Intercultural communicative language learning

Part 2 of my reading log for EDPROFST 360 

Course Director and Lecturer: Dr. Constanza Tolosa

Liddicoat, A. & Scarino, A. (2013). Intercultural language teaching and learning. New York, NY: Wiley Blackwell. [Chapter 2: Languages, Cultures, and the Intercultural. pp 11-30]

Key concepts relevant to intercultural communicative language learning

Intercultural language teaching places the need to communicate in the first place and seeks to teach culture in a way which develops intercultural communicative skills at the same time as developing language skills. This is an approach to the teaching of culture which sees language and culture as intimately linked and which recognises that culture is always present when we use language.

Intercultural Language Learning Learners engage in developing cultural competence from the beginning of their language learning. Learners engage in understanding their own languages and cultures in relation to the additional language and culture. iCLT is more than just learning the culture and compare to one’s own. Learners must make choices when engaging in meaningful communication in another language

Intercultural competence involves at least the following key concepts:

  • accepting that one’s practices are influenced by the cultures in which one participates and so are those of one’s interlocutors;
  • accepting that there is no one right way to do things;
  • valuing one’s own culture and other cultures;
  • using language to explore culture;
  • finding personal ways of engaging in intercultural interaction;
  • using one’s existing knowledge of cultures as a resource for learning about new cultures;
  • finding a personal intercultural style and identity.

Ideas about iCLT that are new to me

In taking an intercultural perspective in language teaching and learning, the term is new to me but the ideas are not.  Such as the central focus for culture learning involves more than developing knowledge of other people and places.

Or, iCLT is about raising an awareness of the pervasive presence of culture in language. Even,  iCLT uses learning processes such as interacting, exploring, comparing, and experiencing languages and cultures to develop in learners the competencies that allow them to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries; that is, to display intercultural communicative competence. Therefore iCLT reflects a social and dialogic perspective on learning. These ideas are already in my schema. However to activate them I need to unpack them further.

  • Learners involves purposeful engagement in interpreting  in interaction with others.
  • Learners continually make connections between language and culture and learning.
  • They continually make connections between first language and target language.
  • The learners continuously learn and build from interacting experience.
  • The learners continuously reflect on how we think, know and learn about language, culture, and their relationships.
  • Learners learning depends on learners’ attitudes, dispositions and values.

The ability to learn beyond the classroom is probably more important than any particular information that students may learn about another culture during their school year.

My personal response and reaction

The goal of iCLT learning is to develop an intercultural identity as a result of an engagement with an additional culture.

  • The move from static to dynamic
  • The nature of content: artefact-practice
  • The nature of learning: fact- process
  • The nature of the educational effect: cultural – intercultural

In approaching language education from an intercultural perspective, it is important that the view of intercultural Language Teaching and Learning culture be broad but also that it be seen as directly centered in the lived experiences of people.

The aim of intercultural language teaching and learning is not to displace language as the core focus of language education but to ensure that language is integrated with culture in conceptualizing language learning.

Learning another language can be like placing a mirror up to one’s culture and to one’s assumptions about how communication happens, what particular messages mean, and what assumptions one makes in daily life.

Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning culture can be broad but also that it be seen as directly centered in the lived experiences of people.

To sum it up I believe intercultural communicative language learning is whanaungatanga in Maori and va fealofani in Samoan.  iCLT is about building relationships with others so it is more than just language learning and more than learning about culture. iCLT is about people learning and the space that happens between that cannot be seen. I really like the use of the mirror analogy to help me as a learner understand my own culture.

Applying what I read to my language classroom

When I teach iCLT in my Mandarin language classroom the focus needs to shift from language to include culture. The focus needs to be on my learners making connections with the target language and culture.

The learners are:

  • actively involved in constructing knowledge through exploring cultural practices
  • making connections between cultures, and between existing knowledge of culture and language, and new learning
  • involved in social interactions that involve communicating across cultural boundaries
  • reflecting ‘critically and constructively on linguistic and cultural differences and similarities
  • taking responsibility for their intercultural growth, assisted by teachers who, for example, foster engagement with difference and awareness of stereotypes.

