Saturday, 24 June 2017

ShadowTech June 2017

Thank you to ARA and CDC who co-ordinated a wonderful day for girls of Christchurch to visit various IT businesses.  Access to some organisations has become more difficult with Health and Safety regulations, so we feel grateful to have been part of this programme.

The purpose of the day was to provide a chance for girls to better understand what career options are available in the technology industry.  The environment is becoming more chic and creative and there is movement away from it being so “boys-ey”.
E = (Q + S + WE) x C
[Paul Redmond University of Leeds] - employment is qualifications, skills and work experience all providing opportunities for many connections.

This is a growing industry where organisations are seeking talent and diversity.  These girls have an opportunity to be in a very well paid job and be snaffled up by companies to bring a balance by providing a female perspective. A recent visit by Makayla Montgomery in her first year at University, confirms that women in IT are in demand.  Already Makayla has been offered two internships and she is only six months into her graduate degree.

Eight year 9 - 11 students participated in ShadowTech programme. After a morning of short talks from young graduate women, the girls were matched to a business and visited this company in action.  On their return, the feedback from the girls found many workplaces relaxing and a positive environment to be in.  Many organisations went out of their way to consciously think about the feel of their workspace.  Businesses value the wellbeing of their employees - happy workers were much more productive.  Some workplaces were also viewed as being too quiet for some girls, and they felt uncomfortable in such a focussed space.
Click on the link to hear student feedback []
Caitlyn Wickham, Hattie Compton-Moen, Holly Macdonald, Lucy Johnston and Yani Rutherford, Mia Wright, Rosie Lester and Heather Laing.

Often networking is underestimated.  Surprisingly 70% of jobs are not advertised.  So, who you know can be more important than what you know. Some of the keys to success in this industry are being empathetic and putting yourself in the shoes of your client.  ShadowTech day was a start to making connections and building understanding of what a job in IT looks, feels and sounds like.
The final message to everyone was “Do what makes you happy!”

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Growing NZ Innovation Challenge

Last week, a select group of year 10 students represented St Margaret’s College at the Growing NZ Innovation Challenge. 
This challenge is designed as a ‘Mash Up’ of technology, science and business knowledge. The challenge required students to apply their subject knowledge to build a prototype to solve a real-life situation being faced by New Zealand’s Primary Industries. 

There were four challenge cards:
1)    Maintaining Water Supply
2)    Measuring Pasture
3)    Protection from Pests
4)    Novel Product from an existing crop

The girls worked in pairs and were combined with a pairing from another school.  They enjoyed getting to know new people and working together to brainstorm, design and pitch their idea. Through the use of industry representatives in each challenge, the students learnt about different enablers within Science and Technology that they could use to create their prototype.

Congratulations to Eleanor McVicar and Enya O’Malley who, together with two Christchurch Girls' High School students won the ‘Maintaining Water Supply’ challenge.

Thanks to Mrs Keys who supported the team at ARA.

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: