With the opportunity to get to the NZTech Education Technology Summit at Massey University in Albany, I thought I'd give live blogging of a keynote a go. I'm not sure this is technically live blogging as I'm posting it several hours after the event, but it was (mostly) written during the talk.


Creating opportunities for New Zealand's youth to engage with technology

MIke Usmar Mike Usmar - CEO, High Tech Youth Network

The power of Story

Mike started us off by playing this short film to remind us of the power of storytelling.

LAVA - Pixar Disney short film 720p from Danny Filan on Vimeo.

Story provides us meaning. It engages all parts of our senses. We connect with the characters in the story and identify with it.

Identity is important. Love is important. Relationships are important. Mike's teacher when he started school told him,

"Michael, I've been waiting for this day my whole life, to meet you".

The power of love and kindness transforms learning.

Everyone needs to have a sense of value. They need to be loved and feel loved.

Ako Māori - everyone is a learner and a teacher. Our children help make us better parents. Our students help make us better teachers. The connection is important. Ako is key.

Ako Māori in 21st century learning

  • Soft skills
  • Cognitive skills
  • Non-cognitive skills
  • Collaborative problem solving skills (CPS)

Moving from digital literacy to digital fluency.

Technology helps us to feel good (eg. Fitbit and other wearables) but then using it to connect with others can help keep you accountable. Great to get all those steps and lose calories but if you're then just going to eat more than you should you're wasting your time. Connection is important for accountability.

Engaging youth with technology

It's not about how much technology you have or how much stuff you do, but it's about social connectedness.

"Arts" is a part of technology if you go back the original meaning of the word. Technology

It should be about creating with all of our senses.


Have a relationship with your students. Discover the story behind them. Help students make things that have meaning to them, in which they can see themselves and show their identity.