Posts by Diana Clement

Make way for Minecraft

More and more Kiwi teachers are logging on to the internet phenomenon Minecraft– to use it as an educational tool. Diana Clement reports. Minecraft has been likened to virtual Lego: children mine virtual materials and build things online. The sandpit-style game allows open-ended tasks with relevance to many areas including maths, geography, reading, science and…

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Making school a safe place

Bullying. What bullying? There is virtually no bullying at the decile-one Insoll Avenue School in Hamilton. That’s thanks to the school’s involvement in a Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) School-Wide initiative and other anti-bullying programmes, says principal Linda McCabe. School-wide is a framework for promoting positive behaviour.  It helps schools understand what is happening in…

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Make the most of a faster network

The Network for Learning (N4L) will start offering “free” ultrafast broadband (UFB) before the end of this year. The Ministry of Education is funding the package that includes access to the managed network, uncapped data, online content filtering and network security services. The move will revolutionise teaching in many schools. For most schools UFB will…

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Digital learning – coming, ready or not

Key points Ultrafast broadband and the Network for Learning are transforming the classroom. Teachers need more professional development to make it work. Academics are concerned that the implications of this latest “fashion”, particularly for the curriculum, haven’t been thought through. Our students are becoming part of a massive educational experiment.Digital learning is transforming the very…

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BYOD – the good oil plus useful links

More and more educators seeing the value in learners from pre-schoolers up being allowed to use their own tablets, smartphones, iPods and other electronic devices in class. Trying to pretend it isn’t happening isn’t an option. Organisations that fight against the trend are alienating parents. What’s more, a blanket, no bring your own device (BYOD)…

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Putting on a show

Set a budget: planned and marketed well, the school production can be a money spinner for schools – providing you avoid a budget blowout. Your budget might include performance rights, refreshments, sets, props and costumes and publicity. See a sample budget at: http://produceaplay.com/budget Give yourself enough time; it can take months or most of the…

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Lifelong benefits

In Tauranga, some 2000 people attended a rally to protest the cuts. Parents, economists, scientists, unions, primary principals and teachers, and opposition leaders: they’re all unhappy at the cuts to early childhood education funding announced in this year’s Budget. It’s a politically charged debate. But at the same time, evidence is emerging from the academic…

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Who's the boss?

Teacher has chunk of flesh bitten from leg. Pupil stabs teacher. Boy smashes teacher’s head into wall. These headlines are all too familiar. It’s true that the majority of teachers spend far too much time on the recalcitrant minority to the detriment of other children. There is good news, however. The headline grabbing cases mask…

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Tension 2010 – national standards vs the curriculum

Southbridge School, Canterbury Southbridge School has taken a radical approach to its curriculum. Instead of seeing the entry point to the exercise as either: vision, value and principles, or the key competencies, the school took the tack of the curriculum being an invitation to consult with its community. “We felt it was a reaffirmation of…

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