Opportunities need to happen for my learners to  participate in social exchanges and the most effective for iCLT is role playing by seeking explicit comparisons between the two cultures to develop empathy. Activities that develop noticing of cultural similarities and differences are also suggested for iCLT.

The following are examples of this:

  • Comparing what one has noticed about another language and culture with one already knows
  • Reflecting on what one’s experience of linguistic and cultural diversity means for oneself
  • Interacting on the basis of one’s learning and experiences of diversity in order to create personal meanings about one’s experiences

Overall iCLT is more than just learning the culture and compare to one’s own. It is more than a body of knowledge but rather a framework in which people live their lives and communicate shared meanings with each other. Learners must make choices when engaging in meaningful communication in another language through activities rather than just discussion.





My ongoing personal inquiry is teachers and how they share their learning. I was really excited to  join Arjana and Bart @abfromz @BartVerswijvel and six other global educators on Tuesday 26th of April for a global networking seminar as part of their programme for European teachers called The Networked Teacher. When Shelly opened the session, we had both Arjana and Bart on screen and I was reminded about our history of connections through the TeachMeetINT virtual sessions that we took part in a few years ago. Bart had this cow bell that he used as a timer. That bell was an awesome timekeeper and we tried hard not to hear it.

I shared parts of my ongoing personal inquiry but from my perspective of how I built my professional learning network. I was asked to focus on my New Zealand connections so was extra excited to share about our part of the world to European educators in the eTwinning programme. The hashtag they use is #etwion. The session took place at 5.00am in our New Zealand time zone. You can check out the hashtag and see what the attendees are learning.

I built the slides over a few days. An event like this allows me to reflect on where I am as a learner and from listening to other global educator stories inspires me to set new digital learning goals. I was interested in hearing their stories from their parts of the world. Happening in the chat window was a lot of questions. I am not the best at multitasking so quickly captured the questions asked of me so I could respond to them later. The ones that caught my attention involved teachers of heritage languages wanting to make contact with our Te Reo teachers. So I suggested contacting me via social media and I hope to help them make connections here. I learnt the splot trick from @MissSpeir. So sprinkled purple splots as hyperlinked breadcrumbs throughout my presentation.

I have to mention here how Arjana was an inspiration for the #TeachMeetNZ project which is where New Zealand teachers share their passions and learning in 3 minute video clips. In a way too she plays a part in #Edblognz because it was by tagging me in a #Meme that the list of New Zealand educator blogs was curated by @HelenOfTroy01. I took that over and expanded that to include all other New Zealand blogs which was then added to the #EdblogNZ curated site of New Zealand educator blogs which I now help curate with @nlouwrens and @ariaporo22.

Thank you Arjana and Bart for inviting me to share our New Zealand teachers learning. To Joe from Canada @Joe_Sheik, Fiona from South Africa @fibeal, Shelly from Texas, USA  @ShellTerrell, Karina from Israel @karinam60, Marie-Leet from Belgium @BensBel, and Annamaria from Brazil @anamariacult, fabulous to meet you all. Hearing your stories was inspirational. To all the attendees of the webinair great to meet you all and I look forward to adding you on twitter.

Agentic Teacher

On Thursday evening I took part in the fortnightly #EdChatNZ Learner Agency led by Philippa N Antipas.

The topic was, ‘Schools seek to nurture learner agency. What does learner agency look like for teachers, and how do we develop it ourselves to model it for others?’

Last year Claire Amos wrote a brilliant piece explaining  Learner Agency – more than just a buzzword! That she kindly allowed to be used in the EdBookNZ 2015 project unpacking latest buzz words.

I am continually amazed at how connections made online come together in fabulous way.

