A newsletter for all members of the VPLD online community.
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Kia ora koutou, kia orana, talofa lava, malo e lelei, ni hao, and greetings to you all, as this newsletter arrives in your inbox we are celebrating Tokelau Language Week 26 October - 3 November so Mālo ni fanau and here are links to some great resources.


It’s wonderful how we are all learners in this journey, how teachers are relinquishing the role of expert in the classroom and enabling students to take agency of their own learning and to develop their own role of expert.


Jan Pickett shares a delightful story of learning from one of her students:

I was talking to the class about the latest video I had made and as I ran through it with them I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t make hyperlinks on the video.

“Oh that’s easy” said one of the girls. At break Jemma and I sat down and she led me through the features of YouTube Video Manager. She is a wonderful tutor and together we inserted the hyperlinks within ten minutes.

I asked her how she knew about the feature. “Oh I was just playing around with YouTube and saw the Video Manager and wondered what it was”.


As Jan says she is continually amazed at the wonderful, enquiring minds of our students – they go where sometimes we don’t even see the path!  


How are you using the expertise in your classroom, and beyond, to enhance your programmes and build students who see themselves as teachers, leaders and students?


Thanks to Jan for your snapshot, and for taking the time to share.


It’s a timely reminder for us that we do not have to have a carefully crafted lengthy post prepared before we can contribute to this online community. Often wee snippets of insight into our colleagues’ and learners’ struggles and successes are the most valuable posts of all.


In October, Connected Educator Month gave us a starter kete of tools to help us become even more connected and self directed in our professional learning. The month is over but the links will stay live online. Maybe November is the month you will take up the challenge. Here are all the links you will need.

Leigh Hynes on her post Me and Tweeting at Ulearn 2014  where she shared how ULearn 14 conference was different for her this year because of tweeting. It is great to see how Leigh revisited a tool that she had previously discarded and found a place for it in her professional learning toolbox.

As she says “Twitter, I made a mistake about you.  There is a place for you in my life.”


Welcome to our newest members; we look forward to hearing your stories of practice and sharing in your learning journey.


There are currently 361 members in the VPLD online community.


Leanne Stubbing teaches Year 3 and 4 at Kelburn Normal School in Wellington.

Jan Kumar comes to us from Gisborne Girls' High School where she teaches Year 9 Science.

Claire Buist is AP in Shotover Primary School, a new Years 0-8 school that opens in February, 2015.

Aimee Lynch teaches a Y8 BYOD blended e-learning class at Napier Intermediate School.

Michelle Fielding is AP at David Street School, a rural school located in Morrinsville.

John McDougall teaches year 4-6 at Worser Bay School in Miramar, Wellington.

Caroline Lockyer is Team Leader of Year 3 and 4 at Paremata School in Porirua.

Jan Pickett is Team Leader for Y4,Y5 and Y6 and teaches Year 5 at St Johns Hill Primary School in Wanganui.

Melanie Matthews teaches 4-6 at Wairakei Primary School in Taupo.

Kath Corby teaches across the school at Miramar Central School in Wellington.


Could you make them welcome by clicking on their name and adding a message to their page?


We need you!


  • Our plans for an unconference have been shelved in the end of year rush but we still need you and your ideas. Can you share one idea, one tool, one resource, one link that has had an impact on you this year so that others may learn from you? Here is the link to the google presentation. All you need to do is add one slide which shares your experience. We will then come together in December for a celebration and sharing hour of the presentation as well as embedding the slides on the VPLD site for everyone to access.

Blog posts 

  • In Next steps for PLD as inquiry Charlotte French tells us about presenting back to the board and how she chose to give them a background to the intentions of teaching as inquiry as introduced in the "new" curriculum a number of years ago, to share her future plans.

  • In 10 Weeks of #Oresome Caroline Bush, the newly appointed Associate Leader of Learning at Ormiston Primary, shares her journey in the build of a new school and in School Trip she shares her visit to OfficeMax as they sort out furniture.

  • Slow Reading Clubs is where busy people meet to schedule an hour of quiet reading, and Catriona wonders how we could use this idea in our schools to develop a love of reading.

  • In Connected and Thriving - Catriona shares ‘What it means to be a connected educator’ – my learning life online, and how being connected has affected my work in education.

  • Some sparkly snippets of writing practice - Charlotte French shares a little bit about writing in her Year 8 English class, and how she has dealt with one of the challenges for her as a teacher.

  • ULearn14 - Tom Barrett: Seeking Truth in Our Design of Learning - Merryn shares some key points from Tom and her own jottings.

  • How far can this go? is Leigh Hynes challenge to us all. Educators, ask yourself.  Are you connected? That means using technology to forge relationships with educators you wouldn't meet at your own school and in A story of connectedness Leigh shares how necessity proved the value of online tools for two connected educators.

  • Moving safely past the emotional barriers and into the zone of mentoring and learning together.  Lorraine Vickery finds that mentoring staff that you work with, who are also your colleagues and friends, within an environment that promotes compassion and empathy is difficult.

  • Music in today's secondary schools - StAC e-Learning Stories blog Merryn Dunmill shares This is a great blog about music at St Andrews and is well worth a read and listen to see what our students do in music today


Reflections on the year so far...

  • Reflection- end of Term 3 Gavin Clark shares “I have had a strange term with many things happening at school which were out of my control, but I am pleased to report that through hard work and dedication progress has been made”.

  • Reflection on 2014 so far Mike Thornley shares “I am surprised at how quickly things have happened within my school this year”.

  • ULearn 14 is Cyndi Kruijer sharing her reflection on ULearn and her plans for 2015. I am teaching year 2 next year and moving into our newest renovated block with the aim of developing MLE practice.  Excited!  Terrified!

  • Karma does come around Gaylene Hill says “After such a stressful year, I am pleased to say that the light at the end of the tunnel is somewhat brighter.” Read what has changed for her and hear her reflect on her hesitation to blog.


Videos (Running Total 319)

  • Future of Learning Mitra Cut - How will our thinking change when we can access information with personalised embedded technologies? Beyond the Hole in the Wall.

  • Ko Wai Au? Who Am I? See My Voice? Ko Wai Au (See My Voice) is an exhibition empowering Māori rangatahi who identify as Deaf to communicate with others leading to a wider understanding of aspirations as young Deaf Māori. This video captures an inspiring dialogue from six rangatahi.

  • Students with Special Education Needs: Building relationships and learning Holly Ross is 16. She loves school. She hates school holidays. Will Morgan is seven years old. He likes all the same things that kids his age enjoy. Both Holly and Will have cerebral palsy. We look at how their teachers and schools have made sure that they are involved, included and challenged at school.

  • A chorus of keys: drop the space is a lighthearted look at the development of the keyboard. The Verge orchestrated a performance of iconic keyboards throughout the ages, in honor of IBM’s clicky Model M keyboard.




To keep up to date with what is happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) please have a look at the events listing for more details.


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Remember to use our hashtag #vpld when you post and when you Tweet so that it is shared through the Twitter fountain on the VPLD online community home page.

Ka whangaia ka tupu ka puawai: kia kotahi te takahi haere whakamua

That which is nurtured, grows, then blossoms: moving forward together.


Ka kite anō,

Hazel, Merryn, Rick and Catriona.

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