28 February 2011

elcc workshop day 1

Today is the first day of our eLearning Community Coordinators workshop at Unitec. Our plan is for three days together. Last year we had five days together in February to kickstart our community and to start implementing our elearning strategy across the institute.
One year on, it is an opportunity to move into a new phase as a community. We have had some exposure to some elearning initiatives and have now the task of working out how to progress from here.
I hope that our next phase is on developing our sense of community and how we support each other. I would like us to work on changing our own perceptions of ourselves so we feel more confident and capable of trying new things. More on that later.
So we opened the workshop with a karakia. All our minds are still on Christchurch and the earthquake so it was important to recognise this and offer our prayers and thoughts to those impacted.
We gave everyone an ipad and spent a couple of hours trying out different applications, getting everyone trying twitter and using #elcc11 as a hashtag for this event.
After lunch we are just starting to talk about communities of practice.

20 February 2011

February Fever

Who knew that February was a month full of events.
* Kiwi Foo was in Warkworth 11-13 February (sorry to have missed that one but have heard it was the best Kiwi Foo ever)
* Webstock was in Wellington 14- 18 February
* Music in the Park (well actually that runs January to April)
* Lantern Festival in Auckland 18-20 February (which I wanted to go to and that is what prompted me to blog)

We have attended a big family reunion and there were also a lot of birthdays in the last couple of weeks, even a trip on a boat that involved swimming. There are a few February anniversaries to be observed at home as well as Valentines Day (I am not one for the flowers and chocolates delivered to the office trick, much happier with some quality time together at home).

We decided it was time to start the kitchen and laundry renovations so we have had the demolition work started and are now short two walls and two doorways, our oven is on a temporary stand above a hole in the floor, and there are piles of wood all over the deck and lawn. We have measurements under way and initial plans have been drawn so are almost ready to get our kitchen cabinets made. We have investigated the options for new appliances and I hope we can get these ordered this week. Some of our kitchen cupboards have even been emptied into boxes in preparation.
KickStart Conference Workshop
At Unitec we have had Kick Start – a two day conference for Faculty of Social and Health Science staff that went very well – and we have had our directorate strategy day (we had the opportunity to get to know better other people in our directorate, recap on last year, hear how wonderful each team has done, rate ourselves on where we are at, and in small groups create representations that show how we as a directorate contribute to Unitec – quite fun). We are ending February with an elearning community 3 day event for about fifty or sixty people, including a play with ipads as well as some workshops on topics like portfolios, Google apps and Moodle tools, but probably the most interesting bit for me is the review of what we have achieved as a community in its first year and planning the community focus for this year.

All these events in the busiest time of the year, first semester enrolment and classes starting. To be sure I filled in every spare minute I also enrolled in a course myself which has meant a few late nights writing up the learning contract and starting on an action research project plan. I have been to a one day event run by Eileen Piggot-Irvine (thanks Mark) to get some help getting started with the project and that was very helpful.

All in all, a busy month. It would have been nice to have had a day off for Waitangi Day to give a bit of a break. Though this year it looks like we don’t get many holidays actually as Easter and Anzac day have been combined.

01 February 2011


Today marks the first day of febfast - a month alcohol free for many people around New Zealand and a fundraiser for programmes that support young people with drug and alcohol problems.

With their line "a pause for the better" febfast ask you to imagine the difference 28 days alcohol free will make on your waistline, wallet and liver.

Consider signing up today by going to their website http://febfast.org.nz/

Even if you choose to not sign up you can still make a donation on their site.