EP Content Updates 2020

Are you looking for ideas about how to use EP in a remote learning environment? EP will be doing monthly newsletters to keep you informed on our latest content releases, events and professional development.

 

Click on a subject below to read our most recent updates and how to best use the content with your students.

Languages

English

Maths

Science

Humanities


Free unlimited access for schools | EP response to COVID-19

Activate access for your school now

Update 27 March 2020

Working Together to Minimise Learning Disruptions

The learning landscape is rapidly changing and EP is forever looking at ways to support students, parents and schools in these uncertain times.

We wanted to give you a quick update on how we are supporting COVID-19 impacted schools, reassure you that there are ways to minimise disruptions to learning outcomes and share some resources that can help in the transition to online learning.

Ways to help the transition:

1. Continuous learning – EP has fully customisable curriculum-aligned content ensuring continuity from the classroom to the home. EP has former teachers on staff who can facilitate the use of the platform and run tutorials so that schools can be up and running within hours. It’s a quick and easy set up and can be accessed from anywhere.

2. Personalisation and real-time tracking – Live monitoring allows real time tracking of students’ progress minimising disruption and enabling live teacher feedback and engagement. Teachers also have the capabilities for targeted remediation and can provide individual learning plans for each student. Students are just as connected as ever with their teachers.

3. It’s fun and engaging

< Students love: the accessible, engaging learning material as well as the competitive and gamified elements. 

< Teachers love: the depth and flexibility of the resources, alongside the ease of individualisation for their learners. 

< School leadership loves: the wealth of data and insights around student progression. 

< Parents love: seeing their children engaged and progressing in their learning.

4. Webinars for teachers – To support our global community of teachers who suddenly find themselves required to teach remotely, EP will be running free daily webinars over the coming weeks to help navigate distance education. 

  • ‘Getting Started’ webinars are 15 minutes each and cover topics such as setting tasks, setting assessments, enrolling students and tracking student data remotely. 
  • ‘Content Support’ webinars are 30-minute deep dives into one of our subject areas, covering how best to use the unique features of EP in your remote teaching. 

Teachers can register here>

5. Ensuring student and teacher wellbeing – We have partnered with Pivot Professional Learning who focus on learning, wellbeing and connectedness, and have a set of checklists available for students, parents, teachers and the community.

You can read more about the different resources available here.>

Since yesterday we are supporting over 1.2 million students, from over 4031 schools, in 76 countries around the world, and we are reaching out to anyone else who needs our support. 

Yesterday alone, over 60 years of educational content was consumed online by students using EP. 

Remember we are here to help. Register for access here or contact our support team at support@educationperfect.com

 

Update 13 March 2020

EP is actively supporting schools from over 30 countries around the world disrupted by COVID-19. 

Due to the on-going changing landscape, EP is providing free and unlimited access to all schools until 1st May.  

Why are schools turning to EP?

  • Our learning tool is accessible from any device
  • Live monitoring allows real time tracking of students’ progress 
  • Messaging enables teachers to provide immediate feedback and support
  • Fully customisable curriculum-aligned content ensures continuity
  • Targeted remediation provides individual learning plans for each student

Once you have completed the registration form, we will provide you with simple next steps to support you in getting your classes enrolled.

Register for your free access here

 

Update 18 February 2020

As the COVID-19 virus continues to disrupt students and schools, EP and their online education platform is supporting both students and teachers from their homes in a timely manner.

As a leading global education software provider, EP’s online learning tool is already helping support schools in China, Korea, SE Asia and Middle East affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Seeing a dramatic increase in support calls from impacted schools using the platform across the globe, EP launched a taskforce to help aid schools in need. EP is also looking at ways to assist schools currently not using the platform during this uncertain time.

EP’s Head of Community, Tim Vaughan, highlighted the urgency of the situation in the region –

“This is unprecedented and many schools are now having to navigate the delivery of their lessons entirely online. EP presents a unique opportunity for schools to elevate the roles of their teachers through rich data and insights, whilst providing students with an engaging and effective learning experience remotely. Plugging directly into a school’s existing Learning Management System, schools can minimise the impact of the current disruptions.” 

Currently used by over 1 million students across 1,800 schools, as a cloud-based software, EP enables schools to deliver curriculum-aligned lessons and assessments remotely. By allowing teachers to monitor and measure how students are engaging with their learning in real time, teachers can maximise their efficacy – even in a remote setting.   

The impact of learning in a remote setting was highlighted by EP’s recent engagement with the  ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools) Group. With their Spring Leadership Conference postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, member schools have had the opportunity to access EP and continue their teaching and learning online. The response was overwhelmingly positive which only highlighted the need to make EP available for more schools. 

EP are a New Zealand-based organisation, originally started by Craig and Shane Smith, two brothers who were struggling with their learning at school, with the platform now being used in 27 countries around the world.  

“Being able to support schools who are affected by these disruptions is very much in the Kiwi spirit. This commitment is a small reflection of the investment teachers are putting into the lives of students every day. It is great to see technology and the EP platform helping to solve this global problem.” – CEO, Alex Burke.

We’re here to help schools, organisations, and governments who are being affected by the COVID-19 disruptions.

“As we finish our 4th week of online learning (thank you COVID-19) all I can say is EP has been a lifesaver… I can monitor students, comment on their progress and reassign tasks based upon their understanding. Brilliant.”

– Brendan Miller, HoD Science from Western Academy of Beijing, China

 


EPeeps Ben Hilliam | Global Head of Mathematics

This week we want to introduce you to our Global Head of Maths, Ben Hilliam! Ben started at EP just over 2 years ago and has been an amazing asset in developing our NZ Maths content. He now leads our Maths product across both Australia and New Zealand and is a pioneer of the use of technology in the classroom. Outside of EP, Ben loves the outdoors and spending time with his family and friends. We look forward to you meeting him!

“I was able to share my story as a teacher in NZ, the challenge of teaching through the Christchurch Earthquakes and how that forced me to adopt digital technologies into my practice."

Meet Ben

I'm a father of three who loves cricket and being outdoors. I spent over 10 years teaching before joining EP, including a 2 year stint in the far north of NZ. I just got back from my summer holiday, much of which was spent camping in the Abel Tasman National Park at the top of New Zealand's South Island.

My particular passion is camping. I like to take my family camping in remote places and set up basecamp. During the day we explore the bush and beach and let the kids experience the great outdoors without internet, TV or electricity. It was great to camp this summer at Totaranui. I had no phone or wifi access for the week. It's just the tonic for someone who works at a tech company.

Why Maths?

Maths serves as a foundation to logic, reasoning and philosophy. The more we can rationally and logically evaluate and discuss issues the better. This makes Maths a cornerstone of modern society. I see Maths as continuing to be an essential part of any curriculum that is seeking to build and develop critical thinking in our students. I also love the challenge and beauty to be found in Mathematics. I would love to give as many students as possible a chance to find this beauty and experience the satisfaction of overcoming a challenging problem.

 

Why EP?

I used to teach with Bevan Jones at St. Andrew's College, Christchurch. He left to join EP at the end of 2016. Six months later he pointed out EP was advertising for a Head of Maths, NZ. I had used EP a fair bit in my teaching and had a massive interest in e-learning in general. At the end of 2017, I took the leap over to EP and haven't looked back.

 

Favourite features

I love anything that enables annotation and handwriting. So on EP this would be the scratchpad and the scripting to maths input. In my ideal world all students would have a tablet and a stylus. EP Maths is flexible enough to work within both a laptop or tablet environment. But I hope to see more tablets in the hands of students as we move forward.

I have worked closely with a few schools who are all after the same thing: Maximising outcomes for students, while freeing up the time of teachers. This usually involves automation of the school's assessment schedule and working with the faculty staff over the course of the year to transition to a blended learning approach. It's great to see such an impact on how a department transforms. Staff who were previously snowed under with paperwork, now have a chance to actually think about what they are teaching and how they are teaching it. To me, that is a huge win.

Most excited about

We are still a small company on the global stage. We've created a platform that has proved itself in Australia and NZ. I'm super excited to see EP explode globally as we make a concerted effort to expand internationally.

Working at EP has been an amazing opportunity for me. If you're reading this and you're a teacher, keep an eye out, because we are always advertising for teachers. It's a privilege to be involved with a company with an increasing global reach and have an influence on mathematics education to this extent. 

EP in three

  1. We are an NZ based, online, total learning solution for schools.
  2. We tackle our problems from the point of view of the teacher, with student learning at the forefront of our thinking.
  3. We have amazing customer service. We value our teacher customers and always follow through.

Insights from R.E.A.L conference in Malaysia 2019

I was privileged to attend the R.E.A.L. Schools Leadership Conference in Kuala Lumpur a couple of months ago. I was invited to run a two hour workshop focussed on the future of education in the fourth industrial revolution. The school leaders present had never seen or heard of EP. This gave two edges to this experience: firstly running my first ever Education Professional Development session outside of NZ and secondly working with a group of teachers that have never seen EP before. 

I was pleased to find the issues faced by teachers in Malaysia are very similar to the issues and challenges faced by teachers in Australia and NZ. I was able to share my story as a teacher in NZ, the challenge of teaching through the Christchurch Earthquakes and how that forced me to adopt digital technologies into my practice. This story seemed to resonate with the leaders from R.E.A.L. who are keen to maximise the effect of teachers on the learning outcomes of their students. R.E.A.L. are now trialing EP at their Johor Bahru campus and are working with us closely to validate EP in their context.

I'm always keen to connect with other educators. So by all means, if you want to discuss anything about maths on the EP platform, please reach out to me either by email or Twitter - 

ben.hilliam@educationperfect.com

Twitter: @benhilliam

Instagram: @mathematiciousben

---

Please do reach out to Ben and help drive positive learning outcomes in the classroom and around the world. Thanks Ben for sharing your story.


EPeeps Melissa Musgrove | Teacher Consultant UAE

We have another new addition to the EP international team and we would like to welcome the very positive, enthusiastic and super organised, Melissa Musgrove! With a background and passion for teaching, we are excited for the impact Melissa can have on UAE schools and learning.

“Exploring data and people analytics are all the buzz in UAE at the moment. There is a surplus of schools in the region, so anything that can help schools differentiate and measure the success of their students is a bonus.”

Meet Melissa

A massive science nerd at heart (after a recent trip to NASA Houston, I secretly do very much want to be an astronaut), I fell in love with the idea of becoming a science teacher during my Year 11 Physics class.  My physics teacher not only inspired a love in the subject but was such an important advocate for his students. Something that I too wanted to do when I grew up - do we ever actually grow up?

My teaching career was launched at Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS), where I was lucky to have worked there for 15 years in a variety of roles.  My most recent appointment, as the Head of Science and Technology, was a true highlight of my career and I loved creating opportunities outside of the classroom to inspire a passion and love of all things science.  To help students understand the world around them, to inspire them to be curious and to deepen their understanding through cool experiments - being a science teacher is great fun!

Then, my husband scored a job in Abu Dhabi and we decided to follow him.

Proudest accomplishments 

Other than my two kids; the annual Women in STEM festival that I established at CGGS.  Providing the students with opportunities to meet and work alongside an inspiring group of females working within the STEM field.  It is well known that females do not typically study and then follow on to work in the field of STEM; a trend that I am passionate about reversing.

Why become an EPeep?

I worked closely with EP in my previous role in Canberra, both as a teacher and as the Head of Faculty.  So when I saw the job advertised in Abu Dhabi, I thought "what were the chances, that EP would need a person at the exact time and place that I was".  It was the perfect opportunity and the perfect fit. Like-minded people working together to inspire a love of learning in students around the world!

Favourite features

The data!  So much good data to help the teacher guide their students learning and to help the faculty program future units.  With the data, it is easy to individualise the learning but to also give good feedback to the faculty and the parents.

It is also very teacher friendly. We are so time poor that anything which helps make our job efficient and easy is a bonus. I have worked with many platforms over the past few years, EP was by far the easiest to navigate but the most comprehensive in content and range of activities.

