Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Building Club Harold the Way to the Future

Building Club Harold the Way to the Future

August 21, 2013

Being selected as a finalist in the World Summit Awards has spurred Life Education to achieve one of its other major goals in the next five years.

Minister Amy Adams announced this month that Life Education had been chosen as a finalist in the 2013 World Summit Awards for creativity and innovation in ICT (Innovation and Communication Technology).

CEO, John O’Connell, said the selection is a vindication that Life Education is “heading in the right direction” by introducing the latest digital technology to its mobile classrooms.

Life Education Trust educators currently bring their programmes to 50 percent of New Zealand schools annually and 80 percent every two years.

“That’s phenomenal for one organisation but our vision is to be available to all schools and engage with every child, every year,” John O’Connell says.

“We’re continuing to grow and have the capacity to meet the needs of all New Zealand children. To achieve that we must fund and introduce 10 more technology driven classrooms in the next five years.”

John O’Connell acknowledges to achieve that Life Education must be flexible in the way they deliver programmes, use their mobile classrooms more efficiently* and create an environment of ‘inquiry learning’ in the classroom.

“That means structuring our programme so we support teachers and the classroom environment as schools increasingly adopt an inquiry based approach to learning,” John says.

“Schools are at various stages of using digital technology and our goal is to embrace technology so we can create a leading edge learning environment in the classroom. Being a finalist in the World Summit Awards is validation of our direction.”

John sees the teacher as being an integral part of Life Education lessons and wants the programmes Life Education provides to be embedded in the school teaching plan “rather than being a clip-on.”

“In doing that we can effectively show children how their bodies operate, build self esteem and resilience and encourage them to appreciate they are unique and special. This helps them understand social relationships and the environment around them.”

John O’Connell points out that New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD world and helping children to develop resilience and self-worth is one important aspect. “Realising dreams” can also help address the problem.

A further challenge is to create a relationship with children beyond the classroom. To achieve that Life Education needs to build Club Harold. Harold, the giraffe, Life Education’s quintessential mascot, teaches youngsters to look up rather than down at their shoe laces.

“Life Education will be interactive through Harold. Children want to engage with him anytime, any place with whatever device they have,” John says.

“Our job is to have the technology in place so children and parents can access him through the web at home or wherever they are.

“As a provider of unique education programmes we must understand where schools will be in five years’ time, what the children of a future generation want and meet that need.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks In Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Kevin Field Quintet

With the hardest pews in town and an icon of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorning the walls, St Peter's Church added a distinctly spiritual element to the debut of three new pieces by Kiwi jazz pianist and composer Kevin Field that celebrated our common humanity. More>>

Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland