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21st Century learning reference group announced

Hon Nikki Kaye
Associate Minister
of Education

19 June 2013       Media Statement       
21st Century learning reference group announced

Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye has today announced 14 members of a new reference group that will provide expert advice on 21st century learning environments and digital literacy in schools.

“The group will be chaired by Brett O’Riley and includes people who are proven leaders in technology and education,” Ms Kaye says.

“It has been important to me to have people from a diverse range of backgrounds at the table.”

Taking account of the recommendations of the select committee enquiry and Government response into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy, the 21st Century Learning Reference Group will work on a strategy for learning that enables schools to make the best use of modern technologies.

“The Government has already rolled out a number of initiatives, including allocating $134 million to speed up school network upgrades by two years and the provision of wireless capability to schools,” Ms Kaye says.

“Other initiatives that have been progressed include enhancing the role of information science in the education sector, the development of 21st century building design templates and initiatives to tackle cyber bullying.

“This group will be tasked with exploring ways to provide every student and educator, in both rural and urban New Zealand, with the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the 21st century.

“I will be asking the group to prioritise particular areas of work such as improving device access and the development of 21st century skills.

“With the increasing number of schools adopting device polices and many progressing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), it will be important to ensure that children from low income families also have access to online learning opportunities.

“We are investing significantly in the roll out of ultra-fast broadband fibre, school network infrastructure and a managed network for schools. These initiatives will make a real difference as a new platform for effective teaching and learning practices in schools.”

By 2016 all schools in New Zealand will have increased access to digital learning opportunities – 97.7% of schools will have fibre connections, and the most remote schools (2.3%) will have wireless or satellite connections. In addition, all eligible schools will have their school networks upgraded and the option to connect to a managed network for schools.

“When the group meets later this month I will be confirming their task is to deliver a strategy that will enhance learning and educational achievement,” Ms Kaye says.
The members of the 21st Century Learning Reference Group are:
 
Brett O’Riley (Auckland): Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited. Mr O’Riley has extensive experience in operational ICT and ICT governance. He has been involved at board and senior executive levels in the ICT industry since 1989 and is now working on driving economic change in Auckland through his role as Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited.
 
Claire Amos (Auckland): has recent experience in senior leadership in secondary schooling and ICT in education. Ms Amos is currently the Deputy Principal at Hobsonville Point Secondary School and is responsible for learning technologies and preparing for the opening of the school in 2014. Ms Amos has held a number of roles focused on the use of ICT in education, has a good understanding of teaching practice, and has presented on ICT in education. She is the Auckland representative on the PPTA ICT Advisory Committee.
 
Tim Copeland (Wellington): a director and one of three founders of Wellington-based internet services company SilverStripe. SilverStripe has a wide portfolio of work with public and private sector clients. Mr Copeland served as Chief Executive Officer of SilverStripe for its first seven years, and the Chairman of Unlimited Potential (Wellington’s largest IT network), before stepping aside to focus on SilverStripe’s international growth. Mr Copeland also acts as an independent advisor and investor in several private companies. He has a long-standing interest in emerging technologies, both on and off the web.
 
Sylvia Fidow (Christchurch): Principal of Shirley Primary School. She has worked as a school leader and teacher in a number of schools since 1993. Ms Fidow has a strong focus on implementing the school curriculum in Pasifika settings. She is one of three principals of Pasifika descent in Christchurch and is an active member of the Pasifika Teachers Association.
 
David Langford (Gisborne): Principal of Awapuni School in Gisborne. Mr Langford has 27 years’ experience as a Principal in a range of rural, urban, high and low decile schools. He has had long-standing involvement in technology in education in New Zealand, including participating in the first and second National ICT Strategic Plans in the late-1990s, and serving as a trustee of the Edunet Trust, one of New Zealand’s first ICT cluster programmes. Mr Langford brings an understanding of the context of change in the school sector such as the ultra-fast broadband roll-out and the School Network Upgrade Project. He is a member of the Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum.
 