Most excited about

Being a part of an international team. Working with people all around the world. Branching out into new areas and emerging markets,

EP in three

  1. The content rich, fresh and regularly updated or improved. There is so much content to explore and use. The content is delivered in a variety of ways and new ways to engage with the content is brought online regularly.
  2. The data! As I mentioned before, very useful and comprehensive. Allows the teacher to differentiate and personalise.
  3. The easiest platform to use - saves time, quick to create tasks, the support team behind the screen is excellent

EP’s potential in the UAE

Exploring data and people analytics are all the buzz in UAE at the moment. There is a surplus of schools in the region, so anything that can help schools differentiate and measure the success of their students is a bonus. The EP competitions for example would be loved over here. The schools in the UAE love to promote how their students are both achieving excellence and that they are happy - the provision of first class material will resonate with the market and the ability to personalise the content will tick the “happiness” of the students in their learning.

Being an international community, many students come into the schools with such a broad background with various prior academics. EP could help students catch up in their new school system or be supported to fill in any gaps. And in reverse, it could be used to extend students who are repeating content or concepts.

Goals for the next three months

  • To become an expert in the use of EP across other subjects; not just science.
  • To become more familiar with the British and American curriculum in Languages, Science and Mathematics.
  • To support the successful introduction of EP in UAE international schools who currently use either Australian, British or American curriculum 
  • To support the mapping of the IB, British and American languages curriculum to the current EP content

Thanks Melissa, we are excited to have you as part of the EP UAE family. We will check in again in the next six months as we are keen to hear some of your learning.


EPeeps Tim Vaughan | Chief Revenue Officer

Tim is a legend around the EP halls, not only as one of the EP originals (his journey started studying with Craig Smith (Co-Founder) at university) but for also being a passionate driver of helping transform learning and education around the world.

As an EdTech evangelist, seven years ago Tim joined EP in their mission. He tirelessly advocates and educates EP’s benefits around the world, and is a huge inspiration to the EP team.

 “Steve Job’s talked about computers being a bicycle for the mind. EP embodies this, by humanising technology we provide opportunities for users to achieve far more than they could without technology. Translated, this means personalisation, rich data and insights, and workflows that greatly improve efficacy and outcomes.”  

Meet Tim
Born and raised in New Zealand, I’m a husband to Kate who is supermum to 3 incredible boys - aged 6, 4, and 1. We’ve been based in Tauranga for the last 5 years and recently relocated to Singapore to support EP’s growth internationally.

I’ve always carried an entrepreneurial streak and thrive in the rhythm and energy of a fast paced ‘growth’ environment. In my capacity as CRO I have the opportunity to grow and support a team bringing EP to even more schools and organisations across the globe.

Tim’s EP story
My journey with EP started back in 2008, when Language Perfect (as it was known then) was just getting off the ground. Craig and I were in the same class at University and had mutual friends, so it was only a case of time before we connected. After being involved in the early stages, my wife and I headed to Australia to initially work at a Sydney-based Strategy and Innovation consulting firm. Prior to joining EP, I was based in Brisbane as the Global Brand Manager for Penny and Z-Flex Skateboards. Both are iconic brands within the surf/skate industry so I had some great experiences and exposure to rapidly scaling a business and brand in multiple markets. 

One of the early stage employees, Scott Cardwell, seeded this idea of Education Perfect over a beer on a hot day in Brisbane. My wife Kate was recently pregnant with our first child and we were wanting to move back to NZ to be closer to family, so it was perfect timing. The idea of coming back to NZ to build a tech business alongside two friends seemed like too good of an opportunity to say no to.

How much has EP evolved in this time?
Just a little! In the early days we occupied a small room off another small room in the Commerce Building at the University of Otago. Not dissimilar to other startups, there was an intoxicating sense of possibility which created the early stage inertia propelling the operation forwards. 

Although EP as an organisation has evolved through various stages of the journey, the company's DNA hasn’t changed at all. Ultimately business is all about people and relationships and we’ve been fortunate to have a community of people rallying around our mission.

Also over this time we’ve seen schools take major strides towards 21st Century teaching and learning which has provided EP with an opportunity to accelerate growth. Increasingly schools are seeing an opportunity to transform ways of working and EP presents a very powerful step in this direction. 

