Annual report 2013: Events


The CORE Events team has seen changes in personnel in 2013, with long-standing conference programmer Sherry Chrisp retiring after the International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) in January and conference organiser Gwenny Davis seeing us through to the ULearn14 conference in October when she hung up her lanyard for the last time.

Both Sherry and Gwenny had been ‘handing over ‘ their roles to Becky Hare as Events Manager and Luana Walker as Conference organiser during the past year. It has been a smooth transition to a new team, and we look forward to many wonderful events in the future.

Carin Newbould joined the events team in March and took over management of the Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL) contract for the Ministry of Education (MoE) from Luana. This year, the ALL contract has involved the organisation of 43 workshops for teachers, located across the country from Auckland to Invercargill.  Two PLD provider meetings were also organised to support the programme.  In addition, a further 10 meetings and workshops were arranged as part of other MoE contracts contracts.

In total, 2167 people attended these meetings and events, 324 flights were arranged, 27 different venues were used and 752 accommodation rooms booked on delegates’ behalves.

ICOT 13 and Learning@School Roadshow 13

The Events Team delivered an extensive range of educational events across New Zealand in 2013, starting with the International Conference on Thinking in January, followed in April by the Learning@School Roadshow that traversed seven regions, delivering the world-class professional learning opportunities to educators from Whangarei to Dunedin. The decision to take Learning@School to the regions has proved to be a very good one with 1400+ educators taking part over the series of events.

MLE Expo

Christchurch is the focus for huge change in the education sector and CORE leads the way in supporting schools, to think, plan and develop Modern Learning Environments for 21st century learners. As part of our charitable arm, we created and delivered a Modern Learning Environments Expo for Christchurch that showcased a modern learning environment mock-up and multiple technologies, and highlighted the pedagogy surrounding the environment through a series of international, national and local speakers.  <link to Dereks vid piece>

Emerging Leaders Summit

Mark Osborne continued his popular and critical Emerging Leaders Summit programme in Auckland in June, with the support of the events team.



Following on from the very successful MLE Expo, we worked with the Council for Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI) and Ministry of Education to provide an MLE focused day for principals to further support their planning as the Christchurch rebuild moves ahead.  CORE also organised a day for delegates to the annual CEFPI Australiasian conference in Auckland to visit a primary and a secondary  school in Christchurch that had been badly affected in the earthquake. Twenty five delegates took up this opportunity before the CEFPI conference started.


ULearn is the biggest education focused conference in New Zealand and 2013 proved no exception. 1400 educators experienced three days of inspiration and collaboration.

ULearn Mobile, a one-day conference held at Southwell School in Hamiliton, was made up of half day and full day workshop options around the learning opportunities brought about by using mobile devices in educational settings. The two main strands — Hands on mobile and Big picture mobile provided the full-house of over 200 delegates with hands-on practice and activities.

CORE collaborated with Assistive Technology Association of New Zealand (ATANZ) to provide a two-day conference with one day that overlapped with ULearn, bringing the two groups more closely together. The format offered participants all the benefits of a specialist assistive technology conference with the excitement and buzz of ULearn day 1, where the latest innovations in mainstream and teaching technologies are showcased.

At ULearn13 we continued to use emerging technologies to push the boundaries of educational possibility, with social media a key feature. Our social media station supported educators to get involved and interact with colleagues online as well as face-to-face. Stream.a, a social media aggregating programme, was shown on big screens for the first time, and proved popular.

The gala dinner was the largest sit-down dinner ever prepared by the Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton.

Breakfast Seminars

Breakfast seminars continue to be a very successful part of professional development offerings by CORE. The events run from February to November in six centres across New Zealand. 2013 saw Auckland added to the breakfast schedule, which is beginning to attract good numbers.

This year the breakfast programme was extended to include follow-on workshops after some of the seminars to further develop the professional development offerings by CORE. These have proved to be a popular option for educators who see the benefit of a  cost effective half day professional learning package.

Breakfasts and workshops are held in:

  • Auckland
  • Hamilton
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin