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Update from ITPNZ

Paul Matthews, ITP Chief Executive. 17 July 2020, 4:32 pm
Update from ITPNZ

Here's a quick weekly update from ITP CEO Paul Matthews

On Thursday this week I attended the funeral service for Gerard MacManus in Christchurch. Gerard was a teacher in the Digital Technologies space, however made a massive difference to the rollout of Digital Technologies in New Zealand. He is going to be seriously missed.

In happier news, next Thursday 23rd July we're really excited to host a webinar with Michelle Dickinson, otherwise known as Nanogirl, talking about the awesome Nanogirl journey, the role of tech along with way, plus her views on education, science, life the Universe and everything.

Also, after postponing ITx this year due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we are beyond excited to announce the dates for ITx 2021: 3-5 May 2021 at TSB Arena in Wellington. Save the date!

And don't forget to get your ITP gear, with a great range of ITP-branded clothing for work and play - now available at the ITP members' online store. 

Gerard MacManus

Gerard MacManusOn Thursday this week I attended the funeral service for Gerard MacManus in Christchurch.

Gerard was a teacher in the Digital Technologies space. While most of the DT teachers I've dealt with are very special people, he was one of the brightest stars in that community.

I've worked with Gerard for the good part of a decade on digital technologies in schools. He's been one of the key drivers and has given his time and energy massively to the project, and in particular in helping prepare the teaching profession for it.

He was also one of the most passionate and positively emotional people I've ever met.

I remember a few years ago when we finally won a hard-fought comprehensive review from the Ministry of Education into rolling out Digital Technologies properly in the curriculum. This was the review that led to the rollout that actually became mandatory in all schools this year, and we were fairly confident that's where it would end up with the review.

I called Gerard (who was then the President of the subject association, Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa) to tell him the good news. He went silent for about 30 seconds and I couldn't get a word out of him.

When he did finally speak he was torn between absolute excitement that we'd finally got it over the line, and the pressure it was going to put on teachers who were still a bit jaded after the introduction of the Digital Technologies Achievement Standards (at senior secondary level) with very little professional development support. As always, his mind went straight to the practical and straight to teachers and students.

So we and several others such as Tim Bell from Canterbury University headed into the review with an unwavering focus on (1) getting it over the line, and (2) really ensuring it came with a broad support package for teachers. And it did - that's where the $40M teacher readiness package came from and it was in no small part due to Gerard's advocacy.

Gerard was a massive support to other teachers as well. I'm very fortunate to be one of the few non-teachers invited onto the DTTA mailing list and up until very recently, Gerard responded to almost every teacher request for help or info on that list. He was an absolute dynamo of energy at both the grass roots level, and at the overall policy rollout side.

Gerard was diagnosed with terminal cancer 20 months ago however kept doing what he loved - contributing to the teaching community and making sure everyone knew when things could be done better. He was still emailing and tweeting from his hospital bed right up until last week.

I'm really glad that I, along with Joy Keene Deputy CE and Victoria Reille from our schools team plus a good contingent from our Christchurch Branch, were able to farewell Gerard at his excellent service on Thursday, and find out more about the other parts of his life.

I'm personally going to miss Gerard, along with the hundreds of others he has touched during his journey. You would literally not find a more dedicated servant of education.

 

Thursday Live webinar: An afternoon with Nanogirl

Next Thursday 23rd July we're really excited to host a webinar with Michelle Dickinson, otherwise known as Nanogirl, talking about the awesome Nanogirl journey, the role of tech along with way, plus her views on education, science, life the Universe and everything.

nanogirl

If you haven't heard of Michelle Dickinson or Nanogirl, ask a kid. Michelle has become New Zealand's most well-known science and technology communicator to young New Zealanders; introducing them to science and tech on TV, online and in recent years, travelling around New Zealand with a series of shows.

That was, until a little thing called Covid-19 came along. Like many in New Zealand and around the world, Michelle and her team found that, almost overnight, there was no longer a place for the business they had built up over years through blood, sweat and tears. So they pivoted, and pivoted hard.

Come and hear the Nanogirl story: the huge role of technology in their rapidly changing business, what drove Michelle to dedicate her life to communicating science and technology in the first place, the highs and the lows and what the future looks like - plus her views on education, science, life the Universe and everything.

As always, the Thursday Live Webinar will kick off with our Tech Media Panel with Paul Brislen, Sarah Putt and Peter Griffin talking through the big stories of the week and will finish with extended Q&A with Nanogirl.

More info and register

 

Save the Date - ITx 2020/2021

After postponing ITx this year due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we are beyond excited to announce the dates for ITx 2021 - 3-5 May 2021 at TSB Arena in Wellington.

ITx is a collaborative conference, with around 12 tech organisations working together to make it happen. We work with the other organisations to bring all of these communities together.

As always the conference focuses on bringing tech professionals, decision-makers, leaders and academics together under one roof - it really is where industry and education come together to learn, engage and network. We will also be celebrating 60 years of IT Professionals!

 

Get yourself a Mentor

If you're serious about accelerating your career, mentoring has to play a key role. ITP's mentoring programme isn't just catching up with someone who has walked your path before - it's a structured programme to help you plan out where you want to go and help you get ahead. 

And best of all, it's completely free for ITP members.

We've had a huge response from our Call for Mentors and with the mentor inductions happening now, we'll have close to 100 mentors ready to go when we kick things off.

What is the ITP Mentoring program?

People who are supported by a mentor almost invariably have a greater understanding of themselves and are in greater control of their own decisions. In fact the evidence clearly shows that those who have gone through a good mentoring programme advance their own careers at a far faster rate than those who don't.

As a Mentee, mentoring can:

  • Identify new areas needed for your professional development and growth
  • Gain new insights and knowledge about the profession
  • Clarify your career direction
  • Provide regular and constructive feedback
  • Provide professional support and networking opportunities

We're currently staging invitations over several weeks to sign up for a mentor in the refreshed programme. If you're an ITP member, watch out for your invitation.

Note that this is career mentoring intended for those already working, so student members are not eligible. However we're working on alternative options to ensure students are well supported for their transition into industry.

 

Get your ITP gear

Now is the perfect time to head over to the ITP store and grab yourself some sleek, warm and practical items for winter. These customizable items come in a variety of sleek and simple designs and are perfect for work, networking or casualwear.

clangear

The official ITP store has a whole bunch of professional and casual clothing options, some which can be co-branded with your company. It's a great opportunity to show that you don't just "do IT" - you're also serious about professional practice. 

Pop on over to shop.itp.nz to check it out.


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