo Bros are supported by the women in their lives, affectionately known as, Mo Sistas - together, our Mo Community raise money and awareness to change the face of men’s health.

With the sprouting of a new moustache, Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the month, and like a run or walk for charity they use their hairy ribbon to spark conversations around the often ignored issue of men’s health and seek funds to support the work of the Movember Foundation.

Sign up here: and choose to join the edchatnz team
Or support our edchatNZ Mo Team here: 

Make sure you share this Movember message to get others involved! Feel free to retweet and reblog the EdchatNZ Mo! 

Monday, 27 October 2014

NEAL is looking for e-learning facilitators

NEAL is looking for innovative, creative and passionate teachers to join our growing facilitator team for 2015! (Auckland Based)

NEAL is an Education Trust focused on sharing and building good and innovative teaching practice between communities of schools. Our NEAL facilitators work 0.9 in their own school and 0.1 in a neighbouring school, working alongside teachers and students offering personalised support. Working as an elearning facilitator is an opportunity to work across a school and a great way to take your professional development to the next level. 

To find out more contact

Monday, 6 October 2014

The conference that never ends - sharing success from the #edchatNZ conference

It is always great to hear if/when #edchatNZ has influenced positive change somewhere in this beautiful country of ours. Please make sure you have shared your story too. In fact, we would love to post your story on this blog. So send us an email with the link to Can't wait to hear from you too!

"After #edchatNZ... the conference that never ended
I was lucky enough to bring a team of colleagues to the #edchatNZ conference in August.  Experiencing the 2 days together showed me I was no longer a lone nut, I was part of a mixed nut group keen to enact change.  We naturally leaned towards ways to improve our local junior curriculum (Years 9 and 10).  In a high performing school so focused on excellence, especially in NCEA, junior classes can easily become the poor cousins to senior classes for busy, fully loaded teachers of multiple levels.  In times of busyness and stress, we readily default to the industrial model of teaching that we were bred and educated in.  So as a group we decided to make our junior programmes an absolute focus for improvement.  We want to work more collaboratively, be cross-curricular, use assessment for learning and explicitly teach the principles, values and key competencies.

So post-conference around the lunch table we kept the conversations going, more people came on board and we ended up with a larger interested group who decided to focus on the Year 9 programme next year.  We chose to assign a future focus theme from the curriculum to each term.  This would be a wide enough scaffold for any curriculum areas that wanted to align their programmes and non-threatening enough for reluctant teachers to give it a go.

In a staff meeting, I gave a quick presentation about the "front of the curriculum" - and how the principles, values and key competencies should be integral and at the forefront of our minds when planning programmes.  For the cross-curricular "sell" I also reiterated the principle Coherence - the idea that "The curriculum offers all students a broad education that makes links within and across learning areas, provides for coherent transitions, and opens up pathways to further learning."(NZC, 2007).  After the staff meeting, anyone who was interested, or wanted to be involved was welcome to stay behind an continue the conversation.  At a rough guess 60 - 70% of teachers stayed, and the response was overwhelmingly positive, with some small but relevant areas of concern.  It's at this point I'd like to acknowledge a fantastically open minded staff of teachers, an enabling principal and senior leadership team, and a supportive BOT who absolutely trust us to offer a programme that's best for our community.

We started a Google Doc as a place to share thinking and ideas, and more and more teachers in different curriculum areas have seen it as achievable to link their teaching and learning programmes to other curriculum areas.  This is an example of the doc in it's early stages:

After some thinking and collaborating time, another meeting later, we have settled on the following themes for each term next year:
                Term One: Globalisation
                Term Two: Diversity
                Term Three: Enterprise/Innovation
                Term Four: Citizenship (Sustainability)

A fresh Google Doc has been started as a place for collaborative planning to occur.  Some of us are optimistically hoping to spend a lot of Term 4 redesigning our Year 9 programmes now that we have something to work with.  Subject and teacher involvement will be as little or as much as they want it to be.  This framework exists for those that are passionate about aligning the learning in their Year 9 classes to other learning areas, and for those that aren't, learning can still occur in the way they want it to, but we hope they'll catch the bug one day!"