The BLENNZ Learning Library is now live! The culmination of a 5 year project, the online collection of stories has been written by BLENNZ educators primarily as a resource for parents and whānau (family), but will also be a valuable resource for both local and international educators.
The BLENNZ Learning Library is a new venture for BLENNZ and marks a commitment to increasing public access to information and resources beyond face-to-face visits and in-service workshops. It is a move towards embracing a more blended model of teaching and learning, acknowledging that for many parents and educators, accessing information online is already an established part of meeting “just-in-time” needs.
Each story within the BLENNZ Learning Library is focused on one of the 5 Key Competencies in the New Zealand Curriculum and together the stories form the first “pages” of an illustrated curriculum for learners within the BLENNZ community. The aim of each story is to illuminate one aspect of a learning progression for a student, and the rationale behind the associated actions of the teacher and the education team. Although the teacher’s stories are personal reflections, they have been structured to make them useful to the reader, highlighting strategies and adaptations that either a parent or teacher can adapt and adopt. Each story also has a selection of “useful links” to other reputable resources and an email link to the author.
To support the continued growth of the BLENNZ Learning Library, the capturing and sharing of stories is now part of the annual reflective practice cycle for all BLENNZ teachers. As the BLENNZ Library goes “live”, 28 stories with a focus on the key competency, “Using language, symbols and text” constitute the first chapter. In the wings, another 100 are in process, so we look forward to the steady evolution of a useful resource documenting teaching and learning in this area of education.
Finally BLENNZ would like to acknowledge: the students, their parents and whānau, and the BLENNZ teachers for the ongoing commitment to sharing their learning; the mentorship of CORE Education, the Blind Foundation Innovation team and the Royal Society of New Zealand and finally the leadership of the BLENNZ Curriculum team (Karen Stobbs, Steve Bellamy and Chrissie Butler) for their steadfast belief that such a project was possible.