On Thursday Phillipa was moderator for #EdChatNZ and this was her first time leading this New Zealand Educator chat. I know she would have really enjoyed moderating the chat because she is a passionate educator and really know how to make connections with those that she works with.

I pulled together a storify of the chat because I am always interested in numbers.

I counted 719 entries on the storify over the hour. I deleted anything past that time and also past the next day. However I think it would have also been interesting to include the ongoing discussion because the chat continued for most of Friday too.

When I shared the storify, there were 34 tweeps who took part. You can see them all from the discussion. I have not counted the other educators who continued to contribute to the discussion on Friday. 

The hour long #EdChatNZ conversation was fast and furious. I am always interested in questions asked. I was particularly interested in Thursday night’s topic because teachers as learners is a topic very close to my heart. I have previously blogged about this recently in Children do not come first. Those of you who follow the work I do will know about the spaces and places I have created for teachers to share their learning such as TeachMeetNZ where teachers connect and share their learning in 3 minutes, EdBookNZ  where teachers collaborate and co-construct their own learning and more recently EdBlogNZ where teachers reflect on their learning, a site which I help collate.

Using storify to make connections and to unpack the discussion around teacher agency I churned over several of the quotes and as I further unpacked the discussion I had the feeling of Déjà vu. You can see what I mean because I have written about this before but under a different labeller of ‘ Connected Teacher.

Using the questions fired at us, I searched for some references. The third reference was given to us.

1)What does professional or teacher agency look like?

I found this great article written by Jackie Gerstein that tells us a little more, titled  Teacher Agency: Self-Directed Professional Development

2)Define Teacher Agency

This one has a fabulous video of a teacher sharing practice and explains what a teacher does. John’s story – Agentic positioning. But still couldn’t really find a true definition except for what Clare wrote. Also via the chat a definition for Learner Agency surfaced from ERO site.


Together under Philippa’s guidance we hogged twitter with our ideas to define Agentic Teacher.

Defining Agentic Teacher

(Totally ninjed from the 34 kiwi educators taking part and rehashed.)

Teacher agency is about service to our learners and our community through communication, making connections and seeking collaboration. An agentic teacher has the power to make a difference by becoming involved and owning their own learning through figuring the known and the unknown. An agentic teacher shows mutual respect for collaborative partners through actions with a focus on learning. Current practices are challenged and alternatives ideas are suggested where appropriate. The learning journey of an agentic teacher is lifelong. The ongoing goal is to be the best as you can be by actively and continuously challenging own assumptions, knowledge and practice regarding learning.

Personally, I should have also added Whānaungatanga. An agentic teacher lives and practices Whānaungatanga. Here you can read my personal description of Whānaungatanga. 

3)What kinds of environment or culture would teachers need to develop agency?

This article was referenced in the chat. Swimming out of our depth.

4)Teaching as inquiry has been mentioned. It’s in the NZC. Has this led to agentic teachers? If not, why not?

Agentic Teachers is a way of being.

Q5: What if schools co-constructed professional learning with their teachers? Would that encourage agency?

Q6.What might it look like if everyone in the staff was agentic? Chaos?

So what do you think?

Have I defined Agentic Teacher or is agency a quality and mindset that we develop as is suggested by Jackie. Do all teachers need agency? Or will we just exhaust our teachers?

If you write about the chat, please do use #EdBlogNZ and I will curate them all together.

Philippa has asked to be tagged too so do remember that as she will be reflecting on her session and seeking feedback.


Know thy Impact.

I often hear this phrase espoused by John Hattie and I thought about it after this week’s personal experience. I had a hilarious experience this week with the 5 years olds which I must share.



I am lead teacher for the ALLiS project at Newmarket School. As a school Newmarket has joined the ALLiS Cluster (Asian Language Learning in Schools). According to the MOE, the ALLiS Contract is funding available for schools or groups of schools, with particular emphasis on those that establish language learning pathways from primary through to secondary. The fund will encourage greater collaboration amongst schools in partnership with external Asian language and cultural organisations. Programmes must be self-sustaining once funding ends. The aim of the funding is to increase the number of students learning Asian languages to support our growing trade and international relationships. There are also bilingual benefits of learning a second language.


