The innovation stream – interdisciplinary innovation at Howick College

Student’s choose to go into Innovation Stream (other options are Sport in Education, Learning Support etc)

Focus on the 6 C’s which is the content. Context are the subjects e.g. Maths, Science etc.

Similar structure to TBC’s Inquiry programme (15/25 hours in IS). A term per unit: Eg Housing Crisis, Transport and Technology, Future of food and food systems, Colony development.

No Learning Intentions or Success Criteria, each session starts with a Learning Spark.

Some push back from other subject areas about content coverage in the Innovation Stream.

Reporting involves the 6C’s as well content assessment.

Neat idea for designing a lander and a rover for an ‘eggstranaut’. Needed to survive a 7 m drop then roll down a ramp. Had to do physics calculations etc.

Edge projects (Living on the Edge of one’s competencies)  – similar to passion projects.


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GetGame: Fostering collaborative learning in a gameful context

Workshop notes

Presented by Bron Stuckey

Link to collaborative notes and  collaborative slides 


Examples of games:

Get Game Hub – sharing teacher stories about using games in classrooms

Key takeaway – learning should be FUN!

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Keynote by Eric Mazur-Innovating education to educate innovators

Lecturing hasn’t changed much in hundreds of years. Transmission. Delivering information. But knowledge is something that has to be constructed in the brains of the learners.

The process of learning:

  1. Transfer of information (in class)
  2. Assimilation of the information (out of class) This is what teachers should focus on

So then in class teach by questioning, rather than by telling (that what Socrates did…)

Peer learning-beginning learner has more empathy with someone who doesn’t understand than the teacher who has understood for years. The learning takes place in the discussion.

Benefits of cognitive dissonance to gain understanding of difficult concepts.

Flip the learning – get the info before the lesson:

  1. Video-pace set by video, passive
  2. Reading-learner sets the pace, more active

Perusall-social learning platform where teacher uploads text for students to read before lesson. Students can add questions and annotations and the platform has some algorithms that track student engagement and completion.

Who owns the learning? Alan November

Link to presentation


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CLA Leading Change workshop

When it rains, it pours for PL in Tauranga. This is the second session this week put on by CORE education. Hosted at Tahatai Coast School, we started being welcomed at a brief powhiri by a group of students (I managed to remember most of the words to ‘Te Aroha‘ in response…). The Principal gave a short greeting and was being followed around by a student who looked like he was being Principal for a day.

I met Teresa from Tarawera College in the morning and along with Jason from Greenpark and Andre from Tahatai Coast, had some productive conversations during the day.

Link to workshop presentation.

The first task was to look at Change leadership. Sometimes, this is like herding cats:

Started off by looking as aspects of Tu Rangatira with a short matching activity which splits up leadership into the following aspects:

  1. He Kaitiaki  – Guardian
  2. He Kaiwhakarite – Manager
  3. He Kanohi Matara – Visionary
  4. He Kaiako – Teacher/Learner
  5. He Kaimahi – Worker
  6. He Kaikōtuitui – Networker
  7. He Kaiarataki – Advocate

So driving change is hard. This quote from Michael Fullan provides some guidance:

‘The only way to close the achievement gap for all students is to drive change at all schools. No exceptions. But change is such a huge idea – where do you start?

The three critical imperatives:

  • create great leaders
  • stop boring students
  • drive change from the middle out rather than the top down.’


To investigate change further, each group did a jigsaw activity based on four models of change leadership – Fullan, Cynefin, Kotter, and Tu Rangatira. I had Kotter’s 8 steps to investigate and present.

So, a bit similar to this idea of the three carriages for leading innovation. I had a crack at making a quick Powtoon to feedback this model to my group.

Here’s a link to the padlet where each groups shared their presentations.

So then, how to lead change? Well, don’t underestimate the power of the first follower.

Now having an understanding about leading change and collaboration, we move to linking in with digital tools. A good place to start was to think about inviting people to a party. How do we get people to come?

  • Send invites
  • What is the purpose of the party?
  • Welcome people at the door
  • Recognise every individual
  • Engage in conversation

Moving to the digital tool, think of a Black box. If we want digital tools to support this collaboration, what are the features that will support collaboration? Here’s a link to my template which was a useful way of helping think of suitable tools.

Some new tools to try:

  • Flipgrid: student responses by video
  • Yammer: communication tool similar to Slack
  • Wix: Easily create great looking websites
  • Weebly: another tool for free websites
  • Flask: Simple to do lists you can share.
  • Today’s meet: Online discussion tool
  • brainstorming/mind mapping
  • Draw Toast: Problem solving activity with resources.
  • Game storming: an approach to developing innovative ideas.




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CORE Digitech Roadshow

CORE Eduction were hosting a free day with a focus on the draft Digital Technology curriculum. Hosted at the new ACG Tauranga, the day began with a keynote by Mike Walmsley of Code Avengers. Mike again reinforced the potential of the IT industry in NZ for creating jobs for our students in the near future and how important being exposed to digital experiences is throughout the education.

Here’s a link to the day’s collaborative notes with some additional take outs for me below.

Breakout 1 – Design Thinking with Nicki Tempero

Have blogged about this before and this session presented the 5 steps in a slightly different fashion.

  • Link to the presentation
  • Filtering the ideas: Safe bet, Long shot, Darling
  • Feedback on the pitch: Rose (Positive), Bud (Opportunity), Thorn (Challenge)


Breakout 2: Coding and Robotics

Final breakout was a walkthrough of Code avengers – a site initially designed to support on line learning for NCEA Digital Technology curriculum.

Made a connection with Tessa Gray  and joined up to CORE’s Edspace, and a couple of VLN groups. On one of the posts, found this video which resonated with me about the challenge for schooling in the 21st Century.


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