Capacity Building – Feature Stories – “asking So What?”

Introducing the first of our “Feature Stories”- “Asking So What”

Every day, in deep learning classrooms across the world, there are exciting, inspiring, and thought generating stories unfolding….stories that need to be told.
Our Feature stories are a helpful tool for capacity builders looking to ignite interest and generate discussion about what deep learning looks like.

In this Feature Story, read about learners who are prompted by the question “How can we use our learning to make a difference?From the get go, the message to students is: this learning matters and you matter.

Download this feature story here.


Capacity Building – Leadable – Trusty Tools

Introducing the first of our “Leadables”- “Trusty Tools”

A critical element of change leadership is “going slow to go fast”, but sometimes leaders need a short, sharp focus to generate professional learning conversations or for individual reflection.

Designed as “quick shots”, “Leadables” are intended to be used to provoke dialogue and focussed conversations around a variety of Leading, Teaching and Learning elements. Themes will be drawn from examples we are seeing in schools and organizations, questions we are encountering and new ideas and research around deep learning.

Click here to access Leadable 1.1 – Trusty Tools, which focuses on how we can use the NPDL Learning Progressions.

Podcast – From Me to Us

NPDLConnect Podcast series


Human exchange in a ´digitalized´world has turned the capacity to collaborate into a vital skill to develop professional knowledge. 

John Mavorec sees this shift as a ´knowmad society´. Whereas industrial society required people to settle in one place and perform a specific function; technologies allow a new paradigm of workers to arise, performing from anywhere, re contextualizing their work environments and relationships. 

How does this new way of learning and develop talent is reflected in the ways we are re-thinking schools?

How can we capitalize the use of technology to develop meaningful professional exchanges, human and social capital?

In this Podcast three educators that are leading the shift from ´my school´ to ´our network´as New Zealand´s Ministry of Education furthers COLs –Communities of Learning– as a National strategy. 


To talk about what turns collaboration into a catalyzer of improvement in schools; Donna Buschanan (Addington School), Liz Williams (Sacred Heart School) and Chris Panther (Thorrington School) from Kahukura Cluster of Schools in Christchurch, New Zealand.

To Listen: Click the podcast below to hear Kerry right here and now or

listen in your browser (click here), or download the SoundCloud app from the AppStore or Google Play

Podcast – Kerry Hall

NPDLConnect Podcast series

How do learning environments support new pedagogies?

How do they enable deeper learning?

Given a blank canvas, what could our learning spaces look like?

In this podcast, we hear about Cashmere Primary’s challenge to rebuild their school after the devastating Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand. From the ashes rose an opportunity to imagine new beginnings, where teachers and architects collaborated, driven by pedagogy, to create living learning spaces.

This conversation with Kerry Hall is an invitation to challenge our assumptions on how a classroom could look, and consider what the space is really for. It also addresses the tension that arises when changing the environment inevitably requires a transformation of ´how we do things´, and how that shift, represents, in the end, a real payoff.

More on this story:
Cashmere Primary is part of the Kahakura New Pedagogies for Deep Learning Cluster.
We invite you take a closer look on how other Christchurch schools have addressed the opportunity and challenge to re-conceive their learning environments and purpose-build furniture. Link (YouTube)

To Listen: Click the podcast below to hear Kerry right here and now or

listen in your browser (click here), or download the SoundCloud app from the AppStore or Google Play


Podcast – Scott Millman and Helen Leyden

NPDLConnect Podcast series

Between the macro and the micro level visions for educational change, and as we work on making change happen, there are gaps that sometimes end in superficial or false signals of change.
´Leadership from the middle´ has a pivotal role shaping implementation to achieve coherence, turning what education should be into what education really is in each country and community.
In this podcast, we will hear Helen and Scott’s thoughts about practicalities of change, re-professionalising teaching, grunt monkeys, designing beyond mediocrity and student agency, amongst others!

Helen Leyden is Deputy Principal of Teaching at Learning Sunshine Beach High School and Scott Millman is Head of Teaching and Learning at Nambour State College.  Helen and Scott have not only major roles in shaping NPDL implementation in their schools, but are also a force for local change in a 29 School NPDL Cluster in Queensland, Australia.

To Listen: Click the podcast below to hear Helen and Scott right here and now or

listen in your browser (click here), or download the SoundCloud app from the AppStore or Google Play

Podcast – Bruce Jepsen

NPDLConnect Podcast series

When thinking about the future of education and how to reshape it for the modern era, we expect ¨the new¨ to emerge from the balance between the aspects we want to keep and those we want to change. This equation is easier said than done, especially when we consider that  whole education system change will impact on the country´s cultural foundation for generations to come.

In this podcast, Bruce Jepsen shares how overlooking our culture when thinking about educational change can make us lose not only our place of belonging, but also, academic outcomes. He also analyses how the relationship between ancestral legacy and high end technology presents a renewed opportunity to preserve what is most valued. Bruce shows us how achievement and education in general, is an holistic enterprise, and talks about what ancestral elements are overlooked when we think of reshaping modern education.

Bruce Jepsen is the Principal of Te Akau Ki Papamoa School, located on the shores of Papamoa Beach, New Zealand. He has lead the school from underachievement to over achievement by putting his ancestral Maori cultural legacy and the use of technology at the heart of the school’s vision, turning his school into the 1st Apple Distinguished School in the country and linking with Google in 2016 in a successful 1 to 1 story.

Bruce Jepsen is also the Lead School Principal of Cluster 18 and a Mentor for New Principals in New Zealand (FTTP Mentor).

To Listen: Click the podcast below to hear Bruce right here and now or

listen in your browser (click here), or download the SoundCloud app from the AppStore or Google Play