Sunday, 21 May 2017

More Tech Opportunities

Another exciting opportunity for year 9 to 11 students is to attend the ShadowTech 
Christchurch’s Shadow Tech Day for Girls 2017 is a day for secondary school girls in to come, experience and see for themselves the variety of interesting and rewarding careers in ICT and Engineering.  This is a nationwide event this year to address the demand for skills in the ICT and the Engineering industry sectors. 

A maximum of 80 secondary school students will be involved.
see :

Students need to:
  • demonstrate sound mathematics, digital technology and/or science results particularly physics
  • have project-based learning experience

  • have a curiosity about ICT and/or engineering disciplines and are motivated to find out more
St Margaret's College will be applying for a number of places to be part of this amazing experience.  

Integrating Technology, Economics and Science

We are excited to offer two teams of Year 10 students a chance to compete against other school students in the Growing NZ Innovation Challenge 
This competition will take place on 31 May at ARA.  Head of the Creative Technologies Faculty will accompany these girls later this month

The girls will be faced with a fast-paced day which will test their knowledge to build a prototype solution to a real-world issue that our New Zealand export industry is facing.

Congratulations to the following students who will represent St Margaret's College - Mia Wright, Hattie Compton-Moen, Zelle Logan, Maya Kelly, Ella Fraser, Eleanor McVicar, Violette Perry, and Enya O’Malley

Monday, 15 May 2017

Integrating Technology in the Curriculum

Looking back over Term One, there have been many opportunities that girls in the Middle School have had to integrate technology in their programmes of learning.

In the year 7 English and Social Studies programmes, the girls have studied 'The Matchbox Diary'. Through this unit, the girls have created their own objects that symbolise a significant event in their lives.  Using the PrintShop app on the iPad, girls were able to take a hand drawn, 2D image to produce to 3D printed object.  These artefacts that represented an aspect of their lives, were collected together in their own personalised matchbox.

Using Thinglink the girls were able to showcase their 3D printed work as well as create a digital link to their recount writing about camp.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

St Margaret's involvement in Tech Week - Christchurch

Aimie and Paul Sibson, CEOs of Linc-Ed, hosted a brilliant presentation for National Tech Week at the Vodafone Xone. Aimie who has been a former St Margaret's College teacher opened the session and started to unpack the significance of technology in education.

This led into our lovely year 10 student, Hattie Compton-Moen, who shared her passion for technology.  She spoke of how her involvement in technology was influencing her future and how she has used these skills to help her in her learn. It is clear that there have been significant mentor’s who have helped shape Hattie's thirst for technology in developing her "geekness".  The guest presenter, Henry Lane agreed that being a ‘geek’ was something that we should be proud to showcase.  

Henry challenged the audience by asking, “what is reality?”  Virtual reality immerses us in a world that is digitally generated compared with augmented reality where hologram-like visual structures appear in your current environment.  Both platforms could provide learners with an experience that can enhance and deepen learning. VR is not only be a form of entertainment, but it can also be a strong support of learning.  For example: VR programmes have been developed to teach and measure the efficiency of spray painting a panel.  Using the virtual reality platform, prospective employees can be assessed on their skills of spray painting.  The data recorded through the VR programme can produce specific figures on how much paint is overlapped, how much paint is wasted, how much this would cost the business, and it also measure the technique used.  

How we learn in the 21st century continues to change rapidly.   Learning is happening everywhere and at any time. We are in an environment we change is in evitable and it is moving into an extremely fast rate. Throughout time we have adapted to technological change.   Before the car we had horses, before Netflix we had video tapes. Today, digital technology is growing at an exponential rate. We are subject to continued and constant change.  The integration of technology seems a frightening concept but already we augment our vision by using glasses, our hearts with pacemakers, hearing with aids and wheelchairs to make us more mobile.  The next wave being developed are contact lens to take photos with a blink.

