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EdTech Newsletter – September 2018 Update


Earlier this year, a friend gave Rebecca and I honey from his own suburban Auckland hive.   Immediately, I decided I wanted a hive of my own! I’ve always liked bees (even as a child), beekeeping is good for the environment and who doesn’t like honey?  It makes a great personal gift too.

Six months later, spring arrived and I had done nothing!  Spring is when you start new hives and it’s a modest window, so it was a case of right now or wait another 12 months.  Three weeks on and while I’m not an expert, I have the equipment I need and know enough to start my own hive thanks to Google and Beekeeping for Dummies.  With my newly acquired knowledge, I can converse on a range of beekeeping topics from Nucs, broods, Varroa destructor and everything in between.  I even know why every beekeeper needs a 12V car battery charger (who knew?).

So, why am I sharing this?  My recent interest in beekeeping has shown me what the future of education will look like.  The process has helped reinforce my project focused learning skills, especially just-in-time learning and has given me a micro-skill (akin to micro-credentials).

The future of learning is likely to include a number of these elements plus anywhere and anytime (that suits you), personalisation, choices (paths) and hands on experience.  Learning how to keep bees has also reinforced my belief that I’m not too old to learn new tricks (I just turned 60)
and that learning can be fun.  Bees are fascinating little things!

In other EdTech news, Tech Futures Lab has started a meetup group Future of Work New Zealand, a great forum for open conversation on this topical subject.  It’s great to see a candid conversation on reshaping the future of New Zealand’s workforce, from four day weeks to the gig economy.  This is a conversation that affects all of us and we should all be engaging in now!  It also segues to the conversation on the Future of Education, which Tech Futures Lab’s sister entity, The Mind Lab, has kicked off with their first events across New Zealand.   Great work Sarah and Francis.

Earlier this month, EdTechNZ, The Mind Lab and Education New Zealand met with a delegation of Education Officials from South Korea.  This was an excellent opportunity to share the experience of bringing technology into education.  It also helped the delegation better understand education in New Zealand and its internationally established values.

This month, I would like to highlight the great work being done locally by Boma.  Boma is a global network supporting leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, youth and changemakers to navigate our rapidly changing world, helping create a better, more sustainable and human centred future for us all.  This fits well within the four pillars of sustainability (social, human, economic and environmental) which increasingly more businesses are supporting alongside government. Sustainability was also a common thread of conversation at last week’s NZTech Board strategy planning day.  It’s encouraging to see social responsibility as a key thread in so many conversations.

As always, welcome to all of our new members and I look forward to working with you all.

Ngā mihi
Shane Kerr
Vice Chair

PS: I need the battery charger to weld wax backing sheets onto the wires of the frames that bees build the wax comb on for breeding and honey production!

EdTechNZ EdTechNZ is the voice of EdTech in New Zealand, supporting the growth of the sector. Our purpose is to drive the creative use of technology, inside and outside the classroom, for better student outcomes. We aim to facilitate a world class education system for all New Zealanders and showcase local EdTech to the world.