Friday, 22 February 2008

TaraNet eHui

Many of our TaraNet students, eteachers and vc coordinators met at Waitara High School today to prepare themselves for the year ahead. Students from Waitara, Inglewood and Coastal VCed with Year 12 students Rowan & Jacob from Roxborough Area School to hear from these seasoned elearners about the positive & challenging experiences of VC learning. Our students were pretty shy about asking questions even though we had spent some time earlier discussing through a PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) their ideas about what elearning was all about. The Roxborough boys made lively discussion as they spun out the conversation to avoid returning to their classes, this social encounter really helped make our students feel more at ease with the technology & ‘being on TV’. I had originally scheduled for one of our own past students, Douglas (I managed to track him down through his Bebo site), to VC in from the MOE office in Wellington but unfortunately the timing of the Vic University orientation programme clashed.
Two of our students spent some face to face time with their Te Reo teacher Matua Rangiroa and VCed with the rest of their class of CoroNet students from Whangamata, Mercury Bay & Te Aroha. The Level 1 Te Reo class is our largest with 11 students ranging from Year 9 through to Year 12. We also spent time making sure that everyone was using their school zone email, looking at our cluster website and accessing their classes on other websites.
We currently have 59 enrolments through the TaraNet campus – 37 Taranaki students and 22 from other parts of New Zealand. Only 4 Taranaki students have Taranaki teachers. This trend is similar to last year’s and shows a higher degree of collaboration happening with other clusters particularly for us the North Island clusters of Volcanics, CoroNet, Welcom & FarNet. We are also getting more efficient at ‘horse trading’ between clusters (getting students into classes) and classes are starting a lot more promptly at the beginning of the year as by Week 3 almost all of our students had already had their first class & met their teachers.
We have a great group of students all keen and excited to have the opportunity to learn in the different ways that elearning brings. I know that with support of their schools & whanau they will do really well this year.
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