Digiops newsletter May 2005
Welcome to the second online DigiOps newsletter. We’re into May and for many project participants that means the first round of milestone reports are due. In this issue:
Thanks from Garry
Two new projects
New website feature
Ultralab South name change
Milestone reports are an important component of the projects, and provide both the Ministry and those responsible for the Digiops project with the opportunity to assess progress towards goals and objectives. They also allow the findings of project to be made available in a format which will enable others not directly involved to learn from them, and benefit from the case studies and models which are produced.
The Milestone reports are read by the Digital Opportunities project manager, and form the basis for a post-milestone discussion during which project goals and outcomes are revisited, and programmes of work for the next Milestone period collaboratively developed.
Thanks from Garry
With the project ‘launch season’ almost over and with the first term of most projects completed, I would like to thank you all for the tremendous efforts you have put in to make sure that DigiOps (2005-07) has got off to a very smooth start. It has been wonderful travelling around to the project launches and meeting all of you, and I have been tremendously impressed with your obvious passion and belief in what you are doing, and the benefits for your students and communities.
A big thank you also to the BOT members and other ‘support folk’ who have looked after catering and other logistics at the launches, and to the children who have been involved in the powhiri and demonstrations which have helped make the occasions so memorable.
Also to the business partners who have been so supportive of the projects - a big thanks to you all. Your support through the wonderful array of technologies and wealth of experience you have brought to the projects, has helped to develop a very solid foundation which can be built on as the projects roll out over the next three years.
I hope to be able to get around and see how things are going in most projects during June and July after the first Milestones have been submitted, but if you have any suggestions on how things could be improved for you in the interim, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
Keep up the great work.
Two new projects
Tech Angels and The Tuhoe Digital Heritage projects have joined the DigiOps family.
Wellington Girls’ College Tech Angels turns the traditional teacher-student role on its head, and has the technology-savvy students giving teachers lessons in ICT.
Tech Angels began at WGC back in 2001 and was designed to fill the gap between teachers’ ICT professional development needs and the lack of ICT staff available to take the training. By coming under the DigiOps umbrella, the Tech Angels concept can be refined and a model developed that could be used to inform the development of similar programmes in other schools.
Also new to DigiOps is the Tuhoe Digital Heritage project. The project aims to preserve and pass on Tuhoe history by creating a series of engaging cultural heritage digital stories for Year 7 and 8 students.
Through historical and new research information, the digital stories will be produced as DVDs and in web format, using a range of text, graphical, video and audio media.
Workshops and seminars will be held by a Tuhoe Education Authority facilitator to ensure a base of expertise is developed in the making of web-based or multimedia digital stories and learning resources, within the Tuhoe community. The project runs for a year and starts this month. More information on the project will be available on the website soon.
Some projects have gained the attention of the news media over the past couple of months. The Forests of Life project did really well and featured on One News over Easter, and received column inches in the Manawatu Standard and Rotorua’s Daily Post.
A One News story about the progress of the CHaOS project at Brooklyn School is due to air early next term, and the MOTIS project has presented a wonderful opportunity to raise its profile. It involves graphic calculators, data logging equipment, rugby balls and a couple of All Blacks. I have spoken with One News and funnily enough they’re keen as mustard to trek out to Wainuiomata High School to cover the story! Filming is tentatively down for mid-May.
All and any coverage of the projects is great as we want to raise the profile of all them. Just a reminder that if you come into contact with the media in relation to your project, could you please remember to mention Digital Opportunities and the website (www.digiops.org.nz). If you need any help with the media or want some media contacts, I’m more than happy to help.
New feature on the website
In the coming weeks there will be the addition of an interactive map of New Zealand on the DigiOps home page. Dragging your mouse over a region names the project or projects going on in that area, conversely dragging your mouse over a project name panel to the side of the map, highlights the region or regions where that project is underway.
Now that the launch season is over, I am heading out to meet the teachers and students involved in the DigiOps projects. The sole purpose of my travels is to get stories! So from this month, armed with my stills and video camera, laptop, trusty pad and pen, I’ll be in Rotorua and heading north to Hamilton. A week later I’m off to Northland to see how Project DISE and our Community Technicians are doing. Late May, early June it’s the South Island’s turn and I have tentative plans to get to Invercargill and the West Coast. June/July I’m looking at the Central North Island. However, you don’t have to wait for me to come and visit you. If you have something that you think might be good, please get on the phone and let me know, I can then either do a phone interview or possibly jump on a plane and come and visit.
CORE blimey, a name change!
Research Evaluation partner, Ultralab South, has changed its name CORE Education Ltd. But it’s business as usual for researchers Michael Winter, Ann Trewern and Hasan Toubat, who are providing evaluative research material for the eight projects CORE Education monitor.
Michael, who has been travelling around some of the projects, reports that the first round of teacher interviews has been carried out, and overall the projects appear to be progressing well with lots of innovative and interesting work going on.
He says the team are impressed at how the technology is being used but are even more impressed by “people’s openness and candour in discussing their projects, which in many case are the fruits of passionate commitment over several years”.
Thanks and I hope you enjoy this edition of the Digiops newsletter - Jane Thomson, editor.
The Digital Opportunities (DigiOps) projects joint partnerships between schools, organisations involved in ICT Ministry of Education. The aim is to improve learning through the innovative use of leading edge technologies.