Where are we at?

CantatechSo with the end of the term fast approaching, where are we at in terms of progress?

It has been a frustrating term for me I must admit.  We have an amitious plan for the two years and I knew challenges would come our way.  It’s amazing how trivial these can be, but also how much impact they can have on my job.  One of the biggest challenges has just been getting prompt email replies from principals (or any reply at all).  I don’t think they realise how much this sort of thing slows me down (and it has) and is something to be discussed in our meeting on early next term.  I am finding ways around this and as I become familiar with who does what in each schooll, I have been able to bypass the principals to some extent.

So, what has been achieved this term and what is on the agenda?

  1. Our first goal is all about the Distance Learning Progamme and we are making good progress there.  The eTeachers are starting to feel more like a group.  We have had a couple  of meetings which have gone well and there is a generally a lot of enthusiasm.  They all seem willing to develop professionally and we are currently putting together an appraisal system.  I have set up some draft eTeacher guidlines which I am getting them feedback on through a forum and wiki on our Moodle.  The feedback has been slow coming, but we are getting there.  I am not going to rush this through.  It is important that we get buy in from the teachers, otherwise it will be meaningless.  They are very keen to learn about Moodle and most will be involved in the PD day next term
  2. In terms of elearning, we have a team of teachers representing every school in the cluster, who will learn how to use the new Cantatech Moodle site.  Some have already gone on and had a play around.  A couple haven even got their students on which is great.  The actual PD day kept getting pushed back, because of, either, the birth of my son, or it clashed with other events.  Eventually we decided to set it for the 24th of July – Week One, Term Three.  This week I am going around a couple of schools (Oxford today) to give some enthusiastic teachers an hour long intro to Moodle – so at least they know how to go on and do the basics.  Look forward to more of this next term.  We will release it to all staff around week six perhaps.
  3. The collaborative side of things has taken a back seat to the elearning, but is something I have been focussing on over the last week or so.  I am talking to Rachel Bolstad at the NZCER about the possibilty of doing a presentation on the curriculum to all schools  through VC.  This will kick off a series of sessions on the same topic run by the UC advisers for the learning areas (and other groups).  At the moment I am establishing what the focus will be.  Hopefully I will get plenty of feedback from Principals and staff about this.  We will be getting a Scholarship Programme up and running next term, when everyone is sure who is doing what.  Also looking at some Gifted and Talented collabaoration – maybe get some sessions runing for students.
  4. The last goal is a work in progress!!


  1. What a great blog Darren – I’m fascinated to read of the developments in the Cantatech cluster in this way. Wow – such a lot of progress since the humble beginnings in 1994 🙂 Keep up the good work with summaries of activity etc – very useful for keeping informed on what you’re up to.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Derek. I just hate all the errors. I usually type this up in such a rush, because there is just so much to blinkin do!

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