Our ALLiS Group of Schools.

Our group is the Epsom/Remuera group with Meadowbank School as our lead school. We are fortunate to have Deb Ward as our ALLiS Lead Teacher and she is based at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School. I have included a list of the school lead teachers in our group and we will be working together to increase the number of students learning Asian languages in our schools.


Deborah Ward ALLiS Lead Teacher
Stephanie Lin Parnell School
Maria Blanco Blanco Epsom Girls Grammar
Lisa Rolle Cornwall Park School
Joanne McNeil Remuera Intermediate
Jane Cameron Victoria Ave
Amy Ko Meadowbank
Sonya Van Schaijik Newmarket
Mary Fallwell Remuera Primary


This week at Newmarket School we began our Mandarin language and cultural programme for our school. We are fortunate to have access to our parent community who are Mandarin speakers and we were extra fortunate to have two parents agreed to teach Mandarin language and Culture further up in our school.IMG_2639

I have agreed to teach Mandarin and have been accepted into the Teacher Professional Development Languages Programme. (TPDL). The programme equips teachers to teach language effectively. Part of that is learning and teaching Mandarin for a whole year. I have registered and have paid for Chinese (Mandarin) Level 1A to begin soon at Unitec.



Those of you who know me know I am already quite a polyglot.

My first language is Samoan and I learnt English academically when we shifted here to New Zealand. I led a Samoan bilingual unit for two years and this strengthened my Samoan literacy. I learnt high school French and used this learning when I visited France. I also hosted a Tahitian student for a short period of time and this reactivated my schoolgirl French.

I learnt Maori at teacher’s college for three years and regularly led the Kapa Haka group. Now I can kind of get by with support. In my married life I learnt Dutch and when I visited Holland with my children’s father I was able to converse in Dutch with very little support.


When I first moved to Auckland I was thrown in at the deep end into a predominantly Tongan speaking class and learnt to survive on basic Tongan. I had a grandmother who often would teach me phrases which I used as part of classroom control.


I hosted Japanese teachers for three years and during that time I learnt Japanese at night school. I was able to use this learning when I visited Japan or when we have new English learners from Japan.

I also can say hello in all the languages of our children at Newmarket School.



So why am I now learning Mandarin, you may ask?


Well I have always maintained that I would never ask staff to do something that I was not prepared to do myself. So part of the ALLiS goal is learning an Asian language. It is about school sustainability with the Mandarin language. Our teachers have had access to a Mandarin Language Assistant who came to us as part of Confucius  and taught whole class Mandarin.


I chose Mandarin because I have hosted a Chinese student and absolutely adore her. In addition a large percentage of our school population are Chinese speakers. I live in Newmarket and know that out of all the local languages, Mandarin is the one I am most likely to have others to communicate with. This is because historically Newmarket has large numbers of Chinese migrants living here. I have visited China twice to visit my host daughter and I know I will return. I attend the Chinese lantern festival hosted each year in Auckland as part of making connections with the children I teach. I am also involved with the Flat Connections China Project as a teacher observer. I am fascinated with the way teachers are making connection across the locked down ‘Great Fire Wall of China’.


My level of Mandarin

If I use SOLO Taxonomy I know I am unistructural with Mandarin language.

I can count to 5, with support. My support are the children because they have been teaching me forever during my lunchtime duty. However I still need them to start me off. I can say hello, my name is Sonya and Goodbye. That is basically the sum of all I know in Mandarin. This week I have been practicing like mad to say Happy New Year, but still have to consult my card.

I also consciously learnt a new work. My new word was monkey. I thought about this and tried hard to remember the single sound of ‘hou’. This is because 2016 is the year of the Monkey and I wanted to share a little bit about the year of the monkey.


