- using technology better- NEWSLETTER - ISSUE 11 - 2019

Welcome to this fortnight's newsletter

EduTech - Sydney

The UTB Training team had a great time getting together in Sydney last week to attend EduTech. It's not often we all get to hang out so it was great to spend some time sharing ideas, stories and laughs!

Hanging out with our glow sticks in Darling Harbour

Sam and Mike both presented informative sessions at the Google booth while the rest of the team supported some of our partners, including Sphero and Class VR, at their exhibition booths. We are all pretty excited about the partners that we have and hearing about what is coming next.

It was great to meet so many enthusiastic people, chatting with them all, showcasing fabulous products and sharing ideas on how they could be meaningfully integrated into classroom programmes or community schemes. A few of us even managed to get a tour of the Sydney Google offices. 💥👊😃

Sphero RVR

We were lucky enough to spend a day with Jeremy from the Sphero team (who are based in Colorado). It was great to get a look at the awesome curriculum they are developing which will support teachers to integrate and use Sphero meaningfully. We loved getting to play with the double sided activity mat that they are releasing next month and had a great time using the features of the BOLTS to get our Spheros following and evading each other. Getting hands on with their newest robot (yet to be released!) was pretty great too - you can check out (and pre-order) the very exciting RVR here!

Something to make you think...

How's your relationship with your phone?

This infographic shows the results of some research into how teens and parents are using their phones.

Some really interesting stastics - where do you fall?

Check out the full report here.

A technology time machine

20 most important tech inventions of the past 100 years

Check out this collection of photos and information about tech that changed the world. This resource could make a really great starting point for a lesson about change over time in your classroom.

An understanding of the impact of tech on society is a part of most technology curriculums around the world. Where does it fit into yours?

Ideas for using this....

  • Individually or in groups each student could choose one from the photos and write an argument about why their chosen inventions is THE MOST important - then have a debate.
  • Students could choose tech they use now and investigate how this came about and what other tech made it possible
  • Explore the consequences both positive and negative for changes to tech. Just think about music! No more CD's and cassettes means less of an impact on the environment, but what has been the impact on artists?

Noteworthy blogs...

Custom Response Validation in Google Forms

By using response validation in Google Forms you can easily collect data in the exact format you want. You can therefore collect phone numbers that include the country code, in the right format. - By Adrian Francis

Getting Started with Google Docs

Are you new to G Suite? Are you wondering how to get started with Google Docs in your classroom? This blog will help you get going with the basics and give you some ideas for how to use the tool in your classroom practice. - By Donna Golightly

7 Inspirtational STEAM Online Resources

Good ideas are hard to come by and in the busyness of school life inspiration does not always strike in a timely fashion. If you're doing STEAM/STEM in your class or about to start, there are plenty of great resources to ensure your ideas tank stays full. This blog will connect you with some of the best STEAM resource sites. - By Tim Thatcher

Have something you'd like us to blog about? Let us know by clicking the link below!

something we think you'll like...

An interactive, creative brainstorming tool and so much more!

Think of word clouds, but collaborative word clouds that can give your students voice. Use this great tool to gather feedback, ideas, opinions..... anything!

Check out our one here - tell us what you think Professional Learning should be!

windows updates...

Check out the lastest updates from Microsoft here - a couple we got excited about...

  • Dark Mode in OneNote for Windows 10
  • Automatically turn a photo of a printed table into an Excel spreadsheet

A simple technique for staying focussed and being more productive...

Are you struggling to stay focussed for long enough to get through a task? Perhaps it's that pile of marking or reports that don't seem to end. Or maybe you have students who need some tips for eliminating distractions and getting their homework done.

One simple, but very effective, thing you and your students can do is start using the Pomodoro Technique. This method breaks work into ‘pomodoros’, which are 25 minutes of interrupted work followed by a short (~5 min) break. After four pomodoros, you take a longer break. You can learn more about the technique here.

A digital tool I find really useful to manage my pomodoros is Moosti, a simple online timer designed specifically for the Pomodoro Technique. Give it a go and see if it helps you stay focussed and be more productive!


Education on Tour

Claim your spot for this free event in Auckland on the 20th of June. Check out the short promo video to see what the day is like and then register here.

upskill with our online courses

Professional Development that suits your schedule and interests!

💕💕💕 We love hearing from people who are using our online courses and professional learning network to challenge their thinking and increase their skills and knowledge. Thanks for all the feedback and embracing the power of online learning! 💕💕💕

Get together with some colleagues and work through a course together - collaborate, share ideas and encourage each other!

Our online courses cover a range of topics and concepts - from your own digital fluency, through to STEAM and practical, classroom applications for Digital Technologies.

There really is something for everyone!

want practical ideas for integrating DT?

  • Are you looking for ways to integrate Digital Technology into your Literacy and Numeracy programmes in a meaningful way?
  • Concerned about how you will squeeze another curriculum into your already packed classroom schedule?
  • Keen to update your programme but not sure where to start?

The UTB team are developing two new courses that will help you to bring your Literacy and Mathematics teaching into the 21st C.

These courses are designed to really show you practical ideas that you can get started with in your classroom ASAP - as well as encouraging you to think about the pedagogy and relevance of updating how we teach these core subjects to our students.

Right now we're looking for expressions of interests so we can lock in some dates across NZ and Australia.

If you're keen to host us or even just attend please let us know by filling in this short form.

workshops and training near you!

These boot camps are fast paced, 2 day courses that cover a wide range of G Suite tools and how to use them in the classroom. You will also sit the 3 hour Google Certified Educator exam, where you will demonstrate your knowledge with multiple choice and practical scenario questions.

We've seen an increase in demand for our Google Certified Educator boot camps at both Level 1 and 2. This is great, as we think our two day courses have a lot to offer for everyone working with G Suite. There's several locations to choose from below. If you'd like to host one at your school, as always, feel free to get in touch!

Check out dates and locations in New Zealand and Australia.

Back by popular demand....

Technology has been evolving at a rapid pace, artists and designers are pushing the boundaries. New techniques and strategies have emerged which art teachers can harness to engage students in innovative projects.

In this fun, meaningful workshop teachers are supported to explore how new technologies and ideas can be integrated into the art room. Participants will enjoy hands on experimentation and lively discussion around how art, technology and innovative thinking can be integrated into the classroom.

Check out all the dates and locations here!

Not seeing an event near you? Do you think your area/district could benefit from some digital training?

If you'd like to request a workshop or support in your area please get in touch by clicking the button below. Host schools get a free attendee!


This fortnight's STEAM tool video is all about the very impressive Neuron Kit from Makeblock - a great tool for invention literacy!

This video is part of a series we filmed with the PBTech Edu team in Auckland in 2018. We'll share one with you each fortnight but if you want to see them all you can check them out here!

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Created with images by rawpixel - "cup drink girl" • Pexels - "tv television retro" • Erda Estremera - "untitled image" • Ján Jakub Naništa - "untitled image" • Chase Clark - "untitled image" • Marvin Meyer - "untitled image" • Daniel von Appen - "untitled image" • Clint Adair - "untitled image"

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