Charles Newton (Nelson): former Principal and teacher with 20 years’ experience as a Principal of Nayland College and Twizel Area School. Mr Newton has contributed to policy development around future schools, 21st century buildings, student management systems in schools, and a wide range of other educational issues. This included chairing the SuperLoop Forum, a coalition of the various regional ICT aggregations; three years establishing and governing the EHSAS Nelson Datasmart Project; and eight years as the executive director of the award-winning Nelson Marlborough Loop ultra-fast broadband ICT network for schools – a position Mr Newton still holds.
 
Robin Ohia (Whanganui): manages e-learning developments across a cluster of kura kaupapa Māori from Auckland to Wellington. Mr Ohia has served as a teacher in kura kaupapa and has considerable experience in the development and implementation of e-learning solutions for Māori medium education. Mr Ohia is a Council Member for the Virtual Learning Network Community, a network of school clusters and educational institutions collaborating to provide online access to a broad range of curriculum learning opportunities for students.
 
Kathleen Shevland (Auckland): Principal of Orewa College for the past 15 years where she has spearheaded e-learning initiatives. Ms Shevland is interested in opportunities offered by ICT for personalised learning, one-to-one devices, and video conferencing. She is a board member of the North Shore Education and Access Loop, Chair of the Rodney Economic Development Trust, and a board member of the Pathways to Employment Trust. Ms Shevland established Harbournet in 2012, a group of 15 Auckland secondary schools using videoconferencing to share teachers across schools.
 
Sue Sutherland (Christchurch): provides consultancy services to libraries in local and central government to support development of long term strategy and policy. Her work includes library futures, library reviews, new service development and new buildings. Ms Sutherland has held leadership and executive roles in the National Library of New Zealand and the Christchurch City Council and is a member of InternetNZ and a council member (appointed) of the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. Ms Sutherland has implemented whole-of-country shared services, for example the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa and Kōtui.
 
Dr Allan Sylvester (Wellington): lecturer at the School of Information Management at Victoria University of Wellington. Dr Sylvester has more than 30 years’ experience in technology service delivery, beginning with radio communications in the late 1970s. Through his involvement in health technologies and business computing during the 1980s, Dr Sylvester moved into several ICT business ventures providing and managing training services, software development, network construction, and technical support service delivery. That business background led Dr Sylvester into network infrastructure support and consulting to a range of government agencies and businesses. Dr Sylvester is a trustee of the Wellington Loop Trust and the property and ICT chair for the Wellington Girls College Board of Trustees.
 
Allan Vester (Auckland): Principal of Edgewater College, a role he has held since 1995. Mr Vester is Chairperson of the New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council and a member of a number of sector groups including the Counties Manukau (Secondary) Principals’ Association, the Auckland Principals’ Association, and the Northern Region Property Forum. Mr Vester was a founding member of an education advisory group initially referred to as the G7, comprising representatives of the main state education sector groups including the Secondary Principals’ Council, Secondary Principals’ Association, NZEI and Principals’ Federation. Edgewater College has been a partner school in the Teach First initiative since 2011.
 
Derek Wenmoth (Christchurch): former teacher and principal who is currently director, e-Learning, at CORE Education Limited. Mr Wenmoth is an expert on technology and education and has published widely on technology and education in New Zealand. Mr Wenmouth has served as manager, eSection, at The Correspondence School and as a senior advisor, e-Learning, at the Ministry of Education. Mr Wenmoth is a member of the Ministerial Cross Sector Forum.
 
Lynette Wray (Wellington): senior teacher at Wellington Region FreeKindergarten Association. She has been involved in early childhood education in various teaching roles since 1981. Ms Wray has previous experience on several Ministry of Education initiated Early Childhood ICT Reference Groups and has played a lead role in introducing digital technologies for teaching, learning and administration in Wellington kindergartens.
 
Laurence Zwimpfer (Wellington): self-employed information and communications technology consultant and advisor specialising in the use of technology in education. Mr Zwimpfer trained as an engineer and has worked at a senior executive level at Telecom and New Zealand Post. He was Telecom’s spokesperson on new technologies and the impact of these technologies for industry, education and community groups. Mr Zwimpfer has served in a number of governance roles, including Chair of the Wellington Loop, Chair of e-Learnz Inc., Deputy Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, member of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand Fellowship Appointments Panel, Chair of the Computer Access New Zealand Trust, and a trustee of the National Library.

ENDS

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