Friday, 26 August 2016

Communities of Online Learning

"The Education (Update) Amendment Bill (the Bill) proposes to recognise the impact that technology is having on education, by introducing a new mode of education delivery – online learning. Technological change makes it possible for students to learn anywhere, anytime, and at any pace.
The Bill proposes to enable new partnerships between schools and online learning providers, and enable children and young people to access their education through online delivery. Online learning providers will come from the schooling, tertiary education, and private sectors, and will be able to seek accreditation as a Community of Online Learning (COOL).
The Bill proposes that COOL will have to meet criteria relating to their capability and capacity to deliver education to students in an online environment. Some COOL will be subject to additional terms and conditions, like which students they can enrol. All COOL will be subject to a robust quality assurance regime, including requirements to meet specified student outcomes."

Digital Technologies teachers have used online communities to assist with the development of learning for years. Mostly around web development and programming. Many through the list have talked about the positive aspects of students engagement and learning, conversations then lead to the development of teachers dashboards so teachers could monitor and assist students progress.

Looking at this, and the conversation through our own Community of Online Learning, NZACDITT. Doesn't this enhance what is already happening in our school through the use of Online Communities. Online Community being learning platforms like Codeavengers ( where the learning is prepared by teachers, delivered by teachers and who have also been developing assessments that can be carried out. If there has been a problem students have been able to email and seek help and guidance about a concept that they do not grasp.

Through the page talk about
  • Students learn the 'what' and 'why' with carefully sequenced lessons and gradual progression of difficulty. 
  • Our code challenges, quizzes, points, badges and bonus games make learning fun for all ages. 
  • Students build their own apps, games and websites as they learn. Seamlessly integrates into your school curriculum with any subject. 
  • You can easily identify students that need support thanks to live updates of each student's progress. 
  • With our lessons plans, supplementary notes, and assessment resources streamline your preparations; 
Codecademy ( has also developed the same, though not directly being part of the NZ landscape. There is curriculum that they follow, projects and learning through to a student developing a portfolio of evidence.

Also look at the evidence being provided by khan academy, being posted today in the subject association forum, about there new computer science course available online. We've partnered with Dartmouth college professors Tom Cormen and Devin Balkcom to teach introductory computer science algorithms, including searching, sorting, recursion, and graph theory. Learn with a combination of articles, visualizations, quizzes, and coding challenges.

It is interesting that when we start to unpack the comments over the years that these are being pushed as ways to assist with the development of the digital technologies curriculum at NZC Level 6-8.

We have many communities of online learning(not exactly called that back in 2005) in New Zealand, due to our geographic nature, Many of these have morphed and changed, but I still see opportunities, many of these were needed with the earthquakes happened in 2011 in Christchurch for students to be able to carry on learning while there schools were closed.

Currently there are 4 Offers on the Learning exchange to help support digital technologies throughout New Zealand.

We have a Virtual Learning Network in New Zealand,

One of these was created in 2005, called the Loop,
The driving force behind this extraordinary regional initiative is the collective belief that: The richer the information that is available digitally, and the more extensive the networks that connect people, the greater the benefits that will accrue.

I believe we have to wait to see what comes out of the Ministry and its development before making judgements. The more I see and hear what the ministry is working on links back to the Education 2025 strategy

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