Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oi You! rise STREET ART

This morning at breakfast Bridget mentioned the street art exhibition at the Canterbury Museum and around town.  I will be forever grateful!  How can this much MAGIC be gathered in one space?  Featuring works by Askew, Banksy Collection, Anthony Lister, Roa, and Ian 'Kid Zoom' Strange.
25 walls, two projects, 25 days!

Breakfast at Drexel's

Absolutely MAGICAL to catch up with Gerard, Jennie, Nicki, Pauline and Bridget for breakfast this morning.  I really am enjoying the opportunity to get to know you all better!  What fun to get together when I am up at 'the flat'!

May we never forget...

What is a facilitator?

Agh... First time in a long time where I have had white knuckles flying out of Dunedin... That moment when you look across the aisle and both smile awkwardly... Wondering if this is it... Okay, so a few minutes later and we're cruising along and I wonder what I was making all the fuss about but that WAS NOT a nice take-off... And they warn of the same coming into Christchurch... So here are my thoughts for the blog for today!

I am a learning with digital technologies facilitator! My recent cross post from the CORE blog explains the name change from blended e-learning facilitator with the focus firmly in the learning now...

This year our project has changed its name to LwDT (Learning with Digital Technologies)*. This change was to reflect the deepening understanding that learning and learners must be at the centre and that technology is a way to enhance this learning. Building the understandings and capabilities of teachers is at the heart of improving outcomes for our students.

I think it is time for me to discuss and explore further the role facilitator!

FACILITATOR is defined, in a nexus reading I am currently enjoying as:
Someone skilled in group dynamics and learning processes and with access to key sources of expertise and knowledge.  He or she encourages people to participate in network activity and makes it easier for groups of people to work and learn together and for the learning to be shared.

I don't know about you but I love that definition.

I want to break it down and explore it a little further...

Someone skilled in group dynamics and learning processes...
As teachers I think we grow in devil net of group dynamics and learning processes everyday. My recent catch phrase 'situational analyst' applies perfectly to life in the classroom and as a facilitator.  We are constantly analysing the situation and refining, adjusting, extending, re-thinking to best meet this situation.

...with access to key sources of expertise and knowledge.
Implicit in this is that we are NOT experts.  We facilitate! We have access to expertise and knowledge and are charged to support, network and connect.

... He or she encourages people to participate in network activity...
We are modelling being connected and networked through our participation in online learning communities.  We support others to network and connect online.  We cluster and support as needs require. We actively model 'connectedness'.  The power of us working in this way is exponentially greater than the sum of our parts. Our team is a wonderful example of this as we share our strengths, passions, talents, expertise and challenge enabling all to grow on our journey.

... makes it easier for groups of people to work and learn together and for the learning to be shared.
Facilitators have the privilege of modelling and supporting others to learn together.  With a view to increasing capability and capacity, our role is about growing the strengths of others. In this way sustainability is not only possible but probable,

On reflection, what an incredible privilege it is to be a facilitator!

What is the highlight of your facilitator journey? (I am now thinking of all educators as facilitators!)

As a side note: my darling Mum calls me a facilitator of happiness, a precious title she bestows on me! Reflecting on the key components of facilitation I believe that if I can add a layer of happiness (and of course MAGIC) to my facilitation role, then I am well on the way to being the best I can be....

Friday, February 21, 2014

What’s in a name? Supporting Learning with Digital Technologies

Cross posted from 

What’s in a name? Supporting Learning with Digital Technologies

LwTD Group discussion
For the past year we have had the privilege to work as part of the BeL (Blended e-Learning) team. This allows us to work alongside teachers, leaders, and students as they explore learning, teaching, and technology.
This year our project has changed its name to LwDT (Learning with Digital Technologies)*. This change was to reflect the deepening understanding that learning and learners must be at the centre and that technology is a way to enhance this learning. Building the understandings and capabilities of teachers is at the heart of improving outcomes for our students.
As we discussed this name change as a team we reflected on what we had learned as we worked in schools to support teachers to strengthen their understandings and capabilities.
Here are ten ideas:
  1. In the short term schools and teachers might want you to just do the work for them. But, by helping them upskill, in the long term they will thank you that you enabled them to do it themselves.
  2. Be responsive to the needs of the school, learners, and community, and remember that a powerful approach can be to help them see that they might need something different.
  3. Facilitate in a way that respects the skills and knowledge that each person brings. Listening is the key.
  4. Provide opportunities for people to tell you what they hope to get out of the session first and what they will take away from it at the end.
  5. You don’t need to know everything. You have the time to find out where to direct and support people to find things for themselves.
  6. Always consider Universal Design for Learning principles, catering for all learners — adult learners included. Plan for the margins and extend to everyone.
  7. Be prepared: So that you can make the most of the opportunity find out as much as you can about the school, the community, iwi, hapu, and participants before your session(s) — using whatever ways you can.
  8. Make resources available afterwards to enable the rewinding of the learning or and for the participants to carry on learning and trialling approaches in own time.
  9. Be mindful and considerate of how busy our teachers and principals are — you are one of MANY visitors to their schools.
  10. Provide the opportunity to “lurk”.  Sometimes we all need to have time to feel comfortable before we engage.
I and my colleague Greg Carroll collated this list from suggestions put forward by the LwDT South Team.
*  The Learning with Digital Technologies project also includes the Virtual Professional Learning and Development (VPLD) initiative, and the Future Focus Inquiry (FFI) initiative. These aspects of the LwDT mean that, as well as the support offered to whole schools, there are also opportunities for  individual and group professional development.
Anne Kenneally

