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March Newsletter – Education to Employability

Ngā mihi Readers,

I’m loving these cooler Autumn days, but I’m not so sure my bees think the same. They are slowing down in preparation for the cooler months. I’m pleased to say that this side project has gone well, despite a few hiccups which included the early loss of my Queen (long live my new Queen)!

Last week I attended Xero’s Bridging the Gap – Education to Employability event and in February, Tin100’s Filling the Talent Gap. There are some common themes, namely: the disconnect between the skills the industry needs and what education seems to be delivering, as well as the lack of a central place to go to find out what’s happening and how to connect into the ecosystem. With this in mind, EdTechNZ is in the process of forming a working group that focuses on skills, as well as the role of technology in bridging the gap and augmenting skills development. If you want to be part of this, please let us know.

Joins us on Wednesday 3 April in Auckland for EdTechNZ’s first meetup of the year. The conversation will focus on how digital tools can help students achieve industry relevant skills and qualifications. We’re planning to showcase a real world example and then throw it to the floor to explore further.

In May, Conferenz will be holding their 2019 STEAM Education Summit. Last year it was a sell out and looking at this years topics, case studies and speakers, it may well be again. This year’s chair, Nick Pattison, has inspired me in the past with some great use cases in bringing technology into the curriculum and truly inspiring his students. Members of EdTechNZ are eligible for a discount on the cost of registration for the Summit. Please contact us for your discount code.

On a quieter note, it’s hard not to say something about the recent events in Christchurch, but there is also little to say that hasn’t already been said, and said well. Christchurch is kind of my second home, having lived there on and off over my adult life, my heart goes out to all affected, as I’m sure is the same for all Kiwis – This Is Not Who We Are!

Kia Kaha Aotearoa (stay strong New Zealand)

Shane Kerr 


Join EdTechNZ and TechWomen on 13 June in Wellington, 20 June in Auckland and 26 June in Christchurch to discuss how diversity can be achieved in the technology sector. Registrations open soon.

Learn about Taking Tech to the USA at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand. Hear how music education risks being outdated by technology.

AMY, an AI-based tool which is the first of its kind in New Zealand, allows New Zealand secondary school students to access a mathematics tutor 24/7.

Could facial recognition technology be used to monitor school attendance? A facial recognition trial at tertiary providers could lead to wider use in New Zealand schools.

Apply now for Screenrights 2019 Cultural Fund. Last year’s winners included an app to increase access for culturally significant Indigenous material; and a collaborative live experience to tour schools with interactive content.

Join Canterbury Tech’s Memorial Event on 2 April, with special tribute to Atta Elayyan and Syed Jahandad Ali.

Former Government Chief Digital Officer Colin MacDonald has been named as the new Chair of Crown Company Network for Learning (N4L).

Sign up before 31 May to receive the earlybird discount to the uLearn 19 Conference, this October in Rotorua. This year’s themes include Citizenship, Disruption and Innovation.

Bill Gates said that Artificial Intelligence is “both promising and dangerous”, so to ensure it is beneficial we should put AI to work improving health and education.

Find out why it’s time EdTech conferences stopped ignoring equity and race.

Learn how EdTech is getting smarter.

The finalists for the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards are being announced tonight. Secure your tickets for the Gala Dinner on 24 May in Auckland, during Techweek19.

Check out #ISTE2019, 23-26 June in Philadelphia.

Learn how VR is changing online education.

Travel to EdTechXEurope 2019 in London, 18 June. Connecting over 900 investors, innovators and influencers from education companies globally. Later that month attend London EdTech Week 18–25 June, 2019.

Join AgriTech New ZealandBIOTechNZ and the New Zealand IoT Alliance at the April Tech Alliance 2019 event series to hear experts from each sector discuss connected capital.

Curious about Virtual and Augmented Reality? Meet ProjectR’s Jessica Manins at the Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s Tech Disrupters on 3 April in Wellington. Tech Alliance members receive a 20% discount.

Researchers at the University of Auckland are seeking participants for a multimedia science public communication study. Complete the 15 minute survey to go into the draw to win a $100 gift voucher.

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.