Census project failure – where was the oversight function?

I made some brief comments regarding the census failure a few months ago. I was quite interested to read the Report of the Independent Review of New Zealand’s 2018 Census

At the State Services Commission (many years ago), I was involved in the establishment of the New Zealand Gateway program. “Gateway is an assurance methodology for major investments which was developed by the United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in 2001. It is an independent and confidential peer review process that examines projects and programmes at key points in their lifecycles to assess their progress and to rate the likelihood of successful delivery of their outcomes.” Refer here for more details.

It seems the Gateway process has failed in this situation or did it? I have placed an OIA with Treasury for a copy of the Gateway reports. It will be interesting to see if they release them. For the time being the census project delivers up many teaching points in the classroom.

In the meantime, I recommend reading Grant Avery’s commentary “Does Treasury’s Gateway Review process need to be more accountable?

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Peppa Pig? I don’t get it

To be found in various parts of the college including the front of my classroom. The students seem to find it hilarious, maybe there has been a focus on wearing the school tie recently and this is an appropriate student response. I have no idea why and that is probably a good thing.

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Another OIA request declined this time the Real Estate Institute

I was hoping to use the real estate agents register in the classroom as an authentic database… sadly not. Read the full text here.

Pretty useless having a public register that is not public in the fullest sense of the word.

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Times Have Changed – a Chief Information Office in Schools is now Essential

For the first time in a while, I will be talking at a conference of IT professionals (ITx Rutherford October 2019) rather than teachers. I will be speaking and attending as an employee of Wellington Esat Girls College who are supporting my attendance. My talk will build on the following…

The role of a Chief Information Officer is typically associated with larger organizations. Given many schools typically have over 100 staff and 1,000 students with at least two devices each and the increasing reliance on ICT services to deliver learning I believe the role of a CIO is essential. WEGC has established such a role over the last 14 months and coupled with outsourcing IT service delivery, dealing with information stewardship and looking to access authentic government data for curriculum delivery some lessons have been learned and a few questions raised.

Attending the conference also affords the opportunity to hear new ideas and learn from others. Should be fun.

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Oh no a tree, better put a cone up…

Seen on a public track next to the zoo. Not sure why the cones are needed. Does this tree present a risk?

I feel I need to place a cone in front of the computers at school. After all, they constitute a much greater and tangible threat around sight, back pain, wrist fatigue, hearing, etc… (And I am moderately serious about this.)

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New student offence : cow napping

“There have been reports of many attempted (and one successful) cow-nappings from the hubs”

Great line… first time I have seen it in a formal communication… cow is short for Computers on Wheels, now Computers in Baskets. Students “borrow” them without permission.

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Girls can progarm – why do they choose not to at Senior Secondary levels?

Faced with dropping student numbers I posted the following on a New Zealand DT teachers forum.

We are experiencing a gradual decrease in the numbers of girls doing DT. The perception is that programming, in particular, is too hard, there is too much writing in the subject, Excellence credits are too hard to get, too much work, etc…Ironically at the very time, the Education Sector is looking at strengthing the DT curriculum DT teachers may find themselves teaching other subjects in my case probably Maths. Anyone else noticing a drop…

I had quite an interesting range of responses (more than the usual volume) more or less in agreement.  Some of the reasons hypothesized for this decline, in addition to those cited above include:

  • variability of results for the externals (E level students getting NA)
  • what communities/parents see as important (Still law?)
  • Universities deciding what is important to complete their courses…
  • power of larger subjects to sway timetables and senior leadership decisions, based on historical perceptions
  • maths components making parts of curriculum inaccessible
  • girls preference for design rather than programming…
  • timetables that place all technology options on same teaching lines
  • Careers people that come with their own bias and misinformation

So either brush-up on the Maths or go teach in a boys school???

Actually, there are plenty of other options but these cannot be done in isolation ie management and other subjects (integration) will need to be involved.  Future senior levels also depend on how schools implement the so-called compulsory DT curriculum at Years 9 and 10 – due 2020, but unlikely to happen in many schools.

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