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.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

GAFE Summit - Day 2 Keynote

The second day once again kicks off with a Keynote.

Once Upon Our Time - Lindsay Wesner

What things do we not question in education?

What does being brave look like for you?  From failure, great innovations can appear.   Not everything will fail, many things will work, but sometimes the greatest learning can come from failing.

At the intersection of education, technology and passion, is the sweet spot - the impossible is now possible.

If we stand at the point of conflict and we don't change and innovate we miss out.  Its important we think about the battles we are fighting - what do we struggle with, what do we need to change to make innovation more possible?  Imagine what is possible if we navigate the conflict - what does the climax look like?  Our story cannot be separated from the story of our students. 

What if we engage our students in saving real problems?  What if we engage them in experiences that are engaging and challenging?  What if we gave our students a context and platform in which to share?  What if we gave them a voice for their stories?

Things happen in your classroom everyday that need to be told.  Teachers shape the narrative of education in this country and in the world.  #shareyourstory #lovelearning #whyiteach

With change in education we get some great buzz words - personalised learning; makerspace; computational thinking; flip the classroom; coding.

There are always "enemies" to innovation - 
  • time - are we doing things our students should/could be doing?  If you invest time, you can get some back.  How are we spending our time?  Don't regret the time spent investing in a moment/innovation.
  • curriculum - the need to cover every area of the curriculum.  Did your students "engage" with your teaching?  We must be obsessed with the learning - not the coverage of the curriculum.  Did learning happen?  Why or why not?  Our core business is learning.
  • fear - fear of what colleagues/students will say; consequences; reactions - very real fears.  Remember to be brave - even if you're not, pretend to be!

Our Weapons in the fight -
  • vision - for the kind of education that we want to see - when we challenge the status quo
  • community - people willing to invest in and fight for the education that they believe in
  • stories  - powerful and currency that can add value - what can we leave for future generations?  What stories will be transferred?  
In the tapestry of education, we all have a thread - but to realise the full potential we need to combine them together to form something amazing.

What is the climax to your story? 


  1. Kia ora Karen,
    Thanks for your as always clear and concise notes. Embedded tweets - I had never even thought of it. Nice.
    Do you code?
    Ngā mihi,

  2. Hi Maria, Yes I do! I've done it with my class a few times but also with family too. I'd used Scratch and Apple Playgrounds as well as dabbled in several linux based codes.

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