Knowing exactly what the end point looks like is no longer a necessity.  Asking why and working collaborative to discover together the answer or solution is my new mantra. My role is the teacher is to provide opportunities to my students so that they may develop skills to cope with the immense amount of data. Content no longer needs to be driving our curriculum. My vision is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills to filter information and efficiently apply this knowledge.
The future of education may seem scary but it’s also exciting. No longer can we predict confidently what is around the next corner. What we can be assured off is that we are all subject to huge change. How we react to the pressures of change will influence our ability to adapt.
Augmented and virtual reality is here and it is being embedded our lives. Henry started by asking the question of what is reality? Is it something that we can touch ? is it something that we are influenced by? Can we truly answer this question?

We wish to thank Linc-ed and Vodafone Xone for hosting this event and we have relished in the opportunity to share our story and be part of promoting technology in education particularly for girls.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

What do you want to be when you grow up? vs How will you improve the world when you grow up?

Our world is changing at a phenomenal rate that often change is happening before our eyes and in today's world we accept it as change is the norm.  What will the world be like when the children I am teaching now are my age?  Technology is everywhere in our daily lives whether we choose to use it or not.  I smile as I view the advertisement on TV that subtly promotes Toyota . . .

So now see what our youth of today are likely to experience when they are independent citizens of our communities.  An article by a school principal sums up the challenges that we grapple with as we prepare our students to face the future.   This is not new to St Margaret's College.  Our Principal, Gillian Simpson has spoken about exponential change and future thinking in many assemblies and prize giving speeches.

Is the fourth industrial revolution upon us?  Click on the link below to read more:

Monday, 6 March 2017

A Passion for Technology

We are so fortunate to have in our midst people who proudly represent St Margaret’s College beyond our campus.  

An individual who is making the most of the opportunities available at St Margaret’s College is Hattie Compton-Moen.  Not only has Hattie been a willing participant in all things tech, she also unselfishly provides opportunities for others to grow and catch the passion that she has for technology.  Last year Hattie was a facilitator in many initiatives instigated from the Centre of Innovation.  Hattie supported the pre-school with the Beebot progamme, she was a facilitator at the Bays Cluster Tech Fest for the Sumner areas schools and she represented the students on a panel when we hosted Adriana Gascoigne.
Attending the Singularity U Conference last year was an opportunity for Hattie to be inspired by international speakers.  Only last weekend, Hattie was participating in the Global Student Conference which was held online.  This forum was focussed at students presenting to students.  One of the aims of the conference was to foster a better understanding of how STEM and entrepreneurship engage students, teachers, and administrators in a conversation about learning.
We are immensely proud that Hattie presented at this conference.  When I asked her for some reflections about this event she said,

“I actually found it really fun to present, and I think it was a great first experience learning how to create and show a presentation in this situation. It was amazing seeing the different places around the world that people came from. One attendee said that they would use the information I presented to help start a girls' robotics club in their community, and I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to share my experiences with others and help them to stop gender inequality in technology in their own community.”

Bryn Lewis is the founding member of our Internet of Things Club that runs on Thursday after school.  He has a huge passion for supporting girls in tech.  Bryn brings a wealth of knowledge and the girls and they are spoilt for choice in projects where they can develop their coding.  This year, the group is faced with a vast range of projects such as building and writing the code for a pet monitor, a heart rate monitor, creating an iPod, particle pollution sensor, energy and water monitoring sensors, gathering data for soil and moisture sensors in an organic walnut farm, and creating props for robocup.  

Bryn has had many challenges through 2016, but despite the setbacks he remains loyal to St Margaret’s College.  His dedication in providing our girls the chance to work in projects that measure and monitor our local community has been strong.  Through Bryn, St Margaret’s College was being proudly promoted in Australia at the recent Microsoft Ignite Conference in February.  This conference showcased innovation, learning and planning for what’s next in tech.  We are immensely thankful to have his support in bringing our girls the awareness of a future career pathway in technology.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Are you considering a career in ICT???

A new provider is offering some exciting qualifications in ICT

Signal (South Island Graduate Network and Laboratories) is a collaboration between the 

  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Otago
  • Ara Institute of Canterbury
  • Otago Polytechnic
  • Lincoln University.

Signal ICT Graduate School is giving us an opportunity to develop IT skills together with industry.   A recognition that the growing IT industry is in need of more qualified and knowledgeable individuals has lead to the push for an organisation of this type. 

Click on the link below for more information.