Jo, Learn-Now and more...

Jo, Learn-Now and more...

Last updated by Jo Gibson Comments (1)

3d infoHi everyone!

I'm a teacher, with NZ and overseas experience, in the face-to-face and online education sector.

I've got the privilege of wearing several hats... eTeacher / Teacher for Learn-Now; Area Coordinator for Samaritan's Purse and it's Operation Christmas Child mission - and Education Architect for new online initiatives. The latest is a massive mission impacting 65 countries along the New Silk Road, working with a team from China, Singapore and Indonesia.



Learn-Now was founded in 2001. It was first designed and adopted by principals and parents around New Zealand and beamed into the USA, UK and Central and Eastern Asia within a year.

When Learn-Now went private, we formed what's since become FreshAz Education Ltd. It's and education company who teams up often with other schools, community projects, tertiary sectors (getting online courses underway) and business sectors (getting online training and operations underway).

Collaborative learning online backs FreshAz Ed since 1997... This launched when students of High Commissioners in a class back then, took off with travelling parents around the world for months. We learned how to beam school life back online, and foster student led learning via the internet rather than wade through text books and worksheets mailed in from afar.



A Little Background on the teaching front...

Regular classroom teaching started this journey, with 12 years in Dunedin, Timaru and Christchurch.  Several roles played their part in that time, from Curriculum Leadership to Assessment, GATE, Professional Development, ICT, Education Outside the Classroom, and as Acting DP, Syndicate Leader, Associate Leader, Senior Teacher and Project Manager. LOL! Not sure how really - youthfulness I guess!

In 1997, I joined a small team of NZ, Australian and British teachers to set up the (then) new Jerudong International School in Brunei, South East Asia. The ICT/elearning edge I've been hooked into ever since, took off there and throughout the 5 years I was in Brunei.   The intensity of elearning approaches followed during the next 3 years in the eSection/eLearning Development Centre at the Correspondence School Wellington, where Learn-Now was first established. Much thanks goes to Derek Wenmoth still, for the support and design at the time.

Learn-Now later became a core project for further development when as a Project Manager with the programme for 18 months, with Core Education, led by Derek as one of its Directors.


Learn-Now today...

Now, in its private sector capacity as a service resource for schools, homeschoolers and after school tuition and many adult sectors. Learn-Now's expanded from sole trader operation to currently a team 28 at the moment - with offshore and NZ partners galore. Learn-Now has scored the (NZ) DEANZ AWARD - an award given biennially 'to promote and reward excellence in eLearning, distance, open and flexible learning'.

As we let Learn-Now become more widely known, we've been delighted to learn that it's "...a wonderfully cutting edge programme- featuring extreme levels of what's promoted as good learning and teaching from the Ulearn and Learning@Schools conferences.." to quote one principal (2011), school should get this free...". We enjoy working with core areas of teaching and learning today, but also as we dive into introducing students to the world of finance, enterprise and support work internationally.

To quote one of our recent stakeholders from Solway School in 2016, Learn-Now is an "...enrichment / extension programme that beats anything I have seen so far in New Zealand...". Lately, we've been involved in the concept of Teacher PD, while operating the programme - teachers from Y1-8 are released to observe Learn-Now in action - in view of adopting its styles in their own classrooms.



Behind The Scenes

Learn-Now's been developed and endorsed in association with:

  1. Two years MOE research and development
  2. A year long eFellowship research programme
  3. DEANZ - The Distance Education Association of New Zealand: Press Release
  4. Core Education Ltd, Christchurch: Key supporter/mentor: Derek Wenmoth
  5. Ethos Consultancy mutual advisory partnership (current): Key partner: Hazel Owen
  6. The Virtual Learning Network (VLN), New Zealand (current - recently contracted to develop the National Development Plan for Primary on the VLN)
  7. The Ministry of Education eLearning Department (2009-2013): Key supporter then Senior Analyst Eddie Reisch - the greatest advocate of Learn-Now we know, keeping us in tune with the latest MOE initiatives, granting us access to this Elgg platform for example, piloting-it-on-their-behalf  and forever creating connections between ourselves and other innovative educators.
  8. Partnership with Unitec, Auckland - working alongside intiatives running in the design and development of courses online.
  9. Partnering with a Recruitment Agency in 'walk the talk mode' - contracted to advise various online based initiatives: small businesses and schools, needing the advice and demonstration specific their industries.


Special Thanks to Solway Primary

While we've been part of dozens of schools around the world, we'd like to acknowledge Solway Primary School, Masterton as the longest, most consistent and enthusiastic adopter of Learn-Now, since 2007. Following parental recommendation, Solway Primary has professionally adopted and managed our partnership, accommodating even the most daring extreme presented, for taking students online.

Solway Primary has neither brick walled, gate-kept access or presented any edge of scepticism for how the 'Learn-Now way' evolves. That's a true reflection of student enabled learning in our books... As a result, Learn-Now has had full reign to further develop young leaders, designers, entrepreneurs, innovators, team players and collaborators. Their ability to strategically plan, critique, reflect, evaluate and apply is stunning. The level of impact these students will engineer will be worth watching. Their impact to date, is stunning...


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