A reflection on the post.... "10 ways to live life with no regrets"

I read this blog post this morning.... 
What a wonderful read!  What a powerful reflection on things we can do everyday to make a difference to our lives and in turn to the lives of others...
How do we share these big truths with our learners?
How do we challenge our learners to be themselves, to really celebrate who they are?
How do we empower our learners.... especially number 10, to "say 'goodbye' so you can say 'hello'."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Literacy Update 20 February 2014

Kia ora tātou,
I can hardly believe how settled and summery the weather is now that we are into week three of term.  I hope you are all managing to catch some of the summer sunshine!  

I have just returned from an amazing hui where I had the privilege of listening to Professor Brian Edmiston.  Dialoguing problems...where no-one is excluded as way of engaging learners is a wonderful reflection on the presentation by Hazel Owen.

Literacy Online Book Recommendations Crowdsourcing is an incredibly powerful way to gather resources and information. I am really enjoying seeing the development of this list. I wonder if any of you are in book groups?  I wonder if we could set up some book discussions groups in this forum?
It is wonderful to see the questions and collaboration developing in the mailing list.  What burning questions or challenges do you want support with?  What successes do you want to share?

The literacy online vln group continues to grow.  Come and join teachers who have an interest in sharing ideas, resources and issues related to developing teaching and learning programmes based on the literacy needs of their learners.  Have you checked out the writing page, it is full of wonderful resources, ideas and strategies for increasing student achievement in writing.

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback on curriculum exemplars on legacy TKI. Could you please take a moment to answer three questions on the survey.

New Resources
New Ready to Read resources are available for download.
MP3 audio files are available online to support these titles.

Other sites to check out

  • Choose2Matter at Hutto An inspirational video of what can happen when learners are empowered to work together on real world problems.  How could you use this with your learners?

  • What Are the 7 Mind Frames of Learning? by John Hattie.  This is well worth a read as we head into the year focusing on our teaching inquiry and our priority learners.  What can we take away from this to support our journey?

Ngā mihi nui
Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education
To post to the list email:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Heading to Auckland for our National TTT hui
Today our team are Auckland bound! We arrive into Auckland for a visit to three Auckland schools before heading south to Hamilton tonight!

What an exciting time for our team to travel and learn together as we continue to development our modern learning thinking and pedagogy.

Tomorrow we gather in Hamilton with the extended Te Toi Tupu team for a two day hui! I can't wait to catch up with all the amazing people across the consortium and learn and grow together as we focus on the needs of our learners across New Zealand. These times together are rare and precious and it is crucial to make the most of every opportunity to connect and network. Although geographically spread we are united by the common goal of supporting educators and learners. Last year's hui is still so clear in my mind and I eagerly await the new learning of 2014.  Again I reflect on the incredible privilege of being part of this team!

My goals for the hui:
Spend quality time with my team;
Spend quality time with those I don't see often;
Connect with anyone I've not previously met;
Fully immerse myself in the learning and the experience!

A day at the beach...

Following on from yesterday's post thought I'd reflect on a day at the beach!
I flew up early this morning as I had to be in Christchurch for the early morning connection to Auckland on Monday.  To make the most of it I flew up early to spend the day with my girl!

Arriving to a beautiful sunny day we decided to have a picnic at the beach! What a fabulous picnic we had. 

We followed this up with a stunning walk from Waimairi down to and out the pier!  All the way down we walked through the waves... Sun on our backs, warm water, children playing, people swimming, kites flying, does it get any better than this?
We walked out the pier and enjoyed the views, the surf school, the fishermen, the tourists, the buzz of Christchurch on a beautiful sunny day!
We rounded the day off with a very relaxed session at the pavilion listening to the sweet sounds of a couple of local young musicians.
So, then, what can be learnt from a day at the beach!

