The Nga Pumanawa e Waru Education Trust and the Next Foundation have joined forces to provide scholarships for 62 Rotorua teachers to upskill and collaborate on "future-focused" learning.

The scholarships were awarded to teachers interested in studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) delivered by The Mind Lab.

Local teacher Lynley Schofield has been appointed the postgraduate director for the Rotorua programme.

The programme has been designed to introduce new teaching methods for active class engagement, practical knowledge of digital tools and exposure to emerging practices that enhance the learning experience for today's learner.

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Nga Pumanawa e Waru is a Rotorua-wide initiative that uses best practice e-learning teaching methods and collaboration between schools to transform educational outcomes for learners and whanau across the city's schools and kura.

Teachers will complete the course in two 16-week blocks. The first block, which started last week, consists of weekly four-hour face-to-face collaborative sessions. The second set of 16 weeks will be dedicated to taking part in online work.

Nga Pumanawa e Waru director of learning Sue Winters said the course required "huge commitment" from teachers.

"I am absolutely delighted all the scholarship places were filled so easily. The generation entering primary school now has never known a world without devices and this programme allows educators to build on current effective teaching techniques and effective relationships between learners and teachers. It is not about throwing out tried-and-true teaching practices, it's about looking at how we can support our teachers in future-focused learning. There will be a lot of reading and reflection on our own practices and how we can build on our knowledge of future-focused learning to benefit our students."

Mrs Winters said teachers across primary and secondary schools were involved.

"This programme has been a wonderful springboard for our Nga Pumanawa E Waru teachers. After the first workshop there was a real buzz among the teachers and we received very positive feedback.

"The learning these teachers are doing can be taken immediately into classrooms and when you have passionate, excited teachers, that creates a positive impact on students."

-To see video of The Mind Lab workshop in Rotorua, go to www.dailypost.co.nz.

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