My first Lesson

I have agreed to teach the 5 year olds because I know from personal experience that if I am not prepared they will eat me alive. So I went into my lesson reasonably clear about the sequence of the lesson and my learning intention.


Everything was going really well. My first group were fabulous and I had support in the students with my pronunciation. They all made their monkeys and they all learnt basic sentences and could say this with support.


My next group involved two classes together and their two teachers. The lesson was a little more challenging because of the larger number. But that is OK because I know I will adjust from my peers feedback. I also know that the teachers are further along in Mandarin than me because they have had access to weekly lesson with the Mandarin Language Assistant so I am relying on them to support the lessons.


In the second class I have identified 7 fluent speakers who need much more than what I can deliver but that is OK too because I will use this piece of information to challenge my pedagogy. I do not want to teach whole class but want to structure the learning so my lessons caters for all levels of the language. Being a linguist I really want the children to be speaking in phrases rather than in single words as has been the previous few years learning.


I kept my eye on the short time and packed the children up. As they were leaving one little poppet, who was not a mandarin speaker called back to me,

再见猴子 Zàijiàn hóuzi. I responded with Zàijiàn. When he started giggling I realised what he had said and my first thought was, ‘just you wait until tomorrow.’


But then I thought about the linguistic implications. He had made a connection with two words, and he had made a joke. I know that to crack a joke in your second language takes quite a bit of thinking.


So do I feel pride or should I feel indignation? I will catch up with him about respect but will do so in a positive way. Unfortunately with 5 year olds, yesterday was a lifetime ago.


Personally, the parting comment made my afternoon and I was going around the staff telling anyone who would listen. However in this post I won’t respond what one staff member said. But it was really funny and you can probably make a smart guess.


My next steps

When I use SOLO to map my learning, extended abstract seems a lifetime away. But that is OK too. I have identified my starting level and I know what my next steps are.

My next steps will be carried out with Unitec with learning Mandarin and in the university paper on second language acquisition. I am looking forward to stretching my thinking by doing something new totally outside my comfort zone. I am really interested to learn about acquisition from a personal perspective and to apply it to a different way of learning.


Next week our group of schools will begin the ALLiS contract officially with an inauguration ceremony held at Epsom Girls Grammar. All of our staff will be present as we are committed to making this contract work.


For those of you wanting to know more about ALLiS you can join the online ALLiS Google+ community discussion group that has been set up.

But for now





My personal Inquiry

Personal Inquiry

This year my personal inquiry focussed on the following statement.

Changing pupil outcomes depends on changing practice. What we have always done is no longer good enough.  Do teachers participating in virtual learning networks, reflective blogging, using social media  make a difference to student learning outcomes?

The challenge I have is how do I measure the results of teachers participation? I know that often it is not just one intervention that makes a difference to student learning outcomes but a range of strategies.

I know from Hattie’s research that teachers are one of the factors that does make a difference to student achievement. It is what teachers do.

So again how do I measure the results?

As the year roller coasts towards the final term I thought I would reflect on some of the online work I do that is over and above what I do in school.

The reason I take this on, is the immense satisfaction of seeing teachers come together to share their learning. I also wonder about the impact that this has on student learning. Being a teacher with over thirty years experience I am aware that what happens in class is no longer enough. Teachers must make connections with educators outside their domain to lift their own practice. They must see what others are doing and use this knowledge to lift their pedagogy. They must be part of active collaboration in order to bring about this same change to the content that they have their students create. I think about them collaborating together with sufficient magnitude and question how much of a difference this makes to their student’s learning.

This year is no different.

I set goals that by the end of this year, every teacher at Newmarket School would have a blog and be connected on twitter. That goal is at 99%.

