Kia ora Readers,
I am excited that EdTechNZ’s first working group, the Digital Skills Working Group, is officially up and running and we are now working with external stakeholders to further our objectives. The primary purpose of the working group is to help solve the digital skills gap by demonstrating the effective educational technologies (tools, platforms and pedagogies) that work best for schools, tertiary learning and workforce training. The focus is on 21st century learning and skills, coupled with technology’s role in augmenting education.
The working group will look at creative ways to showcase stories that demonstrate how the effective use of educational technologies can minimise the digital skills gap. If you have a success story that you would like to share, please let us know.
One of the challenges in this space is that educational institutions are playing catch-up in terms of utilising technology in the most efficient ways to adapt to the current climate. Education is moving inexorably towards personalised learning experiences and away from the one size fits all model. Technology is one of the tools that will not only make this possible, but has the opportunity to ensure that no one gets left behind. Technology can (and should) support thinking, rather than traditional rote learning, while at the same time providing a platform for learners to collaborate which still can measure individual contribution. We need to achieve this while ensuring that this tech doesn’t impose an additional burden on the educator; tech should, in fact, make educators’ jobs easier.
If you would like to be on the Digital Skills Working Group, it’s not too late to join. Please email us. There will also be more EdTechNZ working groups being established in the future.
In other news, the Future of Learning conference (30 September – 1 October in Christchurch) has extended the sale of early bird tickets until 31 July. The conference is broad in its coverage, spanning traditional education (primary, secondary and tertiary) as well as business, government and community groups, so it should appeal to a wide demographic.
Are you an innovative EdTech start-up? The New Zealand Software Association (NZSA) are hosting their annual An Angel at My Table pitching event in Auckland in August. This is a rare opportunity to practice you pitch in front of three experienced angel investors as well as a live audience. Entries close on the 31 July so you need to get in quick – this is usually the NZSA’s biggest event of the year and is always a sell out!
Congratulations to the Tahi Rua Toru Tech team for winning the Engaging New Zealand in ICT award at the recent CIO Summit Awards. Tahi Rua Toru Tech is a great initiative which supports teachers in delivering digital education, so it is wonderful to see them get the recognition they deserve.
That’s it from me this week.
EVENTS AND NEWS
The five ShadowTech days held around New Zealand in June gave over 400 girls the chance to experience tech careers, with many surprised to learn that tech careers are about more than just coding.
Technology is key to removing barriers to learning for people living with disabilities.
Applications for the Callaghan Innovation R&D Experience Grants are open until 31 August. The programme funds a 10 week internship for undergraduate or postgraduate students during the summer break.
Registrations are now open for the Canterbury Tech Summit. Plus, join Canterbury Tech on 13 August to discuss digital transformation.
There are five questions investors will ask you before investing in your Edtech startup.
Robots are teaching language skills, but are they any good?
Read how women created some of the world’s biggest education tech companies.
The AI Forum is hosting a discussion on increasing AI adoption in New Zealand tonight in Wellington and 30 July in Auckland.
Join Tech Future Labs for their Mental Health Symposium on 31 July which looks at how we can use technology to tackle the mental health crisis.
Attend Massey’s ecentre Innovation Showcase 2019 on 8 August in Auckland.
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