e-learning enablers recognised in the inaugural Virtual Learning Awards

Issue: Volume 93, Number 1

Posted: 27 January 2014
Reference #: 1H9ctx

This April 15, the first five Virtual Learning Awards instigated by the Virtual Learning Network Community (VLNC) and sponsored by Asnet Technologies will be awarded to recipients and groups selected from across the education spectrum. The awards will be given to individuals and groups from with the communities of schools who participate in learning and teaching through the Ministry of Education supported Virtual Learning Network. The Virtual Learning Awards will provide recognition of high performance, a significant and unique contribution to the VLNC Online Learning spaces, and excellence in the field of learning through digital technologies.

The Virtual Learning Network Community

The VLNC is a charitable trust set up in 2010. A self-sustaining legal entity, its members are 130 schools that comprise digital learning communities ranging from primary through to secondary schools that collaborate to utilise the Ministry of Education’s suite of internet based tools for distributed learning.

The VLNC represents a broad education spectrum covering New Zealand geographically and incorporating both rural and urban schools. The VLNC has an elected council which focuses on governance, advocacy, and strategic vision to ensure the provision of knowledge and expertise in digital learning from an established sustainable organisation that speaks with a national voice. Academic courses within the compulsory education age range and short-term projects are delivered across the range of education providers in terms of socio-economic and cultural demographics.

Asnet Technologies in education

Asnet Technologies has been the leader in bringing virtual learning into classrooms since forming in 1999. Asnet Technologies manages and provides support for the NZEdNet video conferencing network and the video and audio conferencing Bridge for the Ministry of Education. The Bridge provides a day to day service to schools, tertiaries, and the Ministry of Education’s own video conference users throughout the country and is used to support learning programmes, make professional learning possible across geographicallly dispersed providers and run meetings for planning and administration. Asnet Technologies are sponsoring the inaugural Virtual Learning Awards to be presented on April 15 in Wellington.

The Virtual Learning Awards

The Virtual Learning Awards have five main categories for recognition:

  • Achievement
  • Enabling e-learning
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Building capacity.

Once nominations are complete, they will be reviewed by a panel of judges with acknowledged expertise in their field. The award recipients will be determined by the panel, which will be made up of e-Principals, e-Teachers, members of the Virtual Learning Network Community Council, and a representative from Asnet technologies.

The individuals or group selected for each category of the Virtual Learning Awards will have a proven record of acting collegially, collaboratively, and proactively for students engaged in digital learning, or be a student actively demonstrating the VLNC’s vision for the future of aspirational education outcomes.

The criteria will include those who are successful at enabling e-learning for teachers, boards of trustees, whānau members, and students. They will support student achievement and be influential in developing effective pedagogy and demonstrating this is their practice. They will be the change makers in learning practices and run exceptional programmes, exemplifying the use of tools provided and current thinking in terms of learning facilitation.

Ways they might do this is by demonstrating innovative and collaborative solutions in teaching and learning. They may be an e-student or students displaying key competencies as defined by The New Zealand Curriculum. They may be significant contributors as students (scholarship mentors), e-Teachers, or e-Deans to supporting e-learning. They may use one or more of the following: simulation games for learning, mobile technologies for learning, methods for social and collaborative learning. They might demonstrate sophisticated use of video, audio, or digital technologies – for example, virtual worlds or social media to enhance learning.

They may also be chosen from the realms of governance in terms of their leadership for those involved in e-learning and blended learning programmes. The will be providing support to encourage exceptional learning programmes and in supporting exemplary use of the tools and practices of inspired learning.

The awardees will come from within the community who make up and use the Virtual Learning Network and may run certification programmes, competencies and skill development, enterprise learning programmes, learning technology implementations, and mentoring programmes.


In order to be nominated for a Virtual Learning Award, you will be an individual and/or group within the Virtual Learning Network Community of schools and school clusters. Nominations were opened in October 2013 and close on Friday 28 February 2014. The nominations will then go before the judging panel, and the Virtual Learning Network Community Council will notify successful nominees and nominators by March 14.

The individuals and/or groups who have met the criteria and been selected will be invited to join the VLNC Annual General Meeting in Wellington on Tuesday April 15 – the last week of term one. At the VLNC AGM and Virtual Learning Awards event the winners will be formally acknowledged for their contributions to education. They will be supported to attend and hosted by the VLNC and will receive their nominated award and a prize to enable them to continue to be influential in their field.


View more information about the Virtual Learning Network Community(external link)

More Information about Asnet Technologies Ltd(external link)

The process for submitting your nominations(external link) for the VLNC and Asnet Technologies Virtual Learning Awards may be found on the website.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:57 pm, 27 January 2014

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