I found from my involvement in the edblognz project that the blogging goal I set for our Newmarket School teachers is very high as I have identified very few edubloggers in our New Zealand system in comparison to the number of registered teachers there are. As for our principals who blog,  At the same time I know from experience that edubloggers are a certain type of educator. If I use the 1% of content creating rule I guess that applies to most schools. I have been tracking our teachers involvement through their contribution to the education community. I regular remind them that it is not enough to just take part in professional learning but to leave some kind of legacy that is easily seen. If I cannot see what they are doing? Does this mean that it did not happen?

So this year again, I know that before I push something at my school I have to be actively doing the same activity that I would ask of teachers. So it is seen that I would never ask them to do something that I was not willing to do myself.


This year I have written 36 entries on my reflective blog. I have actively given feedback where I am able to and responded to feedback on my own blog. I have used twitter to celebrate what teachers do. I have just passed 18,000 tweets.

Know my impact

I have coordinated and run three TeachMeetNZ for New Zealand educators with two more still to go.

So far this year that involves 23 educator stories. In that group I had 2 teachers from my school share their stories. If I think of the impact on the number of students that these teachers are involved with say approximately 25 x 23 would guestimate an impact on 575 students. How this affects student learning outcomes, I am unable to clarify.

In April I encouraged 3x teachers to present at Google Summit and because I presented twice I was able to bring in a 4th teacher. You can read my reflection here. I had two teachers join me in an Educamp held at Tamaki college. You can read my reflection here. I work hard at getting our teachers to actively share their learning. I know I can be insistent but again, I remind teachers that they expect their students to do this but where is their evidence that they are prepared to do the same.

In April I was fortunate to attend the WELLs Conference with my principal and Assistant principal. It was great to have them write their reflections of the experience. My ultimate is to co-create a piece of writing with some of our teachers. I will get there using baby steps.

We have developed our #NPSfab twitter hash tag and that is being used more and more as more of our staff see the relevance of making connections with educators outside their immediate learning bubble.

I have presented twice this year at Eduignite and have left a legacy on my Slideshare account. I have presented my student inquiry to our Board of Trustees and have made this visible on our staff site.

So where to next.

Teachers Collaborating. I believe that before teachers can collaborate with each other successfully, first they must make a connection. I have set up a large collaborative initiative using google+ communities. I have approximately 28 educators involved in the EdbookNZ collaborative project. Again, how do I measure the impact of something like this? I have some idea. I can do this via active involvement. As for measuring effect on student learning outcomes I believe the area is still quite grey.

The teachers are working together to create an artifact for the education community. But for me the real goal is seeing if teachers can work collaboratively outside of their own school environment. The measure would be in seeing the product and in seeing the blog reflections that take place. I also aim for teachers to ask me lots of questions as this would clarify my thinking too as part of my own ongoing inquiry.

Overall I think that teachers working together will enable them to see what other teachers are using and what tools they are using as part of their own learning. This will raise their own benchmark of what is possible.

At the same time I am learning from others. For example, I created the google+ community after experiencing what it was like to be actively involved in one. This enabled me to see what is possible with the tools that are available to us as educators.

In the past I have struggled a bit with creating communities. I struggle too with being part of communities but I now realise that virtual communities ebb and flow. I go in and out of them when I am learning just as I am aware that the educators who have joined the current one are doing the same. They want to see how an active community operates. I hope to see them go on and create their own communities or use the skills that they learn with me to finetune communities that they currently lead. How do I measure the effect of this you might ask? Again I have no idea. I am always gathering data on involvement and use the data to create something better next time. But I am not sure how to use the data to measure affect on student achievement.  

Relevance to teaching and learning

By creating a virtual community, I can see how I am able to engage and motivate the students I work with in a virtual community. The teachers in the Edbooknz project do not need to be there so I have to be experimental, motivated and inspirational to enable them to participate willingly and most importantly actively. I am leading my moderators so that they will actively give feedback to the teachers that they work with.

In addition I am part of two global communities and I am also learning from the best. I have brought on board three of our Newmarket School teachers so that they can begin to take part in communities outside of school and learn how to inspire and engage the children that they are responsible for in the Flat Connection project. I am also moderating in an educator’s group using very different tools to connect, collaborate and create with.

