Maths skills not great, listening poor

I gave my Year 13 class a quick Maths test as part of a lesson on testing (and a secret test on listening). They were asked to email me in the subject line two numbers z and c representing their answers…

x=36;y=3;z = x/y; print(z) ie 36/3 = 12
a=23;b=16;c=b-a; print(c) ie 16-23= -7

I gave then 60 seconds more or less…. the results were;

81% got the first question correct. 57% got the second question correct. Only 14% followed instructions regarding how to present answers correctly.

Not great.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Self management needs to start early

I was asked by a parent for some comments about self management skills. My reply incorporated the following… (future employers would expect no less). It is surprising how challenging students find self management.

… good self management leads to better grades and less stress. It allows students to take control of their work/life balance.

Things I expect to see from a student with good self management:

  • Diary or calendar showing future assessments, commitments etc.
  • Proactive  finding out what work is due and when… both formative and summative assessments.
  • Have “friends/peers” to take notes when away – organise someone
  • Plan in detail for one week, less detail for one month.
  • Identify what could go wrong and have a plan if things do go wrong ie getting sick, Internet down…
  • Not  wasting valuable class time – be productive.
  • Working without supervision both at home and school.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Local businesses Datacom, Catalyst and IITP supporting WEGC

Following extract from Education Gazette. Support from the business community remains an important component of teaching their future employees…
“WEGC enjoys a close friendship with the wider technology industry, including local information technology firm Datacom, which donates a cash prize for the top year 13 digital technology student each year.
The professional association for IT workers, IT Professionals (NZ), donates a cup to the top student each year, and representatives from open source software company Catalyst visit to speak to students each year.
It is these relationships that lend richness to the digital technologies curriculum at the school.”
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

GOVIS 2017 presentation

I am giving a talk at the GOVIS 2017 conference in Wellington next June. The title of my talk is Stories from the front line – teaching your future employees.

It has been awhile since I spoke at GOVIS – should be fun.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Education Gazette feature on Digital Technologies at WEGC

Digital technologies teacher Edwin Bruce says a key defining factor in the school’s approach to the subject is its commitment to open source software (OSS), alongside the Google, Microsoft and Adobe suites. Both he and co-head of department Cris Roughton believe the use of OSS not only mirrors what is being done in many areas of the IT industry, but also fits nicely within the wider ethos of education.

Source: Nice article in latest edition of the Ed Gazette.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Protest organiser Mia Faiumu, a year 13 student at Wellington East Girls’ College, said the protest – which so far has 250 interested attendees – was originally planned to take place outside Wellington College but was moved in the interests of safety after she said students online threatened “jokingly” to run over protesters.

I applaud the efforts of Mia Faiumu, and hopefully no foolish retaliations are planned by the boys colleges. I wonder if the Police will be present. I also wonder to what extent other colleges are thinking with respect to Wellington Boys College “There but for the grace of God go I”. I am also aware of some of the material posted by senior girls – not so great either…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Survey: Most New Zealanders want Te Reo Maori to be compulsory learning???

Attitudes towards te reo Māori are changing, and most New Zealanders want Māori language to be compulsory learning in schools, according to a new survey.


On further investigation I note that: The pop-up survey was completed by 5,391 visitors to the Te Aka Māori-English Dictionary online. Conducted in partnership with the Māori Language Commission, the survey sought to gather data on how the online dictionary is used, the language proficiency of users and attitudes towards te reo Māori.

Could be a little bias I suspect. I don’t have a view either way but draw your own conclusions on the validity of this survey and whether or not the headline is misleading.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment