DE News 2017 T4 W02

Published on: Author: Greg Alchin

“It takes a big heart to shape little minds.” – Anon


NSW representatives on the AADES (Australia and Australasian Distance Education Schools) Council

Daniel Rattigan and Deb Murray

NSW now has two representatives on the AADES Council with Debbie Murray Principal, Dubbo School of Distance Education, joining Daniel Rattigan, Deputy Principal Sydney DEHS, who has been a member of the council for a number of years. The roles Debbie and Daniel undertake as members of the AADES Council are important as they are able to provide the NSW viewpoint and bring back to NSW strategies, initiatives and processes used by other jurisdictions across Australasia.

Congratulations to Debbie Murray, Principal Dubbo School of Distance Education, who was recently  nominated by her distance education peers to represent them on the AADES Council. Debbie brings to this role outstanding collaboration skills and a deep knowledge of distance education through her vast experiences as a teacher and principal in the distance education environment. As a leader she has driven change and innovation within her school and across NSW that has proven to engage students and enhance their learning experiences.

A role Daniel has undertaken recently was his enormous contribution to the planning, coordination and hosting of the highly successful AADES conference held in week 5 of term 3. One of the benefits to the NSW Distance Education leaders and the Rural and Distance Education team has been the information Daniel has shared regarding current and emerging collaborative online tools and pedagogy to engage students accessing their education in the virtual environment.

For further information about AADES please access their website to read information including the goals and actions of AADES, and school news stories.

AADES webinar

The next AADES webinar is being conducted on 18th October at 1pm EST.

This webinar will be led by Lauren Smith the Head of Department of the AADES project award winning Alternative Learning Space (ALS).

The Alternative Learning Space – A holistic approach to doing school differently

Capricornia School of Distance Education adopts a holistic approach to the educational requirements of students within the Alternative Learning Space, taking the multiple issues into account when developing the individual educational program for each student. The school and the locations of the sites currently utilise a Guidance Officer daily for mental health, social and emotional support as well as career counselling. In addition to the support of the Guidance Officer, the Alternative Learning Space team liaises frequently with other youth support services in the area to provide the complex case management required for the success of these students.

Session info:

The aim of ALS is to assist disengaged youth to overcome challenges and assist them to reengage in making positive choices to become contributing members of society.

Session will unpack:

  • The context
  • Community Partnerships
  • Programs used
  • How ALS runs
  • Target students
  • Student engagement strategies and data

The following link will allow access to the session via Blackboard Collaborate.To invite unregistered guests to this session AADES Webinar – Alternative Learning Space, use the following link:

The session will be recorded.

Distance Education Symposium – 2018

Expression of Interest – Planning Team member

Would you like to assist the Rural and Distance Education (RDE) team to coordinate the DE Symposium that will be held next year, in Sydney in term 3? Date and venue to be advised.

The role of the planning team is to plan and coordinate the DE Symposium, determine the structure and content of the symposium and undertake specific tasks to assist in the operation of the symposium.

If you are interested, please complete the EOI information sheet and email to Kym Knight by 4:30pm, Week 3, Friday 27 October.

DE School News

North East Public School term 3 newsletter

In the term three NEPSODE Newsletter you will read items about:

  • Whole School Professional Learning – Coffs Harbour Combined staff PL
  • Time to Change the Language
  • 2017 Book Parade
  • Images of the School and Community
  • History of our School Logo
  • Feedback
  • Growth Mindset – Focus of PL and T&L
  • The Term 3 “Ten Challenge”
  • Focussed Learning – What it Means for Our School
  • Reflections / Observations from a New Staff Member to our School, and
  • 2017 Term 3 Muster days

NSW School of Languages

The NSW School of Languages is having an influence and impact on students’ engagement with languages in their home school as well as for those students who are studying a language through the distance education option implemented at NSW School of Languages.

Tumbarrumba Year 7 students are engaged in a trail project with teachers from NSW School of Languages. They had a visit by their teachers recently for a cultural experience day. More information can be read in this artice in the Southern Courier “Language Lesson in Food and Bargaining”.

Southern Cross School of Distance Education Newsletter

In this edition of the school’s newsletter you will read the articles listed below:

  • Principal’s message (Greg Armstrong’s last newsletter message as relieving principal)
  • TAS faculty news, including Child Studies and Exploring Early Childhood, Food Technology, Student Work, Microbit training Year 7,
  •  and general information

DE Network News

Chinese Group

Languages DE Collegial Network News

The Languages Network met for two days last term in week 9 at NSW School of Languages. The workshop meeting began with a presentation on effective e-learning design. Following that presentation the network members worked in two groups to develop a scope of sequence for the one hundred hour Year 9 Japanese and Chinese courses for the new syllabus.

Japanese Group

The networking was beneficial for all who attended. The network now has a plan to move forward to create learning materials for those subjects.

Thank you to NSL for hosting the workshop.

For more information please contact Michelle Marotte, Network Coordinator. Michelle is Head Teacher at Camden Haven and can be contacted on 02 6556 8100.

Primary DE Collegial Network News

The Primary Network  aims to support all DE Primary schools with DE learning materials, including Maths and other KLAs. Once the Maths project currently being undertaken is completed they aim to support the Primary DE schools with common projects of common need and also work on plans for completing staff development courses together. These will be informed by their school plans, in conjunction with discussion and support from the Principals.

Please contact Julie Baldwin (DP at BHSOTA) co-coordinator who has taken over the reins of coordinating the network while Sam Davies is on leave. Julie can be contacted on 08 8087 3565.

Mathematics DE Collegial Network News

The Mathematics Network is focussed on the writing of stage six learning materials for the new curriculum. They are tracking well to complete the writing tasks identified in their scope and sequence.

To stay abreast of their goals and actions the network members met on Thursday 21 September and addressed the following agenda items:

  • Standard 2 progress
  • Modified leaflets
  • MANSW conference
  • Leaflet probability
  • December 1 LMBR,
  • General Business and potential agenda items for the next meeting being held on November 2.

Contact person for further information is Nina Thomas, Network Coordinator at Sydney DEHS, on 02 9383 0400.

DE PDHPE Collegial Network

The network members participated in a VC meeting in Week 9  of Term 3. Agenda items included:

  • Revisiting the role of the network
  • Planning for the new syllabus
  • Sharing of resources

At the next meeting planned for Friday 27 October the network members will being making decisions about the units to be written and shared across the DE schools.

For more information please contact Network Coordinator, Richard Mills at Southern Cross School of Distance Education on 02 66810341.

Geography Network News

Simple Spatial Technologies – for the Geography Classroom

A one day workshop is being offered for teachers looking to introduce free, online and easy to use spatial tools in their Geography classroom.

For further information, including an agenda, please see the Simple Spatial Workshop flyer.

To register, simply email

Please note: If you are interested in hosting a workshop at your school in Semester 1 2018, then please contact Bec Nicholas & Mick Law, Contour Education 0400 121 311 & 0431 665 879


Twitter iconTwitterspheric professional learning

Twitter is a quick and easy tool for participating in and/ or building a Professional Learning Network. To learn more about using twitter for professional learning, download the The Global Digital Citizen Foundation’s Twitter-Tastic Teacher’s Guide.  Below are some of Twitter feeds we hope you find worthwhile!  Why not tweet us about what other networks you would like us to highlight!

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

International Society for Technology in Education


Universal design for Learning

Common Sense Education


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