Simon Sinek talks about people not buying what you do, but why you do it. This really resonates as we’ve always had a sense of mission behind what we do and employ individuals who align with our vision. Getting the right people is a critical ingredient in scaling an organisation so it remains true to its mission, values and ultimately retaining the DNA of what’s made it successful to date.

 

NZ born and bred, how has this shaped the EP platform?
That’s a great question and I’m sure our NZ culture has provided the foundation of what’s made EP successful to date. Most people would agree that NZ’s isolation from the rest of the world has forged a culture of innovation - a can do attitude regardless of how difficult the problem is. There are many great examples of businesses that have succeeded against the odds by taking an unconventional approach.

I also think that a certain degree of naivety has been an important catalyst in our growth. When you don’t know what you don’t know, you’re forced to listen to your customers - not in a token manner, but truly listen. Observe and understand. Then apply those learnings through your offering. As your organisation scales it’s easy to prejudice questions, carry some form of confirmation bias, or seek to affirm a certain outcome. In the early days, we had such little understanding about the role of technology in the classroom, it forced us to truly understand how teachers and students could engage with EP. Over the years I’ve started to frame this naivety as empathy, as we’ve built up a phenomenal team with deep expertise in different areas. But the underlying approach of the user first, seeking to truly understand the problem, remains hard coded into the DNA of EP.

Us Kiwis are a friendly bunch and the importance of whanaungatanga (relationships) can’t be underestimated. Business is all about people and relationships, given our distance from many major markets, we’ve continued to invest heavily in people who evangelise internationally and in turn, continuing to seek insights and feedback in order to continually refine and develop the EP platform. This ‘connectedness’ to the customers also reduces your risk as you’re less likely to invest large amounts of resources in a solution or outcome that doesn’t impact the end user in a meaningful way.”

Favourite features

Automated remediation is a clear winner here. Most teachers carry significant workloads which puts enormous pressure on delivering personalised and differentiated instruction for each student. This feature is so powerful.
The makeup of a Smart Lesson is also a clever innovation. Providing a scaffolded learning environment which caters for every student is such a fantastic aspect of the system.

A teacher story
There are too many to name if there is one in particular that stands out. There’s a Sydney based teacher who had two students with learning disabilities and were often not included in social environments. During a World Series event, there was a class based competition against another school and students needed as many points as possible to beat another school. These two particular students were being encouraged by others in the class to get involved and over the course of the event, became more included socially. The parents of these two students noticed a shift and found their son/daughter was more engaged in their learning. The teacher told them about the competition they were involved in, and how that encouraged inclusion. Those two students continued to be included and were far more engaged in their learning than they ever have been. Sometimes we can easily miss the breakthroughs.


Most excited about
Seeing EP mature into an organisation that caters for different needs across new industries is an incredibly exciting chapter to be entering. Steve Job’s talked about computers being a bicycle for the mind. EP embodies this; by humanising technology we provide opportunities for users to achieve far more than they could without technology. Translated, this means personalisation, rich data and insights and workflows that greatly improve efficacy and outcomes. 

We’re now working across a rapidly growing number of schools globally and seeing the response from teachers in the Middle East and countries across SE Asia has been so rewarding. As our team continues to scale, we now have over 130 employees working on providing schools across ANZ - and now internationally - a platform that’s getting better every single day. It’s hard to not be excited by this.

 

EP in three
1. EP is a learning platform designed to elevate the role of a teacher in the classroom, and provide students with a more personalised and engaging learning experience.

2. We place a large emphasis on professional development and have a world-class team of teachers who are in schools across the globe everyday running PD to support usage and engagement on the platform.

3. The role of an educator is shifting from primarily knowledge transmission (aka traditional chalk and talk) to fostering and supporting students individual learning journey. Helping young people navigate an increasingly complex world requires independent and critical thinkers. EP provides an opportunity for students to learn at their own pace, in their own time, and whilst doing so, provide teachers with more opportunities for 1:1 support.

