Practical uses of Social Media in Secondary School: some important things to be aware of

Professional Pathways Blog

This blog represents the views of the author and does not represent any official position by FLANZ

Screen showing social media apps

Given how acclimated most students are to some form of social media, it is worth exploring how such tools may benefit their learning journey. Each social media platform offers different opportunities, from simply making classroom announcements to having live synchronous sessions. Social media represents immediacy, or presence, that can make the student feel more in touch, more supported than the traditional discussion board.

Teachers thinking about making use of social media should always know both their institutions’ guidelines and national legislation. School policies may restrict the use of mobile devices in the classroom and national legislation around data protection and privacy needs to be considered.

My last blog outlined some of the broad opportunities and challenges represented by the use of social media in education. In this blog, I Want to focus on the potential benefits of social media for learners and teachers in formal compulsory schooling, particularly secondary. Continue reading “Practical uses of Social Media in Secondary School: some important things to be aware of”

Social Media in Education: big picture, equity and purpose

Professional Pathways Blog

This blog represents the views of the author and does not represent any official position by FLANZ

male hand holding am iphone with social media icons
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Personal communication devices, our smartphones, have become indispensable for many of us. They have undoubtedly opened up opportunities for increased communication and information retrieval. But what about formal education? What place is there for social media tools in schools, colleges, universities and work-based learning?
Continue reading “Social Media in Education: big picture, equity and purpose”

Congratulations 2021 FLANZ Award winners

The FLANZ Award

The FLANZ Award was shared between two equally deserving projects in 2021. As part of the Award recipients are asked to let FLANZ members know how the prize contributed to their research or professional development. We look forward to sharing that with you in the near future. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

Continue reading “Congratulations 2021 FLANZ Award winners”

Placing flexible learning at the heart of vocational education

Invited Contribution

Oonagh McGirr, Deputy Chief Executive for Learning and Teaching Services at Otago Polytechnic and a Director of the Open Education Resource Foundation, currently seconded as Senior Advisor (Quality and Academic) to Te Pūkenga, highlights the opportunities to innovate through new strategies and systems, to place flexible learning at the heart of vocational education.
Continue reading “Placing flexible learning at the heart of vocational education”

Reflecting on a new mode of FLANZ conference

Feedback from the FLANZ 2021Conference has been overwhelmingly positive, thank you. That said, there is still a lot we can do to improve.

Delegates have endorsed the blended approach to conferencing trialled at the FLANZ 2021 Conference.

Feedback from the conference survey has, overall, been very positive. That is not to say we got it right first time. There is much we can do to improve our communications and enhance the scope of the presentations.The most encouraging feedback has been the overwhelming endorsement of the blended conference mode. The approach, which brought together five venues across three online meeting spaces, was a hit with delegates. Feedback also indicates the MC, Greg Ward, was the special factor that brought the concept home. A key learning from this experience has been the importance of dedicated coordination and facilitation for each blended space.

Continue reading “Reflecting on a new mode of FLANZ conference”

FLANZ Annual General Meeting agenda and documents

The 2021 FLANZ AGM will be held on 15 April 2021 at 11:45. Location: Victoria University of Wellington, Kilburn campus. Room AMLT105. The meeting will also be accessible by by video conference.

The FLANZ Executive committee extends a warm welcome to FLANZ members to attend the 2021 Annual General Meeting.

Join us on 15 April, 2021 at 11:45am NZT

The meeting will be held at Victoria University of Wellington, Kilburn campus. Room AMLT105 and will be available for members to join through the Zoom room

Note that this Zoom room is integrated with the FLANZ Conference. When you join us don’t be alarmed if you find yourself enjoying the presentation that precedes the FLANZ AGM.

Meeting documents can be accessed here

We look forward to seeing you there.

Ralph Springett

President, FLANZ.

Registrations close on Monday! Just one week until the FLANZ 2021 Conference.

Registrations for the FLANZ 2021 Conference, in association with Massey University, close on Monday, 12th April at midnight.

Everything is looking great. It is time to register.

Delegates and presenters will soon be provided with details that explain how to join the streams and get the most out of the two days, whether you are presenting, in a face to face environment or on your mobile device. Recordings of all the presentations will be available to all delegates following the conference.

Continue reading “Registrations close on Monday! Just one week until the FLANZ 2021 Conference.”

FLANZ webinar recording: Open Educational Resources (OER)

Join Wayne Mackintosh, the founding director of the OER Foundation, Otago Polytechnic, in this rich discussion about how OERs could widen access to more affordable education.

Webinar recording

The first FLANZ Conversation for 2021 saw Wayne Mackintosh in conversation with Simon Atkinson. Wayne is the UNESCO Chair in OER, and leads the work of the work of the OER Foundation in widening access to more affordable education in support of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

The conversation revolved around the fact that tax payers have already paid for the vast majority of the academic output generated by educators. 

The OER movement believe that asking people to purchase those resources again is wasteful and morally questionable. 

Simon and Wayne discussed the quality issues that often undermine the reuse and repurposing arguments, agreeing that having open systems of peer review, quality badging and professional development all play a part. They both shared anecdotes of working with different subjects and contexts, on the lessons learnt and the challenges that remain.

Wayne finished the conversation by inviting educators from higher education institutions in Aotearoa to join a national collaborative pilot to roll out the ‘Extend’ professional learning suite as an academic development initiative using OER. Details are below.

