Learning is an involving activity. The delivery of information in the old lecture style format has been shown to be ineffective for most learners. The levels of engagement were poor as were the retention of information because of the passive role of the learner. The teacher is now in a learning partnership with the student to facilitate their educational progress. It is the relationship the teacher has with their clients that can retard or facilitate their progress.

Students need to be empowered by increasing their direct involvement in the learning process. The process of technological acquisition and use in school environments is a medium where this empowerment can be enhanced. The teaching process of “Blended Learning” where individual and small groups can all be on-task engaging with digital learning medium and be guided by a roaming teacher has been shown to be highly effective. This form of collaboration (OECD, 2016) is a skill-set that will be needed in the students’ future. The use of digital technology that reduces the barriers of national and international borders so that information can be easily accessed and utilised could create a sense of global integration, (page 10, OECD, 2016). This consequence of globalisation on Education could have a positive benefit for students.

The Health Education curriculum of New Zealand has four underlying concepts that shape the teaching of this content, (TKI-Health, 2017). The Attitudes and Values conceptual area promotes inclusion, acceptance, respect for others and social justice. It is these bedrock values (Taha wairua) that embrace the diversity of others in the world that can counter the ubiquitous and sometimes negative influence of social media.


(TKI – seniorsecondary, 2017)

The “Ideas and Identities are driving a wave of exclusion” (National Intelligence Council. Page 6, 2017) proposed that the improved access to the global community would instead foster tensions between cultures. This global trend and consequence paints a negative outlook for the future. Factors that threaten inclusivity that were identified in the OECD article (2016) were nationalism, nativism, xenophobia, prejudice, extremism and populism.

However, the rise in women’s status and economic leadership roles may bring about a decrease in the social inequality that women face in many different cultures bringing about more social justice in the future. (Human Rights Commission, 2016).
The 300 level Health Education students engaging in research at Waimea were examining the ethical dilemmas of some topics such as abortion, organ donation & euthanasia in other countries and the determinants of health that influenced the different outcomes to evolve. It is the quick access or connectivity that allows other international approaches to be analysed and the stakeholders for the opposing views to evaluated. Without the internet, BYOD and open questions that can cater to a variety of student interests.

The new 21st century techniques that I have been exposed to as part of the Mindlab professional development using both face to face interaction and on-line contact through a portal. This approach will benefit students. The dual process encourages a community connection and then ease of on-line flexibility when coping with a busy full-time job running a department plus family/school life.

by Marcus Swain


(Human Rights Commission, 2016)


TKI_Health, 2017 –

(TKI – seniorsecondary, 2017)

National Intelligence Council. (2017). Global trends: The Paradox of Progress. National Intelligence Council: US. Retrieved from

OECD. (2016) Trends Shaping Education 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: publication can be read online by following its DOI’s hyperlink)



Add yours

  1. Hi Marcus,
    You have written an interesting blog post. You mention the OECD report that identifies many areas of educational change over the coming years which is both exciting and challenging for us as teachers. There will be many benefits for students that have had the opportunity to learn these new skills. You highlighted the importance new and innovated learning environments such as blended learning classrooms. Yes, you are right that the Mindlab course has exposed us to many new and interesting techniques and expertise that will benefit all students. I found this article that you might be interested in as it relates to your blog post. The government has announced a “shake-up” to digital technology and the NZ curriculum:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic.
    Stewart McKean

    Liked by 1 person

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