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The Virtual Learning Network

The Virtual Learning Network  (VLN), He kōtuinga ako ā-ipurangi, is an interactive resource provided by the Ministry of Education for all New Zealand educators.

The purpose of the VLN

"VLN Groups is a social network for teachers, school leaders and facilitators to connect, share experiences, and learn together. The main intent is to foster the co-construction, co-development, and the sharing of, best practice in blended learning environments."

The VLN

What are the benefits of the VLN?

Benefits of connecting, sharing, and collaborating in the VLN include:

  • information and advice relevant to the New Zealand Curriculum
  • quick responses to your questions
  • the ability to collaborate with other teachers anytime, anywhere.

Josie Woon, Assistant Principal at Takaro School, talks about how and why she uses the Virtual Learning Network. The community has helped her integrate technology into her class in a purposeful way by enabling her to connect with other "expert" teachers.

Who is in the VLN?

Inside the VLN are:

The Learning Exchange  – a brokerage site enabling connections between teachers and learners. It joins clusters, schools, groups, and individuals who are learning through online and blended programmes.

VLN Groups  – an online community for teachers, school leaders, and facilitators to connect, share experiences, and learn together. They include the Enabling e-Learning community  groups.

The Enabling e-Learning community in the VLN

Enabling e-Learning logo

The Enabling e-Learning Community  provides an online community for all school leaders and teachers to explore innovative ways of using digital technologies to support and enhance learning and teaching. The discussions are driven by the needs of the community. Join this parent group to: 

  • keep up-to-date with what is happening weekly across the groups via the blog
  • use the calendar  to find professional learning and development opportunities including free webinars
  • access the e-learning subgroups:
    • e-Learning: Beyond the classroom
      This group supports schools to empower and educate families/whānau, with and about technologies.
    • e-Learning: Leadership
      This group is focused on supporting school leaders to lead change and to develop vision, policy, and strategy to integrate ICTs into learning.
    • e-Learning: Teaching
      This group is for exploring how and why we use ICTs as part of effective teaching and learning. Discuss how to effectively integrate ICTs into your classroom programme. This includes exploring the key competencies, learning areas, pedagogy, and assessment in an e-learning context.
    • e-Learning: Technology
      This group is for teachers to explore why and how technologies can be used to improve students’ learning.
    • e-Learning: Professional learning
      This group is for exploring professional learning focused on e-learning.
    • Using the e-Learning Planning Frameworks
      The place to ask questions about how to use the e-Learning Planning Frameworks, including the online tool.

Participating in the VLN

To join the VLN, complete the registration form .

Visit the Getting started  section for information on how to:

  • build your profile
  • build your professional network
  • join or set up discussion groups
  • set up your dashboard to suit your needs, so that friends, groups, and content are easy to find.

Teachers discuss using the Virtual Learning Network as part of a blended professional learning model and the benefits it has had for their cluster.

Josie Woon talks about the potential of Enabling e-Learning community groups to impact on teacher practice.

In this EDtalk, Outside the four walls of learning , Trevor Storr director of e-learning for a cluster of schools in South Canterbury and North Otago, describes the opportunity for collaboration and personalised learning provided by the Virtual Learning Network.

The Learning Communities Online (LCO) handbook

LCO Handbook

This handbook is for school leaders and anyone with an interest in, or responsibility for, the development of a learning community online. Based on the advice of experienced clusters, it provides a structured approach to establishing an online community.

You can access the handbook online or download it from the VLN.

  • The online version  of the handbook is a living document with space for members to contribute items into the resource areas.
  • printable copy  of the handbook is available to download. This is intended as a reference for school leaders, BOTs, and other parties. It has been designed to be incorporated into a folder into which supplementary resources and notes can be added.
HGHS thumb

Developing a professional learning programme

Mary Ann Baxter and Kathy Paterson,  teachers from Hamilton Girls' High School, describe how their staff developed as a professional learning community through incorporating the key competency – managing self, with e-learning and ICT.

The power of online professional learning communities

The power of online professional learning communities

Josie Woon, Assistant Principal at Takaro School, talks about how and why she uses the Virtual Learning Network. The community has helped her integrate technology into her class in a purposeful way by enabling her to connect with other "expert" teachers.

Potential of Enabling e-Learning community groups to impact on teacher practice

Enabling e-Learning groups impact on teacher practice

Josie Woon talks about the potential of Enabling e-Learning community groups to impact on teacher practice.

The benefits of Enabling e-Learning community groups on priority learners

The benefits of Enabling e-Learning community groups on priority learners

Josie Woon talks about the benefits that being involved in Enabling e-Learning community groups brings to teachers of priority learners, and the learners themselves.

Tailoring professional learning to enhance literacy e-learning needs: A blended model

Tailoring professional learning to enhance literacy e-learning needs: A blended model

Teachers discuss tailored professional learning to enhance literacy e-learning needs using a blended model. 

Using the Virtual Learning Network as part of a blended professional learning model

Using the Virtual Learning Network as part of a blended professional learning model

Teachers discuss using the Virtual Learning Network as part of a blended professional learning model and the benefits it has had for their cluster.

The impact of using the Virtual Learning Network on professional development

The impact of using the Virtual Learning Network on professional development

Teachers discuss the impact of using the Virtual Learning Network on their professional development.

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e-Learning community discussions

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