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Flexible Learning with a Hobbiton flavour

For Immediate Release

29 January 2016

Flexible Learning with a Hobbiton flavour

Education and tourism come together when educators and trainers from the early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, on Hamilton for the national DEANZ2016 Conference in April.

DEANZ is a national association that is committed to fostering growth, development, research and good practice in distance education, open learning and flexible delivery systems for education. This is the first time Hamilton will host the biennial event.

The conference theme is “There and back: Charting flexible pathways in open, mobile and distance education” and is inspired by Hamilton’s close proximity to the Hobbiton movie set in the Waikato. Some conference activities will be held at Hobbiton, showcasing it to national and international delegates.

The sub-themes in the four-day event range from “Reclaiming the Kingdom” to “Twin Pillars” as the conference weaves together the potential of technology in supporting open and flexible learning with the Hobbiton story.

University of Waikato Senior Research Fellow and co-organiser of the conference Dr Elaine Khoo says online, digital and flexible learning has become an increasingly popular way of learning over the past decade and she encourages teachers and industry professionals to keep up to date with these changes.

“As the use of digital and mobile technologies becomes an important national and global phenomena, the conference offers delegates the opportunity to reflect, rethink and reimagine how they can incorporate them into their plans to create more flexible, engaging and effective teaching and learning environments.

“Hobbiton is the ideal location to inspire the reimagining of possibilities for using technology in teaching, learning and training contexts and showcase Kiwi creativity, innovation and ingenuity,” Khoo says.

The conference keynote sessions will cover a range of topics from education 3.0, learner engagement, learner design experiences, professional learning communities, teacher education, to learning in the workplace.

For those interested in taking part it’s not too late to register, however early bird registrations close on 15 February.

The conference will be held from 17 - 20 April, hosted at the University of Waikato.

For further information visit:

or contact Dr Elaine Khoo:


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