  • Wear sunblock!
  • Make the most of sunny days.
  • Walk outdoors when possible.
  • Always take opportunities to connect with family and friends.
  • Picnic often.
  • Enjoy the beauty of the ocean.
  • Leave footprints.
  • Take plenty of photos.
  • Giggle and laugh often.
  • Splash in the waves.
  • Respect and remember the power and beauty of nature!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Learning about life from a concert in a Vineyard!

Here goes my thinking around a whirlwind roadie…

Yesterday I had the privilege of being hosted on a road trip to the beautiful Gibbston Valley Vineyard for the Summer Music Festival!  This trip was extremely well organized and I want to take time to reflect on the lessons for me in it!

We were picked up from the bottom of our drive at 7am!
Be early and meet the learner where they are at!

The bus was extremely comfortable and kitted out with everything we could possibly need for the day!
Have a kit that can cater for any eventualities!

We stopped repeatedly along the way to gather up travellers.
Always stop and welcome in new members!

We made regular comfort stops.
Cater for the needs of all!

Before we got to the venue we were given tickets, lanyards, meeting details and a queue bypass!
Be prepared and take shortcuts when you can, if they lead to success!

We were fed, watered, entertained, sunblocked and cared for on the day!
Keep your learners as comfortable and safe as possible at all times!

We had a ‘corporate’ area to retreat to but were free to explore the site and socialize at leisure.
Always provide a safe haven for learners but allow freedom to go beyond the immediate!

We partied!
Celebrate and enjoy life!

On the road we allowed smaller, faster vehicles around and past us!
Acknowledge the progress of all and cater for it to the best of our ability!

We picked up those who were walking at times.
Always seize the moment for a random act of kindness.

We paced ourselves and truly worked as a team to ensure all got on and off the bus at the correct times and places.
Empower learners to always look out for everyone around them!

We celebrated a diverse range of people, costumes and musical tastes.
Identify and celebrate diversity!

We reached our destination, celebrated and returned home!
Empower our learners to set goals, achieve them, celebrate then, and return to base to set new goals!

I wonder how we could use this lens over our journeys with our learners!
I would love to hear your thoughts about my list and ideas for what else I could include!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Southland Roadie....

Four days, 1001 kilometres, 5 schools, fabulous scoping tour in the south!  Mark and I are just back from a wonderful Southland journey!  The accommodation shortage was almost unbelievable with the Waimumu field days claiming every available bed south of and including Dunedin.  The amazing Casey from Orbit managed to sort a bach at Colac Bay for us!

Reflecting on the journey we are really excited about the year ahead. There are a number of reasons this scoping trip was so successful.
We were well prepared....we knew so much about the schools before we visited,
We had made contact with the schools well in advance,
They had all the documentation well in advance and were able to ask us questions and  be aware of the PLD,

We were focused about sharing explicitly the bones of LwDT PLD; priority learners, teaching as inquiry,
We benefited hugely from the scoping experience of our team late last year
We work well together... Mark and I really complemented each other,
At times we were able to split up and work with different staff members,
Pairing meant one was able to mainly facilitate the chat, while the other took in-depth notes,
We followed a check list and were able to gather a HUGE range of info in the first visit,
We shared with each school the actions for them and for us out of our first meeting.

We were very comfortable sharing with schools our own personal journeys,
We have grown exponentially since we started in this role,
We had fun!!!!!!!
Thanks Mark for an awesome Southland Scoping journey.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Literacy Update 12 February 2014

Kia ora tātou,
Week two already and oh how wondrous it is to see action on the listserv.

I would really like to draw your attention to the growing resource Literacy Online Book Recommendations. What can you take from and add to this list?
I am really enjoying the conversation that is developing in this forum and would love to hear more from you all.  What can we help you achieve? What can you share?

It is wonderful to see a number of new members to the literacy online vln group.  Join teachers who have an interest in sharing ideas, resources and issues related to developing teaching and learning programmes based on the literacy needs of their learners.

New Resources
Have you had a chance to check out the new digital versions of Connected 2013? We would love to hear stories of how you, your learners, your school are interacting with this new resource.
The titles are

Other sites to check out

What do you do to support your learners building vocabulary?

I wonder how you are using music with your learners?  Please share what is working, what is challenging!

  • Watch. Connect. Read.  Book Trailers by Mr Schu, a teacher librarian promoting book trailers to connect readers with books.  
How could you use this site with your learners?  How could your learners create book trailers and promote books in your schools?

Ngā mihi nui
Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education
To post to the list email: