NZACS 2015

I had the honour of presenting three workshops at the biennial New Zealand Association of Christian Schools Teachers’ Conference of 2015 at Middleton Grange School in Christchurch. The conference programme is available here (click on the link). Here is a brief summary of each workshop.

Computer science is for everyone

If a student can build something from Lego, I believe that student can learn to code. Two years ago we started to introduce coding to Year 7 and 8 students. We now offer students from Years 4 – 8 an opportunity to be introduced to computer science and learn to code. I will share why we have decided to add this discipline to our learning programmes, some ideas on how you can integrate this into our present curriculum, resources you can use to start your school’s Computer Science programme and possible challenges you may face. If you are teaching coding already, please come and share your journey with us. Coding has the potential to teach students the thinking skills they need to defend their faith to the glory of God.

The presentation can be accessed here (click on the link).

Blending your teaching for the sake of learning

A great cafe has a great atmosphere and comfortable seating. I know that any coffee order from the menu will be excellent. After all, I don’t always feel like a flat white … some days a mochaccino is far better to get me going. And yes, I know some of your prefer to order English Breakfast, but other days Earl Grey is far superior. I think a coffee shop (or tea room?) is a great analogy for the level of personalisation we are used to every day. I believe educational technology now offers us unprecedented opportunities to personalise our students’ learning – similar to enjoying my favourite beverage a great cafe. In this workshop we will focus on how and when to incorporate blended learning in our teaching in an effort to create a classroom that is an excellent learning environment for students. There are many tools that facilitate blended learning. This workshop is most suitable for educators responsible for Years 4 – 13 students and whose students have regular access to either a computer lab, a class set of devices or their won devices (anything from smartphones to laptops). Although I focus on Google Apps for Education, any other tools (and opinions) are welcome, a.k.a. come and share your expertise (Moodle, iTunesU, etc.) so that we can set a learning agenda that brings glory to God.

The presentation can be accessed here (click on the link).

Developing a school-wide digital citizenship policy

The purpose of this workshop is to share Elim Christian College’s journey in the establishment of a school-wide digital citizenship policy. Topics will include why this is necessary, how make a start, how to improve the policy, available resources, who needs to contribute, who is impacted and possible challenges. This workshop is suitable for educators who teach students for any year level. Please come and share your journey too. The aim is for you to leave with an action plan that you can start implementing a the start of the next term or be encouraged on your journey to help students be difference makers in your community, New Zealand and the world.

The presentation can be accessed here (click on the link).

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