• Arnika Macphail

Reflections on 2020 PLD workshops

The first two terms of 2020 saw many kanohi ki te kanohi workshops postponed or cancelled. But once lockdown had lifted the workshops planned by Emma Planicka and supported by GCSN made a strong comeback with many bookings.


Who is Emma?

Emma is the Director of Digital Learning PLD and is contacted to provide hui for kaiko on behalf of GCSN. She works with kura supporting the meaningful integration of digital learning, building digital fluency and embedding creative pedagogy in schools.


In this guest post, Emma shares her insight into the past year of hui and what is coming up for Term 4 2020.






2020! What a year it has been… and through it all, it has been my absolute pleasure to continue to plan and deliver locally MoE funded hands-on workshops we are lucky enough to offer, through GCSN.








So what’s been happening???

Kicking the year off it was great to see and have such a wide range of passionate teachers from across Ōtautahi, come along and engage in planning and learning to start successfully integrating Computational Thinking and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes into their teaching and learning. Workshops included providing leaders, kaiako, and kura with a toolkit and framework to support their schools, on their unique journey.


Delving into Sphero and BeeBots, kaiako really appreciated the range of simple, creative ideas they could take back to the classroom and use straight away. Making connections to DT Progress Outcomes and the next steps to extend their learners highlighted some ‘aha’ moments and momentum back in and outside of the classroom!


Getting ākonga creating with Google for Education has been extremely popular and I have really enjoyed working with a wide range of kaiako across Primary and Secondary. With such a vast array of resources, ideas, tips and tricks - it was a pleasure to see kaiako requesting to come back for a repeat workshop to build on their new knowledge.


iPad half and full-day workshops have seen confidence and fluency developed in those fantastic open-ended, native Apple Apps - with examples of workflows, loads of App Smashing, and cross-curricular integration for all ages. Exploring pedagogy and tools like the SAMR Model enriched learning and provided meaningful context to new learning and the all-important ‘WHY?’


Designing the Play with a Digital Spin Workshop has been such a highlight for me! Seeing the engagement, laughter and joy from participants and connecting digital tools and play in a way that puts the learner at the centre, has ensured purposeful integration and careful consideration around how we access/use/create with digital tools + setting up for success.


It has been such a pleasure hearing and seeing new learning in action in kura, the engagement, excitement, and joy from not only ākonga, but kaiako building their confidence.



“The GCSN Workshops have been absolutely fantastic!!! They have been the best, worthwhile PLD I have been on! I use so much of it in the classroom! Clips is my favourite tool!“



“This was another outstanding PD session (including the food). I had very positive feedback from my colleagues, and as we were working the support tickets kept coming in from attendees asking to install apps and to book slots for supporting their classes. I think it's a measure of good and effective PD if the learning actually gets taken back to the classroom - so thank you very much!”



“The GCSN workshops are always so informative and for someone who is not that tech savvy,

not at all scary!!”




What’s coming up?

We have two workshops coming up this term, and some exciting new workshops planned for 2021.


Back by popular demand, we will be running, Play with a Digital Spin and Creating with Google.


Check out our Events Page for more information and to secure your place! Stay tuned for more exciting new workshops coming up in Term 1 next year.


On behalf of GCSN, we would like to thank Emma for delivering meaningful hui to our kaiako across Ōtautahi. We would also like to acknowledge Garry Williams, Education Manager, from our local MoE Office. The hui continue thanks to Garry's on-going support for GCSN.


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GCSN is a non-profit dedicated to greater Christchurch.

PO Box 945, West End, Christchurch 8140

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