Upskilling and opportunity: The Mind Lab

February 2016


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FEE HOLDSWORTH shares her journey of professional development in the area of digital and collaborative learning.


Fee HoldsworthI am the social media and technical advisor at Tauhara College in Taupō. After leaving high school, I gained my teaching qualification at Te Kupenga o Te Matauranga, formally known as the Palmerston North College of Education. I completed The Mind Lab by Unitec’s Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) in 2015.

I have a passion for learning and finding solutions to problems. I love being able to personally grow, develop, take on challenges and extend my capability in the hope of becoming a better person. And with my fascination for how things work, it’s really no surprise that The Mind Lab grabbed my attention.

Trying to grasp how we as teachers might best prepare and equip our students and communities with the skills they need to be inquisitive, innovative and lifelong learners has long been a challenge I’ve grappled with. The Mind Lab has helped me to realise that to achieve this I need to change the way I operate both as a teacher and as a learner myself.

Since beginning my studies at The Mind Lab, my approach to learning has changed dramatically and I have become a lot more curious about my teaching paradigms.

It makes sense because as our students show us every day, there are so many different learning styles and ways of attaining knowledge and skills. Using technology to solve problems is one way to engage and I have thrived on being able to upskill my capability in this area.

My students have been fully supportive of and interested in my postgraduate study, and it is interesting to reflect on the value of my ability to demonstrate to them that just because I’m the teacher, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning.

Another real advantage of undertaking the qualification has been the opportunity to work with other like-minded teachers, all of whom are on a similar journey. I love that you don’t have to be a technology teacher – the course caters for all teachers in all areas. I also always looked forward to heading into The Mind Lab each week to learn something new, and then apply it back at the classroom.

Put simply, completing my Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice has been the chance of a lifetime. The Mind Lab’s expert team and innovative practices have offered me new and exciting opportunities and I would highly recommend the course to any teacher, regardless of their school or subject specialty. I believe this course is the best professional development out there, not only for them but also for all their prospective learners.

I’m now on my sabbatical completing a master’s degree in applied practice and I can’t wait to continue my learning journey this year.


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