Kia ora, ngā mihi maioha kia a koutou katoa. Hello and welcome to LENScience Community, the latest development in our communication basket!
LENScience developed our first interactive online presence back in 2008. The LENS wiki was a great way to get interactive e-learning off the ground and formed the hub of our LENScience Connect community from 2008-2011. With fantastic support from Kordia, VoltTV, Gravida and the University of Auckland ITS team the wiki and the satellite TV platform allowed us to talk to you, and you to talk to us, and to each other.
That programme was a raging success. We had over 2000 Year 13 students participating each year from 2009 – 2011. We used the platform for one-off events for 11-16 year olds, interactive teacher PLD programmes and of course we won awards - from TUANZ and the Tertiary ITS Community. There are almost 30 interactive programmes in our archive from that period. We know that many of you are still using those resources with your classes. Our science communities loved the opportunity to interact with you and your students.
However – some of you told us that the wiki was a bit too accessible by the world! You wanted a private space; a space where you could throw around ideas without worrying that the entire world could see what you and in particular your students were talking about. We also heard that the wiki was not exactly user-friendly. It was great for the techies – but a bit complicated for most of us to use!
Well we have listened, and here it is, the LENScience Community. This is the exciting beginning of our new blended e-learning space. We plan to see this grow into something that captures all the good parts of the original LENScience Connect community – with much more. You might say LENScience Connect is undergoing steroid treatment!
The front page and blogs are public – the whole world can have a look and see who we are and what we are about. BUT, to come inside or contribute to a group you will need to be a member. Members are educators, scientists, LENScience supporters and in special places within the community, school students. Different people will have access to different groups. We can set up groups that are for instance for clusters of teachers and scientists developing or using a programme. We will be able to set up private groups for your classes (but please let us walk before we run!).
You will also have your own page as a member. This is your space. You can share it with a mentor, open it to your department, the whole community, or just keep it to yourself.
Initially we will target educators, school technicians and scientists. We will be setting up groups for our Professional Learning and Development programmes, and specific interest groups – such as teachers engaging in the Year 11 Diabetes in My Community programme.
Back in 2009 when I talked to more than 500 science teachers throughout New Zealand, I found two that were using Web2.0 tools in their teaching! Wow – how fast things have changed. I am sure if I asked now how many of you are using social media the answer would be almost everyone – AND in our classrooms.
In 2013 we developed and piloted this social network which is built using a NINNG platform. A huge thank you to the students, staff and scientists from Aorere College, James Cook High School, Southern Cross Campus, St Cuthbert's College, Tamaki College and the University of Auckland's Centre for Brain Research who helped test and develop the site.
Welcome to the LENScience Community. The journey is just beginning………………
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.