Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Monday, 30 November 2015

MDTA Graduation

Last Thursday marked the end of a remarkable journey with the graduation event for the 2014/2105 MDTA's.  Just over two years ago, I applied to the first ever Manaiakalani Digital Teacher Academy (MDTA) and was accepted into the unique program.  It was an opportunity to be paired with a mentor teacher, team teach in my first year of teaching and undertake an exceptional program of learning and study to assist me at being proficient at teaching in a digital world.

The two years since being accepted have been an incredible journey, with some of the many highlights being:

  • attending and presenting at conferences (GAFE, U-Learn, BYOD)
  • study towards an honours degree alongside my mentor teacher
  • piloting 1:1 iPads in a junior classroom alongside my mentor teacher
  • weekly digital learning sessions with the inspiring Dorothy Burt
  • two movies submitted to the Manaiakalani Film Festival with both making the evening showcase screening
  • working with nine other amazing MDTA beginning teachers
As with any journey, it's been hard work and there were roadblocks to navigate.  One of the unique features of the MDTA program was having Anne Sinclair from the University of Auckland to support us in our journey, and at times keep us sane when the going was tough.  Not only that, Anne visited us in our classrooms and provided valuable feedback on what we could work on to become the best teachers we could be.

Thursday's amazing event reminded me of all that we have achieved in the last two years, which wouldn't have been possible without the vision of Dorothy and the support of the University of Auckland, Manaiakalani Trust and sponsor Google.  I've had an amazing introduction to teaching at an incredibly supportive school and am extremely proud to have been part of the inaugural MDTA.  Thank you for the opportunity!



  1. Hi Karen
    Congratulations! You have been an amazing teacher for many of our Junior School learners @ PES over the last couple of years. Wow what a journey you have had! Thanks for representing our students at the Outlook for Someday awards. Congrats also for being part of MIT16.

  2. Thanks Sandy! I'm looking forward to working with you more closely during MIT16. Have a great holiday!