Nethui 2013


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Nethui 2013 was an exciting and whirlwind three days. I am so glad I was there.


1. Education Forum. Although we had no girls attend the day was fascinating and young people give me great hope for our future.

2. Quinn Norton, as key note speaker on Feral Communities. Read Bill Bennett’s summary here.

3. Karen Meluish Spencer and I facilitated a session on Open Networks and Networked Learning. See more here including the collaborative notes from the session.

4. Russell Burt from Point England School his ideas for “Re-tooling School”.

5. The general chat and buzz about how to use the Internet for a more prosperous and sustainable New Zealand Inc. It’s a challenge but judging by the conversation, a number of us are up for it.


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National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Symposiu

This month I attended the Symposium with a special focus on developing literacy and numeracy in adults. The keynote speech from Timote Vaioleti was outstanding. He asks some tough questions, including how do we ensure everyone belongs, and how can we create and sustain hope. 

National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Symposium

Ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama – Enquiry, experimentation and creativity.

Dates: 27 and 28 June 2013

Theme: ‘Embedded Literacy and Numeracy in Practice and Research’

Keynote address

Dr Timote Vaioleti, School of Māori & Pacific Development / Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato

Plenary sessions

Re-tooling for learning in changing times.
Robyn Baker, Director, New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER)
Embedding critical numeracy in practice and research.
Dr Keiko Yasukawa, University of Technology, Sydney
“But you might ask a painter to teach literacy and numeracy…”
Rachel Bulliff, Kushla Glover, Ritchie Howard and Arnie Kumar from the Department of Corrections; and Graeme Smith, Adult Literacy & Education Consulting (ALEC) Limited
Inaugural International Literacy Day Winner’s Address.
Bronwyn Yates, Te Tumuaki (CEO), Literacy Aotearoa Inc.
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Teaching the teachers

Earlier in the year, I was involved in the King Abdullah Scholarship programme to train graduates for teaching in Saudi Arabia. Polytehnics International New Zealand created this video to tell the story of a student on the programme.


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Take charge of your learning

“The stepladder is gone, and there is not even an implied structure of an industry’s rope ladder.  It’s more like vines, and you bring your own machete.  You don’t know what you’ll be doing next or whether you’ll work in a private office, or one big ampitheater or out of your house.”  – Peter Drucker: Managing in Times of Great Change.


In my role as an academic developer I have noticed a couple of key trends over the last five year. Firstly, everyone is busy doing their own thing, and few have time or inclination to develop and support others.  Managers have so many conflicting demands that their time for coaching and mentoring is short. They have little time to spend developing their staff, even if this might be the activity that brings the greatest return on investment. (I have some thoughts on what managers need to be learning, but I will leave that to another post).

Secondly, there is so much information, activities and experiences packed into one year, that most employees are wholly overwhelmed and over worked.  I am looking for solutions, that help employees to learn, and that also collate and curate all the information, experiences and activities that take place on daily basis. Employees need processes that manage and record their time and activities so they are aware of what are the most difficulty tasks they have to deal with, what are most frequent, and important. Whatever tools used to manage this process have to be easy to integrate into daily professional life.  

Jane Hart, has just written on a similar theme, and I encourage you to read her post. The Future belongs to those who take charge of their own learning.   

Documenting my work: I have found Evernote by far the best tool to capture activities, experiences and reflections on a day by day basis. I use the clipper tool to clip from the Internet, the notes to jot down ideas, reflections, and experiences, the photo tool to record the moment, and the voice recorder to catch ideas when in the car. I use the tags liberally, to curate my activities, and I keep a notebook called “Day Book”. This used to be a feature of all large offices and organisations. A place to record key events of the day, absences, leave, visitors, etc. Through analysis of the Day Book I can see clearly, the most difficult, important and frequent activities I undertake. 

Reviewing my learning: To curate my own learning, I use a posterous site, as a portfolio. You can see the showcase version here.  Behind the public face is a much messier developmental space.  It is a private space holding all my great ideas that have yet to see the light of day, half finished projects, reflections, articles and activities I have been involved in. This portfolio demonstrates my achievements and my learning. It clearly shows what I can do, and it integrates with other places where my professional self can be found, LinkedIn, Twitter, and my own website.  You can hear more about me and my portfolio in the Slideshare presentation below. It only takes five minutes to find out how our manage and control my online presence. 

Both of these tools fit easily into my daily life. I have Evernote on my phone, so I can add thoughts, and reminders while sitting waiting at the dentist or in a cafe. Nothing is wasted or lost. At performance review time, I can look back on a last year, and pull out my key activities and achievements. When looking for another position, I have my key skills at my finger tips. 

I am interested to hear, how others curate their own learning, and keep track of their work. So please do share. And if you are interested in what managers need to be learning, I am working on that post next!

Related Reading:

The Post-Capitalist Executive: An Interview with Peter F. Drucker

“Topgrading”: it’s possible to be talented AND be an effective team player





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Graduate Capabilities


In our roles as academic advisers we find programme development teams need support and resources to update their graduate profiles to ensure graduate success and relevance to the workplace, the profession or vocation. Key to a programme graduate profile is a strong focus on alternative forms of learning in which students attributes and capability are at the forefront.  Programmes with a strong attribute and capability element focus on what students are able to “do” and “be”.


To assist teachers to develop strong student capabilities in their programme of study we have created a set of resources for programme development teams to consider as they focus on the future of their programmes of study. We have selected these themes based on recent research into graduate capabilities in New Zealand, Australia, and around the world.  You may want to include all or some of the capabilities in your graduate profile, and you may want to give greater emphasis to some of the capabilities than others. Each of the themes will need to be tailored to the unique characteristics of the programme of study.


Statements of graduate capabilities typically focus on the skills, characteristics and knowledge graduates require for effective participation in the workplace. They may also demonstrate an institution’s commitment to ethics, social justice, equity, accessibility, environmental sustainability and internationalisation. Read more….

There are a range of interesting perspectives on developing graduate capabilities. Read more….


The purpose of capabilities is to engage students in their learning through relevance and preparation for graduate success.  Engaged students are happier, and more successful in their studies.  Good teaching will encourage and support student engagement by ensuring each programme of study, course and assessment includes a detailed, consistent and strategic programme design articulated through a graduate profile.  Well designed graduate profiles provide a foundation for a programme and graduate success in the first five years of work.


Each of the following themes is designed to develop student attributes and capabilities.


Information Skills

Inclusive leadership


Professional Skills

Legal Astuteness

Enhanced Learning

Effective communication

Thinking skills

Global connectedness

Discipline studies

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Academic Identities Conference June 2012


Last week I attended the Academic Identities Conference at the University of Auckland Epsom 


I was interested in the conference because in my work with teachers, curriculum development and communities of practice how teachers see themselves is critical to their performance.

The keynote speakers were all interesting and inspiring. Sandra Acker, University of Toronto, Canada, Dr Eva Bendix Petersen, University of Newcastle, Australia and Dr Melinda Weber, University of Auckland presented different and interesting perspectives on academic identities, their formation and their fluidity.

The papers presented were interesting, and as ever it was great to catch up with old colleagues and meet new ones.

Ed, Hazel and I presented a paper Thinking, researching and living in a virtual professional development community of practice


Powerpoint presentation

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Try Yammer for connecting your workplace

Hi everyone, 


remember I was telling you about how Yammer can connect all of Unitec staff, and help them communicate in smaller groups.


There is more information here, about how it works, and the potential that lies within the tool.


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