Friday, April 04, 2014


#edchatnz is a group of New Zealand teachers who meet on Twitter every second Thursday at 8:30pm NZ time to talk about teaching and technology. They're also using blogger to capture the twitter stream that ensues as well as summarizing the evenings discussion. Here's their latest discussion:

edchatnz: Networking 101: The Topic: Networking 101: Why bother networking as a teacher? How does networking affect your teaching? 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Pond, Network for Learning portal

Pond is being promoted as a hub for digital discovery and participation, where educational resources can be accessed and shared more easily and effectively. While I appreciate that it is handy to have some reputable sources (and hopefully ones' that encourage Creative Commons licensing) that are by default searchable through the site, I'm also hoping that Pond will also allow users to aggregate from other resources as well. NZ seems to be sorely lacking in the development of a social platform for teachers to use to help with planning around our particular curriculum requirements and if Pond can fill that gap I think it will be a great investment for education generally and an invaluable space for teachers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

#glass Interviews

Series of recorded Google Hangouts by Alexander Hayes of his interaction with the Google Glass Explorers Community and other related contacts from industry, research and affiliated organisations. The intent of this research activity is to gain an understanding of the key motivations, experiences and understandings that these individuals gain from engaging with this emergent wearable technology.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

University of Auckland dips toe into MOOC waters

The University of Auckland has teamed up with pilot MOOC platform FutureLearn and is expected to start delivering some courses on the platform shortly. FutureLearn is a private company wholly owned by the Open University and with over 20 UK and international university partnerships, as well as institutions with archives of cultural and educational material, including the British Council, the British Library, and the British Museum. It's a small step for the University which has been in the past, according to various statements by vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon, hesitant to jump on the MOOC bandwagon. It will  be extremely interesting to see how this pans out over the back-drop of a university which seems to be increasingly in a phase of creating new physical spaces with both the demolishing and rebuild of the Science faculty and the purchase of a significant space in Newmarket

Monday, July 04, 2011

Civic Engagement at NetHui

I recently spoke at the NetHui conference in Auckland on the topic of Civic Engagement (see post below this one). This is a video of that session; Russel Brown spoke first, then I come on at 21 minutes.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

ownership blues (or, diversity rag?)

A few nights ago the "public service broadcaster" TV One had prime minister John Key live on the evening of the governments latest budget. They employed a very weak trope to fill this half an hour: an average white family, 2 kids + dog and mortgage, asking questions to the prime minister from location in their suburban home. In another stroke of brilliant political television the prime minister had been prepared prior to the event with background economic information on the family on the other side of his monitor, as he quite freely confessed. When asked by the scruffy Close-Up presenter Mark Sainsbury how the budget was going to impact them financially the father sort of shyly responded "actually ... not much". Wow! This was to be a thrilling people's counterpoint to the smug pinstriped accountant now sitting in the highest seat of power in New Zealand@!!!! Not. Our public service broadcaster? Controversial budget during tough economic times in a continued global recession plus an upcoming election ... and this is what the public service broadcaster came up with in the face of having the governments leader in the studio. Oh boy :-(

I'm increasingly distressed by the sense that the New Zealand public sphere and subsequently our democracy is a failed modernist experiment in need of revision. Television in New Zealand is truly depressing; and the level of commercialism we seem willing to tolerate just cripples our pride and deepens our inability to grow as a nation. I actually believe that what holds us back from being the truly innovative and sustainable country we would like to believe we are, is the rampant commercialisation and almost total international ownership of our media. When a government comes to New Zealand that can return the media landscape to a more equitable diversity of ownership and use of media, then we can start again on moving forward politically and socially.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Man ...

its vacant around here. Should dust this place off again perhaps.