Capacity building for professional learning

During the session, Wayne, on behalf of the OER Foundation and in partnership with the New Zealand Centre for Open Education Practice (COEP) and Otago Polytechnic, shared an open call to action inviting volunteers from the sector to join in preparing a national pilot of the New Zealand ‘Extend’ capacity-building model for professional learning. 

Volunteers are required to assist with developing quizzes for participation badges and to support New Zealand educators on their digital learning experience during the pilot. This initiative provides a unique opportunity to take part in an innovative collaborative project, while developing participants own knowledge of open educational resources and practices.

If you would like to join our first open planning session to explore opportunities and discuss next steps, please register your interest by completing this online form:


New Zealand Extend

The idea for New Zealand Extend was sparked at the 2019 inaugural OER Symposium of the New Zealand Centre for Open Education Practice, when Keynote speaker Dr David Porter, then CEO of eCampusOntario, talked about the ‘Ontario Extend’ professional development suite. This was developed to build capacity in digital fluency for educators and the ability to make informed choices about the use of technology-enabled learning tools. The EXTEND model is grounded in the belief that learning to teach effectively with technology requires an experiential learning approach.

Leveraging the open nature of Ontario Extend, Otago Polytechnic successfully completed a small internal pilot and feedback from the first New Zealand Extend badge awardee, Graham Philps, speaks for itself:

The content is simple, but leads to complex thought; the themes are familiar but the scope for self-enquiry huge; the activities are fun but serve the serious purpose of reminding why we do what we do. What’s not to love!

Through this national collaboration, we hope to expand options for earning badges for participation, and promote wider reuse and adoption of this open professional development opportunity, hence the call for volunteers.   

FLANZ 2021 Conference Programme

The FLANZ 2021 Conference, in association with Massey University, is please to issue the conference programme. Spaces are limited for the face to face option at Victoria University of Wellington – register now to avoid missing out.

The FLANZ 2021 Conference programme

The FLANZ 2021 Conference Programme sets out the speakers and presentations in a clear format to ensure you will be in the right place at the right time. The most up to date version will be available online here:

Joining Zoom sessions

Delegates will be provided with access keys to the Zoom channels. When delegates join they will be muted, but there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions towards the end of each session.

The FLANZ 2021 Conference Blended model

There will be a ‘Plenary’ Zoom channel and two ‘presentation’ channels. The plenary channel acts as the common room for the conference. The plenary channel provides messages and information as well as the welcome, keynote ad sponsors presentations. 

Delegates experience

Delegates (and presenters) start each day in the plenary channel, broadcast from the auditorium at Victoria University of Wellington. Greg Ward, our MC, sets the scene, keeps us on track and introduces keynotes. When the time comes for moving to the ‘presentation’ channels, directions are given.

Delegates onsite will move between rooms, those online may switch zoom channels. In some cases there may be a live presentation, in others, the Zoom channels will connect the presenter to the main venue, satellites and those engaging remotely.

Presenters experience

The presenter may be onsite (main venue or satellite room) or presenting remotely. Presenters are asked to arrive in the webinar channel (or room if presenting from Victoria University of Wellington) 5 minutes ahead of their scheduled time. They then present, and answer questions after their presentation has finished.

Registration for satellite venues now open.

Delegates are invited to register for attendance at satellite venues: Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

Once registered, delegates will receive confirmation and, closer to the event, we will be in touch to ensure you have the information you need. 

Asha Kanwar, keynote speaker, registration for satellite venues, final days of early bird pricing, notice of AGM.

The FLANZ 2021 Conference, in association with Massey University, is proud to introduce keynote speaker Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning.

Asha Kanwar: Flexible futures for education in a post-covid world 

Distance and online learning became the only means for many educational institutions to keep the doors of learning open during covid 19. For some, this was an entirely new experience and uncharted territory. In light of these experiences, what kind of flexible futures do we need so that no one is left behind?

Education must address the needs of society as a whole, with tangible positive impacts on the world. What can we do differently? A successful outcome of education today is the acquisition of skills and competencies. A flexible future would go beyond that to empowering individuals not just to be prepared for change but to also shape the course of that change. Nothing short of a radical change in mindset would lead to flexible futures. 

Registration for satellite venues now open.

Delegates are invited to register for attendance at satellite venues: Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

Once registered, delegates will receive confirmation and, closer to the event, we will be in touch to ensure you have the information you need. 

Final days of early bird pricing for FLANZ 2021 Conference 

Registration costs will go from $120 (2 days, online attendance) to $140 on 18 March 2021. Please let your network know. It’s just a month to the conference!

Notice of AGM and call for nominations 

FLANZ is calling for nominations for the following roles.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Committee members (multiple)

Download the nomination form here.

Please forward your completed nomination form to FLANZ Secretary, Simon Atkinson

Please note:

  • If you have an interest we can help with a nominator and a seconder. All you need to do is put your name and contact details on the form, send it to us and we will get back to you.
  • Nominations must be with the Administrator by 01 April 2021.
  • To be elected to an executive position you must be at the AGM meeting (online or in person).

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of FLANZ

The AGM will be held online via Zoom at on Thursday 12 April at 12:00 noon.

  1. Adoption of the minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of FLANZ.
  2. Adoption of the President’s Annual Report.
  3. Adoption of the Financial Report for the year ended 31 March 2021.
  4. Election of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary, and other elected members of the FLANZ executive.
  5. Appointment of the Auditor.
  6. Any other business.

Supporting documents will be circulated prior to, and available at, the meeting.