 

Your next EP adventure
I’ve never been so grateful for air conditioning! Singapore’s a brilliant place for work and business. There’s a large expat community so on a personal front, we’re enjoying the numerous BBQ invites and time in the pool. From an EP perspective, Singapore is a great base to work from and a hotbed of talent. You’re only 1-5 hours flight time to most of our markets so accessibility is very good.

 

Last word
Thanks for taking the time to read if you’ve made it this far.

If you’re an EP user, we can’t thank you enough for your dedication and support and we look forward to writing the next chapter of EP with you!

If you’re a prospective user, regardless of whether you’re from a school or organisation, I’d encourage you to get in touch and we can explore how we could partner together.

If you’ve ever seen EP and thought it’d be a great place to work, don’t hesitate to send a note.   tvaughan@educationperfect.com

 

 

Thank you Tim, every year we help more teachers and students learn and grow and we could not do it without you.


EPeeps Helen Prior | Teacher Consultant - Asia, Kuala Lumpur

As our expansion into Asia continues, so does the opportunity to grow our international team. Today we introduce you to our newest EPeep, Helen Prior! Helen brings a wealth of experience having taught at international schools across Asia and the Middle East for over a decade. She has a strong passion for education and teacher development which aligns so well with our culture and values. We couldn't be more excited to welcome someone of Helen's calibre to our world-class team and look forward to seeing the impact she will be having in schools across Asia.    

“There are SO many international schools globally that would benefit from the amazingness of EP, and I am excited about all of the rewards and challenges that lie ahead for our new international team!” 

Meet Helen

Hello! Originally from Welly, I studied at Otago, taught at St Margaret's College in Christchurch for a couple of years and then headed off in clichéd fashion for my OE. A decade later...and I'm still overseas!

As a teacher, my speciality was Secondary English and Drama and I loved helping students 'find their voice', build confidence and develop transferable skills. As a curriculum leader, I loved getting involved in curriculum design and whole-school curriculum mapping work - many international schools are 'through schools' (for students aged 3-18) and therefore the opportunities to build coherent learning pathways are really exciting (and challenging!)

I taught for three years in Dubai and then enjoyed four fabulous years in Hong Kong, which is where I met my future husband Matt and we had our first child, Charlotte. I somehow squashed in a Master's degree and a wedding before moving to Kuala Lumpur in 2015.  

Why did you make Kuala Lumpur your home?

In short: we were offered amazing jobs at one of the region's best international schools, Garden International School. My husband joined as Deputy Head of Secondary, and I joined as their Key Stage 3 English leader. A couple of promotions, another child, lots of great holidays and plenty of tropical sunshine later, we are still here! 

KL might not have the beauty and dynamism of Hong Kong or the luxuries of Dubai, but the quality of family life here is amazing and the food is fantastic! Also, some of the international schools here really sit amongst the world's best. 

Most proud of

In 2018, I established Malaysia's first school consultancy service for families. Professionally it has been fascinating visiting and researching so many international schools in KL (nearly 40!), and personally it has been very rewarding helping families make fully-informed school choices. 

 

 

Why become an EPeep?

I've known about EP for many years - many of the schools I've worked in internationally have used and loved it. It is an outstanding platform, and one that I truly believe can make students' and teachers' lives better! The opportunity to come onboard as one of the first International EPeeps and spread the EP love worldwide was just an offer I couldn't refuse :) 

 

 

Favourite features

Too many to mention but my top two are: 

  • I love the way it encourages teachers to actively engage with student data on a regular basis; 
  • I'm passionate about how EP can improve teacher efficacy and free up planning and marking time, meaning more time for and with students. 

Most excited about

The world is literally EP's oyster! There are SO many international schools globally that would benefit from the amazingness of EP, and I am excited about all of the rewards and challenges that lie ahead for our new international Team! 

EP in three

It can self-mark. It makes differentiation super easy. Check out these amazing data reports and the instant remedial tasks it suggests! 

(Yes you're right, it's pretty much magic and yes, you CAN have a free trial!)

The potential

Here in Asia, disruptions this academic year - including the political upheaval and protests in Hong Kong (school closures), the haze here in Malaysia (more school closures), and now Covid-19 (even more school closures) - have really highlighted to schools the need to come up with a robust 'Plan B' . Online learning is largely untapped here at the moment, and yet could be such a game changer, particularly for senior students - to ensure learning doesn't get disrupted. 

