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NZ Teachers Engage Students with Technology
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, November 04, 2013
Focus: Citizens’ Service Delivery
Country: New Zealand
Created: Nov 05, 2013

From publishing reviews on the World Cup to collaborating on papers, technology is giving New Zealand teachers and students new ways and platforms to create, share, and learn in their final term of the school year.

Stephanie Thompson, a teacher from Tawa Intermediate School in Wellington, has her students use Blogger to publish their work and views. As she explains, the ability to personalise the content they create is a great way to keep the students engaged.

“My students are Year 7/8 (age 11 to 12) so being able to personalise their blogs is an essential part of this process. For example my kids had the opportunity to take part in a ‘beautify my blog’ session. This is important for them to gain ownership over their blogs.”

By bringing in an element of competition with technology, Physical Education Teacher Tim Gander of Gisborne managed to ignite his PE students’ appetite for literature. During the World Cup he had students submit article reviews using Google Forms. The public nature of Google Forms meant that his students were more conscious of the quality of their work.

“The boys could see the quality of work which was required and knew that everyone was reading their responses- this led to a bit of competition, with each group trying to outdo each other!”

Pt. England School in Auckland has migrated to cloud-based collaborative and communication platform a few years back and has since noticed increased student engagement. Through customised dashboards, teachers can now get a birds-eye view of classroom activity across the suite of Google Apps for Education, such as Docs, Sites, Gmail, Blogger and Picasa.

One of their leaders of Professional Development, Dorothy Burt, said that test scores collated showed significant progress in literacy. Surveys, video observations and interviews with students also demonstrated a group of young learners who are highly engaged in learning.
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