As I move around our school I observe our teachers and I can see the teachers active online in a variety of ways. They are the ones creating content with their students. Their lessons are engaging and they teach their students to be persistent in their learning.  The ones who are not so active are consumers of content. I believe that being active online contributes to teachers creating content with their students. How do I measure this against student learning outcomes? Maybe I am focusing too much on student achievement and should be focusing on students creating content and students engagement in their own learning. Maybe I should be identifying the teachers who persistently encourage their students to reflect on the learning process.

Maybe my question should be, is there a relationship between teachers creating collaborative content and their students creating content? This I could measure using our involvement with Hapara. This is what has given me an incentive to have teachers collaborating because I still see very individualised content in our students folders. I would like to see much more collaborative content and much more teacher and student reflections on the learning process.

Ah well blogging is about clarifying one’s thoughts. But at this stage I think I am more muddled than ever.


EducampAkl is amazing professional learning for teachers. This years session was coordinated by Fiona Grant and team. The hosting school was Tamaki college so we got the chance to see inside a different school.

The incredible part is that it is free and you have the opportunity to find out more about a burning question or issue that has been a little difficult to answer. You spend a day on your own professional learning and learn about edu stuff that you want to know more about. Technically the day is about you as a learner. You say what you want to learn and someone helps you learn it. I was really excited to have Belinda and Waveney join me from Newmarket School so they could see what I rave on about every year.


Saturday 25th of July was fabulous and I got to meet and make connections with lots of new people and reconnect with many virtual acquaintances. One reason I attend #educampakl sessions is to put the face behind the twitter handle.


During the SmackDown educators are given the opportunity to share. You can access the slides from here with link,


Photo by Fiona

I shared the upcoming #edchatnz project that I created to bring teachers together for virtual collaboration. Therefore free PD in your PJ’s.

#EduCampAKL Smackdown 2015 (1)

I shared about a twitter app called Periscope that has the facility to live stream. I have added a summary to my slide and embedded the short demonstration clip I took during Fiona Grant’s introduction.

#EduCampAKL Smackdown 2015

Today I attended sessions by @lenva @tanya @gmacmanus @codingpoet.



Gerard spent time with me and a few other visiting Pond. One of my burning questions was how easy would it be to set up a Newmarket School group in the POND. He showed us how to activate the Geo map and see our teachers and I really like this image that was generated in regards to Newmarket School.


I had another lesson in curating and sharing content.  He was patient and awesome but I still had the feeling that our teachers have when they work with me and tell me you are going too fast. POND as a tool is amazing and I will continue to put in some hours to learn it because it is worth it.

Hapara Workspace


Lenva from Hapara covered Hapara Workspace. The workspace comes live on Monday.

I believe we should upgrade our package to include Hapara interact. This costs a little extra on the package and is something I will recommend we do for when we renew our license as this will allows us to help keep our students safer. We already love Hapara and the extra facility will support teachers in their work too. Anything that helps our children and teachers is worth a little extra.


I called together any presenters who have been on TeachMeetNZ to come for an obligatory photo, the task was like trying to herd puppies, so in the end I created a montage. Even then I still missed James. The exciting part of Educamps is meeting up again and having a bit of a catch up. I pulled in Fiona too to this one because she is presenting on the TMSydney combined with TeachMeetNZ in October. Here they all are so do follow them on twitter.



Photos by Waveney and Justine

I give a shoutout here for the upcoming Virtual Learning Network Webinair ‘Personalising PLD using social networks’. So pop along and register. I will be sharing TeachMeetNZ and Danielle Myburgh is sharing Edchatnz.

When: 15:45 – 16:45, 12 Aug 2015

Venue: Adobe Connect

Blogging for Educators

Tanya was running a session so I popped in and had a listen. I ninjaed her notes.


