top of page

September Events Newsletter

Kia ora,

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

With Term 3 drawing to a close we cannot believe how fast 2023 is flying by! This pānui is all about community and shows you what we have been up to behind the scenes, projects we have supported, and what we are excited about. Learn more about our latest research publication, Building Online Communities, how to get involved in the BIG SCIENCE! project and our brand-new podcasting competition, Top of the Pods, as well as how GCSN has been supporting schools alongside Emma Planicka from Digital Learning PLD. We hope that this newsletter provides you with some Term 4 inspiration or sparks your interest in what could be an exciting school holidays project. Stay in the loop about these and exciting future opportunities on Twitter, Facebook or via the GCSN website.

Noho ora mai rā,

The GCSN Team

Building Online Communities

Building Online Communities is the latest research publication by the GCSN. All about building community, these resources are designed to support schools and kura to establish or strengthen online communities to connect ākonga to their peers, kaiako, extra-curricular and citizenship opportunities as well as to support learning and teaching by enhancing the school experience and preparing ākonga for an increasingly digital world.

The report provides research and findings to support the establishment of online communities before providing advice and recommendations for schools and kura about how to establish and support effective online. communities. The corresponding quick guide focuses more on the applications and key recommendations for schools and kura.


BIG SCIENCE! aims to empower ākonga and young people to do real science from their own homes, turning Aotearoa into a huge science lab! Participants can experiment with atoms and nanoscience, explore virtual reality labs, build their own instruments, measure and experiment with others, and investigate alongside real scientists.

The programme was created to engage curious minds across Aotearoa to undertake nation-wide, collaborative research, highlighting the importance of scientific collaboration and the value of local communities in scientific activities. Currently, BIG SCIENCE! are looking for young scientists to help them build with atoms, discover their place in the universe, and master the force! If this sounds like you check out their website below.

Top of the Pods Competition

Are you an aspiring podcaster? Are you curious about what it takes to produce a podcast? Do you know ākonga who have a story to share? Top of the Pods is the competition for you!

GCSN, Christchurch City Libraries, and Plains FM are excited to present Top of the Pods. A brand-new podcasting competition where teams of ākonga across greater Ōtautahi can produce their own podcast, learn new skills, and win awesome prizes, including a podcasting setup for your school!

Registrations are open until 1 October and from there teams have until the end of October to plan, create, and produce a podcast about whatever they would like; film, food, friends, science, sports, the world's your oyster!

To support teams during the competition we will be hosting two Open Days on Thursday 19 October and Friday 27 October (9:30am - 2:30pm) where teams can drop in to access specialist support and use the libraries equipment.

Te Parito Kōwhai Russley School PLD

Supported by GCSN, Emma Planicka from Digital Learning PLD spent three weeks working with kaiako and ākonga from Te Parito Kōwhai Russley School to extend their digital kete of create apps. This involved working with kaiako and ākonga over three weeks to model how the create apps could be implemented in the classroom, coaching for kaiako to learn new skills, and strategically planning for how this learning could be implemented across the school.

Check out some photos taken during the sessions:

Hear about what participants thought of the project:

  • "I have lots more knowledge and I can do more creative things and make really cool things." - Ākonga

  • "Every session with Emma has a twofold benefit - not only increasing my skills using iPad apps with my class, but also increasing my motivation and enthusiasm for taking the learning further." - Kaiako

  • "We have developed new skills in Keynote which has been awesome. This has given the kids great confidence in a new app which they are able to app smash using Sketches School, Garage Band and Keynote." - Kaiako

bottom of page