Monday, February 28, 2011


Together Everyone Achieves More

This is a favourite saying of a friend of ours, Greg Va'afusuaga, and the recent events in Christchurch have exemplified it.  It has become a repeated refrain from city leaders, that people need to rely on their friends and neighbours as frontline resources are stretched thin. Tonight on TV3 we watched a whole street pulling together to cook and share resources and courage in this unbelievably distressing time. TEAM work in action.

The 'ordinary' Cantabrians have been an example to us all as we can only watch and pray from afar.

I have been touched by the response from children around New Zealand as they use social media to try to make sense of what they are seeing on their screens.  Posts like this and this are among dozens that have been coming through my RSS feed in the last week.

Kia kaha Christchurch.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Manaiakalani Research: 2008 - 2010

Colleen Gleeson from "The Learning Edge" has released the eagerly awaited report from her research into the Manaiakalani Project.  The focus question was  "What is the impact of the Manaiakalani Project on literacy teaching and learning?"  She has been gathering data from students, lead teachers, principals and parents over three years, 2008-2010.  She has released interim reports at the end of each year which can be accessed here.  Her final report is available here.

The Project definitely provided a motivation for writing, an improvement in audience awareness and purpose and in presentation skills. Other school interventions also had an impact on literacy achievement; however the Project has provided a purpose and enthusiasm for literacy.

The students of Manaiakalani were provided with a “hook” (e-learning outcomes published in on-line spaces) which gave these decile 1 students a voice to be heard globally. Subsequently, participating in the Manaiakalani Project enhanced their literacy, engagement, oral language and presentation.

With the advent of netbooks in 2011, schools are starting on a new and innovative initiative that, with careful planning and implementation and adequate support and funding, could be the key to 21st century education in New Zealand.

This gives us a lot of confidence in our pedagogical foundation as we move into Phase 2:  The Manaiakalani Project provides 1:1 digital learning opportunities for all students in years 5-13, rolling out across 7 Decile 1a schools in 2011/2012.