- using technology better- Newsletter - issue 6 - 2019 BLOG UPDATES - something we think you'll like - something to make you think- AND MORE!


Welcome to this edition of the newsletter.

As usual the team have been out and about training and helping schools in Australia and New Zealand.

Mike, Sam and Adrian were at the Future Schools conference in Melbourne and partnered with Edunet to present a series of short workshops at their fantastic booth. The sessions were really well received, with standing room only at many of the presentations. It was great to catch up with many of you and to share in your stories.

The UTB team will be at EduTech later in the year and we look forward to catching up with as many of you as we can.

Some images from Future Schools

something useful...

Google News - Access Newspaper Archives

I was reminded the other day about a nifty feature in Google News.

Click this link to search the newspaper archive.

This is fantastic for finding the actual news article written about an event and is also great for students needing to have a primary source of information.

You can also see what was in the news on the day you were born!

- By Adrian

something we think you'll like....

Classroom Q

Students have been asking questions of teachers for centuries. In a traditional classroom layout, it was easy for students to put their hand up and fire a question at the teacher. However, as we start to differentiate the learning and have students working on different tasks, often in a modern learning environment, the old ‘hand-up’ strategy is no longer relevant.

Classroom Q is a new app that takes care of that for us. Students can simply request their teacher comes to see them. Using a code students can add themselves to the teacher's queue. The teacher can then manage their time with students, easily seeing who needs help and as there is a clear order students do not need to fight for the teacher's attention. I could see this being also very useful for those students who are too shy to put their hand up.

This could also be useful in a workplace for employees who would like to ‘book’ some time with a manager or coach.

something to make you think...

Digital Citizenship

This week I was asked to run a staff meeting on Digital Citizenship. I sent a message to the UTB team to see if they had any resources that they had used in schools that could be useful to include - and there were many insightful links shared.

One thing that often came up though was around the experience of teens and their interaction with social media. I came across this thought-provoking report that painted an interesting picture.

What is happening in your school to help your students develop safe habits when they’re online?

- Donna

blog posts you may have missed

Check out the practical, helpful tips in our blogs below.

Something you want us to blog about? Make a request here or check out our website to see all our posts.

Create your own personalised translator in Google Sheets - How could you combine a language lesson with mathematics and spreadsheets? The magic of Google sheets allows us to be able to use certain functions to create our own language translating spreadsheet using Google translate. Follow these three steps to create your own personalised translator for you and your students. - By Adrian Francis

How to effect change with your colleagues - some tips for effective training - One of the things I love the most about my job is the opportunity I have to meet with so many dedicated teachers. Our schools have some amazing teachers who are doing fantastic things within their programmes. But like anything, some are more digitally savvy than others. Inspiring the less digitally savvy to join the digital revolution can be challenging. Here’s some ideas to help you effect that change.- By Donna Golightly

How to make a single Google Doc available offline - Many of us are now working with a G Suite account as our primary source of a digital word processing tool. Some of us are using it as our secondary source - but whichever way we are doing it, there are times when we just may want to access it offline. Here’s a way to do it with just a few minutes of forward planning. - By Donna Golightly


Professional Development that suits your schedule and interests!

It's so exciting to be seeing more and more people embracing online learning and signing up for courses!

If that's you - congratulations! Let us know how you're getting on!

We have a great range of online courses available, with more coming online soon.

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

Check out some of the options below!

Featured Online Course...

UTB Certified leader

Are you the person that people come to for advice all the time?

Would you like to develop your leadership skills to better support and guide others?

If yes, then our Certified Leader course is for you!

The Certified Leader Program has been designed to build on your skills to help you become a better leader and trainer in your school.

The course is made up of six modules with a blend of live sessions, videos and an online forum for discussions. Our training team have carefully planned and crafted this course to make sure it stands out from the rest.

Whether you are in an official leadership role, aspire to become a leader or just want to develop these skills, this course is a great step to help you on your journey.

You will be supported by our experienced training team to complete this course.

UTB + PB TECH = Edu STEAM videos!!!

Last year Lara spent some time with PB Tech in Auckland to record a series of videos about some of the STEAM tools that we love.

We'll share one with you each fortnight but if you want to see them all you can check them out here!

This one is all about our dear friend, Sphero SPRK+


Free Mindfulness Tools for your Classroom

I recently discovered that Calm, my new favourite mindfulness app, offers a free licence to teachers around the world. What inspired me to share this with you was the quote that features on The Calm Schools Initiative website...

Given recent events, it could be a good time to start spending the first few minutes of the school day introducing your students to some simple mindfulness practices that can bring greater stillness, self-awareness, concentration, patience, and resilience. These practices can also have great benefits for you too! The Calm app has a Calm Kids library that is a great place to start.

Another free mindfulness tool that I love is Smiling Mind, an Australian app that also has specific programs for the classroom. They’ve just introduced a new program where students can meditate with their favourite characters from The LEGO Movie 2!

You can learn more about getting a free Calm licence for your classroom here and more about Smiling Mind’s programs for schools here. Happy meditating!

- By Samantha

Side note from Lara - I used both these apps with my Year 7 and 8 (11 - 13 years) students when I was teaching. I found that when we used them on a regular basis they had a huge impact on how my students interacted with each other and approached their learning. Many students started practicing mindfulness at home, with their families. I highly recommend giving these apps a go with your students - try to schedule it so that it becomes part of your classroom routine. My students really liked starting our afternoons with this, straight in from lunch and a time to refocus and reflect. Please let us know what you think!

upcoming events

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. :)

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.

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!

STEAM / Digital Technologies Powered by your iPads

A fun hands on experience discovering how to authentically deliver your STEAM / DT curriculum through the power of your iPad for only $49!

See the dates and locations and register your interest HERE

Purposeful Practice with Digital Tools in the Maths Programme - A Half Day Workshop

In this fun and meaningful workshop teachers will be supported to explore how some of these new technologies and ideas can be integrated into the maths programme. Participants will enjoy hands on activities and lively discussion around how maths, technology and innovative thinking can be integrated into the maths programme.

Auckland 15th of April

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Created with images by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral - "untitled image" • Annie Spratt - "untitled image" • Christopher Burns - "untitled image" • Brooke Lark - "untitled image" • Lesly Juarez - "untitled image" • Luca Bravo - "untitled image"

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