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Kiwi teachers awarded for bringing education into the future

Two Palmerston North teachers are named winners of a prestigious national award that recognises contemporary teaching practice in New Zealand.

College Street Normal School teachers, Katie Gordon and Kristen Liddell were named NEXT Foundation Expert Teacher Award winners at The Mind Lab graduation in Auckland today. Both were granted $5000 for their outstanding achievements after completing The Mind Lab’s Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning which provides educators postgraduate training for the digital age.

Through collaborative learning, educators develop practical strategies for bringing technology to life in the classroom, with the goal to overcome barriers and feel empowered in digital education to the benefit of all learners. Teachers, Katie Gordon and Kristen Liddell, excelled at integrating newly appointed digital literacy measures into their classroom.

On reflecting their training at The Mind Lab, Katie Gordon said she felt the programme was empowering, “It helped us make changes to our practice that prepare our kids for their futures.“

“We’ve always had this future-focused mindset. The Mind Lab reinforced and validated that perspective,” Kristen Liddell said on being recognised by the NEXT Foundation, “it feels like our hard work has paid off and what we believe in as teachers matters.”

NEXT Foundation CEO, Bill Kermode says the foundation is delighted to support the course, which is not only helping upskill teachers but also benefiting New Zealand children’s education.

“It’s great to see the commitment from teachers right throughout New Zealand to gain this digital qualification and then pass that knowledge onto their students. We congratulate all the teachers graduating and especially those who are recipients of the NEXT Expert Teacher Awards.”

NEXT Foundation has contributed teacher scholarships since 2014 to allow public school teachers to undertake The Mind Lab’s postgraduate programme.

David Parsons National Postgraduate Director at The Mind Lab, says both teachers demonstrated real dedication and vision when applying contemporary practice into their pedagogy.

“What was special about these students was the way that they took new ideas from the programme and made them their own, by applying them directly to drive change in their school and community. I congratulate them both on their outstanding achievements. What recipients do with their award, is of course up to them, but we know that in the past they have taken advantage of these funds to support further study and even greater development of their practice.”

Since its inception in 2013, The Mind Lab has become the most significant educational facility of its kind in New Zealand and has offered its postgraduate programme in more than 40 locations around New Zealand.


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