In addition, the majority of international schools are inclusive and accept students from a broad range of academic backgrounds and abilities, including many EAL students. This can pose a challenge - especially given that expectations for exam results here are usually sky-high! As a result, anything that helps support teachers to flip learning, differentiate effectively and use data to boost student progress and attainment is a real winner in my eyes (cough EP cough)! 

Over the next three months, my focus will be on building and nurturing positive relationships built on trust and mutual respect with the international schools I'll be looking after. I really believe those relationships are the key to everything moving forward! 

Thanks so much Helen, we’re excited to welcome someone of Helen's calibre to our world-class team and look forward to seeing the impact Helen will have in schools across Asia.

A final note from Helen:

“Thank you to all of the EPeeps for making me feel so welcome, and especially to Dia Jalil who has been such a huge help in these early days. I feel very lucky to be joining such a positive, passionate and supportive team!”


Responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Thoughts for schools striving to create top-class humans and not second-class robots.

Written by Jack Hylands, Co-Founder FourthRev

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is ushering in a period of unprecedented global transformation dramatically impacting the way we work, live and learn:

“It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human” (Schwab, 2016).  

The consequences of this mean today's school children will graduate into a world dramatically different to that of their parents and teachers. A world where an estimated 65% of current primary school students will be performing jobs that do not yet exist (McLeod, Scott, & Fisch, 2016). A world where tomorrow's graduates are expected to have 17 different jobs across 5 different careers (FYA, 2017). A world where human contribution will increasingly be dependent upon harnessing the power of artificially intelligent machines.

No alt text provided for this image

Whilst the world around us undergoes dramatic transformation, we can no longer rely on only teaching students the things we learnt, in the way we were taught. Optimistically, our education systems have risen to new challenges before, including the successful transition from industrial economies to global knowledge economies in the last century. Yet it is undeniable that the exponential rate of change of the 4IR poses new and unique challenges. Andreas Schleicher, Director OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, states that:

“Education has won the race with technology throughout history, but there is no guarantee it will do so in the future” (Schleicher, 2019).

Fortunately, multiple schools already exist as beacons of innovation providing blueprints for possible paths forward. The schools most successfully adapting to these challenges place digital technologies at the centre of their practice, such Wooranna Park Primary in Victoria’s Dandenong North. Here students experience personalised learning journeys driven by cutting edge technologies that go beyond coding to include robotics, 3D printing, networking and blockchain.

Apple’s distinguished schools program celebrates institutions that have demonstrated best practice through school wide innovation, and provides resources to guide practitioners through tried and tested approaches:

“We've found that the most innovative schools in the world evaluate and improve their practices while paying close attention to the world their students graduate into. And they innovate, not for the sake of innovation, but with the vision to build relevant and inspiring teaching and learning communities” (Apple, 2017).

Apple have found that the most successful institutions create dynamic environments that support teachers as learning experience designers who empower learners for the modern world. Alongside technical knowledge and skills, the most successful schools develop students with the new foundational capabilities required to succeed in the 21st century. As artificial intelligence enables machines to outperform humans over increasingly complex tasks, students must be taught the human skills that will differentiate their contributions into the future.

Often referred to as enterprise, or 21st century skills, these capabilities include communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. At their core is the age-old human trait of empathy, which underpins design led approaches to help understand the true needs of others and how they can be best supported. Teachers can leverage these approaches to enhance their own teaching practice, as well as instill them upon future generations whose humanity will be more important than ever.

A strong consensus has formed on the need for a lifelong approach to learning, supporting people to navigate change across long careers and multiple jobs. Alvin Toffler’s famous quote highlights that this is not a new insight, but it is perhaps now more prescient that ever:

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn” (Toffler, 1970).

It is within our schools that this mentality must be created, gifting students the growth mindset that embraces challenge as a learning opportunity and enables students to chart their own path through an uncertain future. And if teachers are going to fulfill the vital role of guiding learners on this journey, they must also be empowered with the resources, time and support to keep pace with our fast-changing world.

