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.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Progressing my Spark MIT inquiry

Earlier this week I've been working on the next stage of my Spark MIT inquiry - a laminated guide for whanau on commenting on their child's blog.

Firstly I identified which components I wanted to include.  This included:

  • the blog address
  • a scannable QR code which will take whanau directly to the blog
  • photo of the learner - making the sheet more personalised
  • a piece of art the learner has created - again, this personalises the document
  • a guide on how to make a comment
  • important things to remember when commenting
  • some suggested 'starter' ideas to kick start the comments
I've drawn inspiration from some of the Manaiakalani successes, including this commenting poster which is used extensively to encourage our learners to comment on each others blogs:

I've used Google Slides to create my first draft as I find this easier to manipulate various elements and place objects exactly where I want them to be.  I've shared the first draft with a selection of colleagues seeking feedback before I refine it.  I also intend to share it with a few of the whanau from my class to get other ideas before I settle on my final draft.  It is hoped it would be ready to share with all whanau during interviews at the end of this term.

This is of course the first of a series of ideas I'd like to have in place by the end of this term.  Many of my families are Maori and Pasifika so I'd like to create different versions in different languages so it is most helpful for all whanau.  These different versions will also assist me in the creation of a site to support whanau in commenting on their tamariki's blogs.  


  1. Ciao

    Great to see this taking shape Karen. You have thought of so many good ideas and angles.
    My question would be, how do you keep encouraging those loving incidental interactions from parents if it appears to be a scientific process?
    Eg I love you son, Mum

    I do want our whanau educated to support their children but also have that wondering.

    Fab work going on :)

    1. Thanks Dorothy! REALLY great points and I will rework and consider this angle in my next draft!

  2. Hi Karen
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this - I had created a kinda book mark with QR code but this is really taking it to the next level - thanks SO much for sharing.

    1. Thanks Janet - am just tweaking it now & will have a new version shortly - the plan is to make it available for anyone to use once I'm happy with it :)