Last night a group of educators in New Zealand, TUANZ conference organizers, and Miguel Guhlin and I gathered in Elluminate to talk about ICT implementation in New Zealand schools. You can listen/watch the Webcast here. Participants from NZ included Janice ( a principal), Craig Hayman, Wayne and Tom from NSC (Camp Te Anau), Allanah, Rachel, Sarah Putt (TUANZ 2007 organizer), and Jane Nicholls (an e-Fellow). (read more on the conference blog)
I have had the pleasure of connecting with several New Zealanders prior to my coming to visit. It has been quite exciting! Allanah King, Leigh Blackall, Artichoke, Barb Wallis, Bruce Ritchie, Rachel Jeffares, Derek Wenmoth and others. All have helped to shape my understanding of this intriguing country. I am appreciative of the time and energy they have taken to entertain my questions. I also want to thank Graham Wegner who helped me connect with several of his friends in New Zealand and Paul Harrington for introducing me to the amazing Allanah King!
New Zealand Bloggers
I also have been reading quite a few bloggers from New Zealand! Most recently, Rachel shared with me a wiki of ICT using educators in New Zealand. I was blown away at the creativity and depth of the messages contained in these blogs. The US has a lot we can learn from the creative applications of Web 2.0 I am seeing in New Zealand.
Learning the Lingo
The most interesting part of all of this has been sorting out the terms used in New Zealand. For example, one of the first pieces of advice I was given was to be sure and bring my toggs. Toggs? Here we have frogtoggs. But I knew that couldn't be right. So I started to search the Web. I found http://www.togs.org/ a place for the bewildered online and while I am most of the time quite bewildered I knew that wasn't right. I found this and hoped I wasnt expected to bring my peasant-wear! Finally, I turned to wikipedia (where any 21st Century learner would look) and found my answer! Togs are aqua jammies or swimming costume (sometimes shortened to cozzie) or in America-- a bathing suit! Ha!
Yesterday I was told I could buy a phone card at the dairy. In the US we buy milk and cheese at the dairy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dairy. Then I was told the dairy is the grocery. Last night I heard terms like woosh and loop. And everyone is talking about taking me for tea! Allanah explained tea to me this morning, I had visions of tea parties with real china and dainty cookies. It should be great fun sorting out the language differences. I was thinking of what a wonderful online project that could be between two geographically diverse schools. They could create a wiki to collaborate and then discover and create word lists of culturally diverse expressions and their meanings that they discover from Skype conversations and interviews.
If you haven't had time to check out the TUANZ wiki-- please do. And if you are a presenter please add your resources as this will serve as the virtual handout for the conference. If you are a participant please add you blog.