Yet ultimately, to respond to the abundance and continuous change of the 4IR, we cannot expect our teachers to stand at the front of the classroom imparting students with the latest technological wisdom. Instead, the exciting future of our schools sees teachers as the designers and leaders of open, diverse maker-spaces working in collaboration with students and individuals from different walks of life. It is within these dynamic learning environments that future generations will be empowered with the skills of the 21st century.


Te Rau Winterburn Joins EP Team as Head of Kaupapa Māori

To support our aspiration of helping Kiwis learn Te Reo Māori this year, we are proud to introduce Te Rau Winterburn (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Kahungunu) as the EP Head of Kaupapa Māori.

Te Rau has a long history of learning, teaching and advocating for Te Reo Māori. He is a total immersion trained primary school teacher specialising in Level 1 Immersion, and has experience in all sectors from Primary up to University and Whare Wānanga levels.

Te Rau is a published writer of Māori content and an established composer in both Māori and English. 

I have a deep passion for our reo, Te Ao Māori, bilingualism and multiculturalism. I am very excited to bring my skills, knowledge and expertise to EP to further enhance the impact that our Kaupapa Māori content will have on kura, kaiako and businesses throughout Aotearoa and beyond.
- Te Rau Winterburn, EP Head of Kaupapa Māori.

Under Te Rau’s leadership, we are excited to launch into 2020 and beyond with the aspiration of uniting Aotearoa in increasing its widespread and everyday use of our unique and special taonga, Te Reo Māori. 

Our aspiration: unite a nation

Read more EP's commitment to Te Reo Māori in 2020 ❭


EP’s commitment to Te Reo Māori in 2020

In 2019, over 3,000 teachers and 25,000 students, completed EP’s Te Reo Māori course, but we’re just getting started!

This year EP aspires to have 10 times the number of participants understanding and actively speaking basic Te Reo Māori. To get there we plan to enhance the Kaupapa Māori content and invest time in the community to assist individuals, teachers, schools and businesses in acquiring this important taonga.

“This is such an important initiative for us at EP, considering our heritage as a Kiwi Tech business. We see it as our responsibility to do our bit to grow confidence and competence in using our national taonga.”
Alex Burke, EP CEO.

In 2019, EP supported New Zealand kaiako to improve their knowledge of Te Ao Māori and use of Te Reo Māori in the classroom. EP’s Te Reo Māori course was hugely popular as it could be completed online whenever teachers found available time. Upon completion of the course, teachers received a certificate to acknowledge their efforts and commitment to developing their overall knowledge of Kaupapa Māori .

“We’re proud to be able to support so many teachers and students across the country with learning Te Reo Māori. We have fantastic course material, which we hope will encourage both schools and businesses across Aotearoa to pick up the essentials of Te Reo Māori and general tikanga.”
James Santure, EP Head of Product and Content.

“It has been a really interesting and valuable experience and I have thoroughly appreciated being in the role of a learner and being able to walk in the shoes of our students.”
Stephanie Barnett, Deputy Principal at Rangi Ruru Girls School.

EP is also receiving growing interest from a number of businesses who are looking to support their staff to learn Te Reo Māori. A huge positive for businesses is that EP can work with them to tailor the course to their specific needs. The course can be completed on any device including mobile, removing barriers to learning.

This work with businesses links closely with EP’s recent launch of their EP for Work product, which combines a cutting edge technology platform with instructional design services, alongside comprehensive support and training.

To lead this initiative, EP has appointed Te Rau Winterburn as Head of Kaupapa Māori. Te Rau has a long history of teaching and advocating for Te Reo Māori across all sectors, and will drive the ongoing development of EP’s courses, while supporting schools and businesses across the country. Te Rau is of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga and Ngāti Kahungunu descent.

 

 

“I have a deep passion for our reo, Te Ao Māori, bilingualism and multiculturalism. I am very excited to bring my skills, knowledge and expertise to EP to further enhance the impact that our Kaupapa Māori content will have on kura, kaiako and businesses throughout Aotearoa and beyond.”
Te Rau Winterburn, EP Head of Kaupapa Māori.

 

 

Read more on the course