Jo Gibson's blogs

  • Learn-Now 2015!

    By Jo Gibson

    _on chilly bin-transp.pngHi everyone!

    After 6 years running during Terms 2-4 only, Learn-Now resumes its ability to run all year! We are a team of four - three teachers and a tutor (at the moment), working together as a 'mobile teaching and learning service' running extension programmes with an e-Learning edge and supporting others to do the same as well do, in their own classes.

    Wainuioru School, Wairarapa, take on the first round of programming (tomorrow as I write), closely followed by Solway Primary, Masterton the day after - with more in the pipeline...!



    Ahead of us, on Tuesday 31st March, is our first Wairarapa based Conferences4Kidz programme, open to students in Years 4-6.

    'Frontup4impact' is our theme and we have three stunning characters fronting up to make the first impact. John, Meagan and Lucy Ward - representatives of the NZ Heifer Project operating in Uganda lead the day as our keynote speakers.

    The day unfolds with 32 workshops - students can select 3 of them to focus on for the day.

    For more, see our conference site,


    Other than that - watch this space as we head into Learn-Now's 15th year, with partnerships coming in from as far as Germany, Spain, South Korea and Australia - to name a few!

    Cheers! Jo Gibson
    ePrincipal, Learn-Now
    Director, Authentic Encounters Online (AEO) Ltd, Masterton, NZ
    Empowering elearning based educators and learners to make an impact ...

  • I was asked recently to be a guest blogger for Ethos Consultancy. Not really being much of a blogger, I was surprised at the invite!  Yet, in saying that, I really do enjoy recording updates of where things are at with the programme and in particular with how Learn-Now students are tuning into what's up for grabs. I was hugely enthused to hear of a few blogs that sparked some interest. So, reinspired, today saw another update. It's more like a quarterly update than a true blog, but was had!  It was a delight to share the latest...

    Cool Read the latest blog via AEO Ltd

    Socialising the learning.

    For more, scroll though *AEO's actual blog site to read more 'quarterly updates'.

    *AEO: Authentic Encounters Online Ltd: home of Learn-Now - one of several AEO's projects.

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    Behind the scenes...

    Launching Frontup4Impact has been about 3 years in the making. It's taken 3 years to go from trying to cover all the bases for all school needs and all student needs. The reality is, unless participants were really tuned into student directed learning, elearning styles and the 'Learn-Now' way (start with blank slates rather than present a full course of 10 assignments...), we ended up compromising our focus and doing students and keeping an edge to elearning a real disservice.


    Frontup4Impact is to be honest, my bent. My passion. Fronting up for impact is easy. It's such a feel good, inspirational, every day edge any of us can give, to those who live with us, or far afield.  But, in the world of scalability and sustainability, I can't do this on my own. I need a vehicle and I need passengers.


    After working with children for over 20 years now, I've learnt that they are a force not to be underestimated by way of skill, initiative and drive. They're smart (or can be taught how to be) and have a heart and interest in the world around them - not tainted by greed, skeptism or 'the too hard basket' as some of us are when we grow older. But, being so young, they need facilitation from those just as enthusiastic and yet more experienced and aware of logistics around us.



    Kids love to help

    I've worked with 8-13 year olds all this time and very little is 'too cool' for them, when it comes to helping others. They're an eager, creative and very endearing bunch and making an impact comes in almost any shape or form.


    Those I've worked with have made an impact in the lives of the elderly down the road; a family who'd been cleaned out by burglars;  classmates who were stuck in a business centre of a hotel to 'do school' from afar; a family in the Phillipinnes who collected stamps to sell by being 'business partners' (ultimately enabling the family to buy a table to do  after 18 years without one); children who'd never received Christmas presents; a community who needed a well; Ronald McDonald House Wellington and so...


    One current team is looking at privately sponsoring a 13 year old in Uganda (through NZ 19 year old Lucy currently living in his compound), so that he may continue to go to school... This same team of sponsorers have already helped Christchurch and some have helped Japan, and so too some children on two Pacific Islands - they're global in their support.

    A vehicle - passengers needed.

    Frontup4impact has launched as the new vehicle for making an impact. It's where the brains behind making the impact can respond, develop, communicate and engineer how and what the impact may be. It's a vehicle that has drivers, but needs more. It's a vehicle that has passengers, but needs more. The more we have, the greater the impact we can make and the greater the distance we can travel.

    This is not an exclusive student-only community however. It's also a liaison centre for those 'behind the students' and who are keen to volunteer facilitation and guidance. Hence such groups in here as Principal, Parent and Volunteer Lounges. It's a monitored site by all members (the 8-13 year olds are in moderation training).


    Welcome To Our Journey!

    ...and so begins the life of Frontup4impact.

    I'll blog at random - watch this space for blogs particularly related to life in this space. Anything will go...:) From one end of the emotional rollercoaster to the other, from progress to brick-walled moments and so on...

    Happy reading in anticipation, from all members of Frontup4impact.

    Cheers! Jo Gibson

    Programme Coordinator / Director of Frontup4impact, Learn-Now.
    In association with Authentic Encounters Online Ltd, New Zealand.


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