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Education Forum focuses on Digital Strategies

Dunedin, 15 July, 2019 – Educators from around New Zealand are set to meet at the thirteenth annual Education Leaders Forum: Digital Divides, Dividends & Dangers in Dunedin this week, on 17 & 18 July. The forum will focus on strategies for bridging digital divides, unlocking digital dividends and avoiding digital dangers.

Education Leaders Forum (ELF) convenor Lyall Lukey, says access to technology and the development of digital skills are essential for people to fully participate in society and the economy in an increasingly digitised and globalised world.

“The nature of work and everyday life is changing rapidly, with huge implications for education and training, as learners need a mix of both technical skills and soft skills like critical thinking, communication, empathy and decision-making for this new world of work.

“ELF provides a valuable opportunity for education leaders across the learning spectrum to get up to speed with the latest digital developments and grapple with digital issues such as online safety and wellbeing.”

Education Leaders Forum 2019 is being hosted by principal sponsor Otago Polytechnic. CEO Phil Ker says, “We are looking forward to hosting educators here in Dunedin to focus on some really important digital themes in education. The digital transformation of life enables individuals to play a bigger role in their own learning and careers, in partnership with educators, who have an important role to play as learners integrate learning and work.”

Mr Lukey says the forum is particularly relevant because of current digital developments and concerns and because the Ministry of Education has strengthened the Digital Technologies strand in the New Zealand Curriculum, effective 2020.

Education Leaders Forum 2019 speakers

Phil Ker, CEO of Otago Polytechnic is speaking on Integrating learning and work in the Digital Age.

Irihāpeti Mahuika, Director of Learning at Haeata Community Campus will share Haeata’s experience with ConnectED, the Greater Christchurch Schools’ Network Trust programme of Equitable Digital Access for learners and their community.

Nicola Ngarewa, Principal of Spotswood College will speak on DISRUPT-ED: Embracing the future.

Mike Hollings, Chief Executive of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu will share experiences from Te Kura’s transformative shift online.

Jessica Tulp, Business Associate, Soul Machines will talk on Humanising technology. Cheryl Adams, CEO, Animation Research and Jimmy McLauchlan, Methodist Mission Southern will demonstrate their joint Prison VR Literacy Project. Paul Stevens, GM, Open Knowledge Group from Catalyst IT will pick up on Education and Open Source IT Innovation.

Fraser Liggett, Economic Development Programme Manager at Enterprise Dunedin, DCC will update participants on Dunedin’s evolving Centre of Digital Excellence.

“Once developed the Centre of Digital Excellence will build on the city’s entrepreneurial and digital strengths, particularly in game development and associated sectors, including education and training,” says Mr Liggett.

Other contributors include: Andy Kilsby, Director Employability, Otago Polytechnic on EduBits – a new way for learners to show what they know, Netsafe education advisors Anjie Webster and Pauline Spence on Online Safety and Wellbeing, Dr Mary Redmayne, Independent Researcher at Victoria and Monash Universities on the Dangers of Screen Overuse, Donald Matheson Media and Communications at University of Canterbury on Fake News and Flaky Views, and Prof Tim Bell, Department Computer Science and Software Engineering UC on New Digital Technologies Curriculum content.

Mr Lukey says, “There has never been a greater need to invest in digital capability and protection. All learning communities need to develop strategies to support their students’ development of digital citizenship, online safety and wellbeing.”

As well as principal sponsor Otago Polytechnic, Te Kura is also a sponsor of ELF19. Supporters are Enterprise Dunedin (DCC) and the Ministry of Education - Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko learning.

For more on the Education Leaders Forum see

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