BLENNZ learning library launched: Stories & resources for children & young people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision

Yesterday I spent some time exploring the BLENNZ Learning Library. The description on the home page explains, “Here you will find a collection of stories about children and young
people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision, written by BLENNZ
educators for parents, whānau (family) and colleagues” (source).

Te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere. Te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.

The bird who feasts upon the miro, resides only in the forest. The bird who feasts upon education, resides in the world.

I found the site to be well-organised, informative, well set out, and easy to navigate.The ‘clean’ pages with plenty of white space suggest that accessibility was a priority when the design was put together. Most importantly, I felt, is the stance of the resources, which are written from a practical can do, how to point of view, as opposed to a deficit model. There is, however, also support for parents, and whānau (families), as well as students and teachers, that acknowledges the challenges, and offers empathetic support. The  BLENNZ Video Library on YouTube, for example, offers snapshots of parents speaking about their ‘journey’, as well as from the professionals – including, for instance,  the video of Gary Veenstra, Child and family worker with the RNZFB, talking about the
area of grief and loss in his work alongside learners and their families
and whānau.

The site is organised into age groups, as well as having resources locatable by category (listed below), and tags.

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About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ (http://www.ethosconsultancynz.com/). I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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