Update

Online Environment:

Our shared moodle has now been in use for a term and a half.  During that time we have: nearly 2000 registered accounts (and growing all the time) and about 4000 page views per day.  This shared virtual classroom ‘space’ is being used by teachers and learners from over 30 schools.  It has huge potential to increase the amount and nature of collaboration between teachers and schools as well as providing LMS  facilities for your school.  The site is arranged by curriculum area – not by school – to facilitate collaboration between teachers.  Educo hosting is funded by the MOE, and is managed by the ePrincipals of Aorakinet, Cantatech, Westnet and the Volcanics cluster.  Educo is avaialble to all our schools and teachers.  The Educo project has the potential to significantly change how schools and learning ‘operate’ at a regional level by directly facilitating teachers and learners working together in the same class/course regardless of location.  So for example, a team of History teachers in 4 different schools could collaborate to produce an exellent course and teach it together, as a team. The benefits for learning (and teaching) include: greater flexibility for learner in how/where they learn (learning preferences), including timetabling, access to more than one teacher for your learning of a particular subject, ability to collaborate with learners in other schools; for schools/teachers: access to communities of practice/PD, more efficient use of teaching resource (and $$) etc. When the National Education Network  is (finally) ‘installed’ will we use it for faster youtube or something that will benefit our learners and communities?  I know we have much more work to do in fostering the culture of collaboration between our schools – we are not there yet!

We also have access to the Mahara ePortfolio system – available to all staff and learners in our schools.  This is being used by a few schools and also the SCD project.

Sustainability:

Trevor and I having been putting some ideas together some  around how a combined Aorakinet/Cantatech/Westnet? cluster would improve the learning for our learners  – possibly a 5 year plan.  We will consult widely on this and include thoughts on sustainability, invovlvement of the primary sector and the opportunities that the National Educational Network presents to us.  This is a key focus for the Principals’ meeting.

Another key focus for that meeting is examining possible leadership structures for next year.  This will have to consider maintaining current momentum and the costs to schools.

Our Regional Educational Cluster work is well under way.  The main project page can be found at http://wikieducator.org/SCD.  Please take  5 minutes to have a browse here – it contains more information and details than what I will say here.  The PD days in Christchurch at the end of Term one were great with 30 Primary and Secondary teachers having a 4 day PD camp.  Everyone was challenged in some way or other.  Working with this select group of teachers for 3 years will be a pleasure.  We have just finished the milestone report so please have a look.

I have just finised a round of school visits.  Thanks for the warm welcome.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting out and catching up with everyone

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