Image by Tanya

You can also find a fabulous list of New Zealand educator blogs here. You can also add yours if it is not there.

Configurator and Meraki.


Image by Tanya

After Tanya, I listened to Clinton sharing about Configurator and Meraki. I really like the way he speaks, as in the practicalities and how to save school money. I have found configurator a real challenge especially with purchased apps. When a teacher asks me about adding new apps to the system I now totally ignore them. However from now one I will put across to them to trial the app first on their teacher iPad using their class budget to buy the app, test it with a group of students and then write me a proposal of the value of purchasing the app for the ipads. If they can be bothered to do all that, then I can be bothered to spend hours fighting configurator to install it.   The last holidays I just could not face spending another full week updating the system. There must be a better way. I wonder if there are schools who could do with a refresher and together we fly him up for a day’s training. Clinton said that he would create self help videos so I look forward to those. Again notes are from Tanya. I also found out that iPad 2 system charges for apple apps but these are given with later models.  Clinton also cautioned against giving children printing rights on a chrome. I agree with him. I still cannot understand teachers who want children to be able to print from the chrome. As we move more and more digital, are they not aware that the doc can be shared?


  • Learning with teachers from Newmarket School.
  • Catching up with TeachMeetNZ presenters.
  • Connecting with others watching the twitterstream.
  • Building my own learning.
  • Finishing off with pizzas and drinks from Network4Learning.

Reading other attendee reflections such as 

TeachMeetNZ 2015 Session 2

Another fabulous session of TeachMeetNZ has passed. On the live hangout we had eight presenters from around New Zealand.

Session Host: Sonya Van Schaijik

TimeKeeper: Virginia Kung 

Broadcaster and Storify: Monika Kern tuning in from Melbourne.

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 10.37.41 pm

Country Presenters Name Topic Twitter Google+
1 NZ Stuart Kelly #NCEADigitalEnglish @stuartkellynz +StuartKelly
2 NZ Natasha Walden My Experience as a Gamer @MissnWalden +MissNWalden
3 NZ Steven de Bruin Developing agency in the early years @Steven_de_Bruin +SteveDeBruin
4 NZ Terry Beech Design Collaboration @beechEdesignz +TerryBeech
5 NZ Adam Baker Star Wars,the comic strikes back @AdamBaker31 +AdamBaker
6 NZ Kerri Thompson #NZreadaloud @kerriattamatea +KerriThompson
7 NZ Shona Poppe Creating an inclusive classroom @shonapoppe +ShonaPoppe
8 NZ Rachel Chisnall ‘Bravery’ in your teaching @ibpossum +RachelChisnall

The celebration is over and I now look forward to the educators reflections about the process.

I know that this is when the real learning happens. There is also an evaluation form to complete and this helps drives the next session.

Presenters can add digital badges and a digital certificate to add to their reflection.

Now that the session is over I still need to clip videos and add them to the wikipages. Then I will add the pages to the Pinterest list. If you were a presenter and are visiting thank you again for taking part.

I give a shout out here to Monika Kern who did a fabulous job with broadcasting. We trended on twitter so that was really exciting and I give a shout out here to all the teachers who joined in on the session virtually. Thank you because having an active audience really helps make the session. Monika created a storify of the session.

I also acknowledge Virginia Kung from Newmarket School. She is our assistant principal and for this session she agreed to be timekeeper. She gave feedback and covered for me when I stepped away at the start of the session to collect the team.

Where to next for TeachMeetNZ, well we will be steaming live from Ulearn and I will have Matt Esterman from TMSydney with me as co-host. We will run a combined Australia and New Zealand TeachMeet virtually.

Finally, I was not all nervous this time. The changes I have made included creating slides and broadcasting them before each practice session. We also had questions happening on the  Hangout and I will push this more next time.

Now if you are interested in taking part, please do not hesitate to contact me on twitter. If there is space I do bring in educators from outside New Zealand however the time difference for you does suck.