Sunday, March 27, 2011

Apple Bus Tour

I have just spent the last week traveling around schools in the North Island (Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga) on the Apple Bus Tour, getting a glimpse of some of the incredible ways schools are innovating with their integration of technology. The Tour has been as described in the Education Gazette as "the most popular tour and longest running tour of schools looking at eLearning. In the last 15 years over 1500 teachers have taken part."

I can see why it has been so popular. Each day presented an avalanche of possibilities and reflection points, and a great deal of reassurance as to where New Zealand schools are at with e-learning. I took copious notes, and I won't reproduce everything here, but over the next few posts I'll reflect on some of the things that made a particular impression on me.

Image from

One of the best integrations of wikis, blogs and social networking in a class was Dave Beehre's set up. Clearly the result of hours and hours of thought and tweaking, Dave has blended his class's physical space with a number of virtual learning spaces, centered on the class wiki, "the class without walls". If anyone is looking for an exemplar of educational wiki use, make this your first stop. In fact, it's not a wiki, but a collection of interlinked wikis, that provide the space for information, timetables, links, protected planning and assessment spaces and tutorials as well as links to other learning spaces like Twiducate and Kidblog.

What impressed me in particular, was that this was not just e-bling for the sake of it, but the result of some serious thinking about the role of technology in pedagogy. If you haven't yet checked out Dave's blog, Web Tools for Schools, go and put it in your Reader now - well worth it!


  1. Hi Craig, Dave is doing an awesome job in his class and his wikis and blogs are fantastic resources. He deserves all the recognition he gets. Thanks for writing a great post on his work!

  2. Nice write up Craig, I like your 'e-bling' phrase. I thought that a great deal of what we saw on the tour was much more than e-bling and Dave's use of web2 amongst the best.

  3. Cheers, Jacqui and Tim. It's great to have examples out there to learn from and emulate, and it wouldn't happen if there wasn't that willingness in the teaching community to share.