January over already and now it’s time to get ready for the student stampede, especially as they can have the first year at tertiary in NZ FREE! Someone needs their head read on that one. Maybe ‘Free’ for the third year, when they have shown some commitment to their studies would be a better bet; fairer to those already on their way to the second and third year studies. In my experience, many first year Uni students are too busy trying to get their tongues down each other’s throats to think about studying anything useful!
A relevant quote from someone unknown but obviously a bright brain: ‘Politicians and nappies have one thing in common, they both should be changed regularly and for the same reason!'[possibly quite topical,considering the NZ PM’s recent announcement about her pregnancy]
An element of truth: ‘A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have’ (Thomas Jefferson 1743 -1826) Perception is sometimes more than nine tenths of reality; or is it the other way around?
The Government Pantomime is underway (or maybe it’s a fairy tale), It’s called, Jacinderella. She won’t be able to go to the Ball as you can’t buy a Pumpkin for love or money;maybe the fairy godmother will come to her rescue.(NB: a Pumpkin (if you can afford one) in this context would be considered a vehicle and therefore subject to the 10 cents extra fuel surcharge)
To more important things, SoTEL 2018 is just around the corner and things are shaping up very well. If you haven’t registered by 7th February, you’re going to miss out on the event of the year in NZ!
Haven’t mentioned the garden, however, all is blooming and producing organic veggies, Garlic disappointing in size (didn’t feed it enough) but strong flavour. Rain is persisting as we speak.
In the posting this month there are links to education future frontiers, digital strategies, evidence based learning, digital transformation, creative teaching, better feedback,designing learning and assessment, using laptops in class,,competency education, web accessibility guidelines, conferences , NZ happenings and the odd one out.
That’s it until the next eWatch comes marching in.
1.Digital Strategy in Education. It seems that a major focus for education is lots of things ‘digital’ including literacy , numeracy, analytics and more.
This is an interesting article which leads onto the next in this digest.


2. Digital Transformation in Higher Education. A research report on the impact of digital transformation in education and its future. Extract from the report:’There is no doubt that higher education transformation is already underway, with every university leader indicating they are at least part way through their digital journey’. Where is your institution on the journey, who and what is driving the change and will it make the difference you think it will ?


3. Designing learning and assessment in a digital age. Just released, another excellent guide from the people at JISC. This time with a real focus on designing learning and assessment.


4. EDUCATION: FUTURE FRONTIERS: The implications of AI, automation and 21st century skills needs. An interesting discussion paper from the NSW Department of Education in Australia. Raises some interesting questions on the future of Artificial Intelligent systems and their impact on a variety of areas but with a specific focus on education.


5. Torrance Incubation Model of Creative Teaching and Learning (TIM)
Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Media and Arts Sequence.
This is quite a fascinating document, Although produced in 2011 it is highly relevant in the teaching and learning environments today.
Extract from the document: ‘The Torrance Incubation Model of Creative Teaching and Learning can be applied to a lesson, unit or project. The application of TIM and the identification of a specific creativity skill is an effective way to teach creativity, without impacting the teaching of core objectives or curriculum content’.
Clearly explained in three stages. Well worth perusing if you haven’t seen or heard of it before.


6.Something a bit different but useful for those interested in the creation of digital strategies. Designed to be used. So try it out


7. Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting. An interesting and thought provoking article/ opinion piece in the New York Times. What do you think? Is the research accurate? Is it an all encompassing blanket statement?


and what about utilising mobile devices for learning in the ‘classroom’?
Students, Please Get Out Your Phones


8. The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) ePortfolio Review (AePR): Assessment Practices. This is an interesting and I believe somewhat useful journal. This particular edition examines various aspects of assessment.


9. Better Feedback for Better Teaching. A Practical Guide to Improving Classroom Observations. A useful guide from the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation. There are lots of other useful and free resources from this site. Worth exploring further.


10.ACCESSIBILITY. This site , produce by Penn State University, explains how to ensure Web pages and online documents can be made usable for users with different disabilities. Very useful with some very comprehensive excellent information on a wide range of areas for creating material on the Web, enabling better access for those with disabilities. Well worth exploring.


11. THE PAST AND THE PROMISE: TODAY’S COMPETENCY EDUCATION MOVEMENT. produced in 2014, this report is from the competency education research series from Jobs For The Future in USA. Content is USA focussed but much can be applied to anywhere else in the world, Should be of interest to those involved in developing or using competency based education systems.


This site might also be of use and interest:
Competency Toolkit.


12.1 ALT ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018,11-13 September 2018, Manchester, UK
ALT’s 25th Annual Conference we will bring together different critical perspectives in Learning Technology from across our community that will examine the challenges ahead and question the shape of things to come. Find out more from:


12.2 4th International Conference on Higher Education Advances
June 20 – 22, 2018. Valencia, Spain


twitter: @headconf
12.3 35th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education.
Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. 25th to 28th November 2018


12.4 14th International Conference Mobile Learning 2018,14 to 16 April 2018, Lisbon, Portugal


12.5 The Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference ANZ 2018, Brisbane, Australia, AUGUST 28 to 31st 2018, For more information:


13. New Zealand Events.
12.1 SoTEL 2018 Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning. A symposium presenting a showcase of student learning supported by technology; from February 15th to 16th, 2018. This exciting event will be presented annually.
The inaugural event is being organised by the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLAT) at the Auckland University of Technology.
We are delighted that the following organisations are sponsoring the event:

AUT University

Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence

Catalyst open source technologies


echo 360

Cyclone computers



At the Symposium this year the SoTEL Research Cluster will be launched
The programme is now full, with excellent presentations, workshops, round tables and discussions.
The programme has been published complete with abstracts:


Register NOW so as not to miss out on an innovative , forward thinking and exciting event
Registration closes on February 7th 2018
Full details are available from the Website. Make sure you put the dates on your calendar, and be there!


14. Odd one out: Photographs can leave a lasting image in the mind, especially those that stand out from the rest. This site presents a raft of different and amazing photos. Could spend ages perusing.


Keep up the good work
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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