UTB eNews NZ: Sept 2022

24 August 2022
Team UTB

Delivering more tech training than ever before means more teachers and students are achieving more. We love that! And since our Kiwi-based trainers have been flat tack helping more and more schools, we have just hired two new recruits to our NZ team.   

Scottish-born, Tauranga-based Jim is a former high school maths teacher (minus the socks and sandals!) who loves sharing his Microsoft skills, and Auckland-based Rachel is a former primary school teacher who loves flexing her skills across STEAM and Google.   

We’re thrilled to have these two bringing their enthusiasm and tech know-how to schools across Aotearoa.  

Content Overview

1 Tech Tools for Teachers
2 Trainer Tip
3 Lesson Planning Made Simple
4 PLD Update

5 Blog Bites
6 UTB Team Milestones


Tech Tools for Teachers

A necessary evil of modern life, Gmail enables essential communication with colleagues and parents. But then there’s the barrage of emails that take up precious real estate – not just in our inboxes, but in our mental space. You know the one. Those that infiltrate our inboxes from sites we’ve subscribed to over the years.

I’ve seen many teachers’ inboxes – some with upward of 140,000 unread emails. While some of you may be on the verge of a panic attack at the mere thought, others may well be thinking “that’s nowhere near as bad as mine!”  

If you get emails you don’t want and will probably never read, don’t just delete them; unsubscribe. Yes, it takes a little longer, but it will save you a whole lot of time in the long run.  

Keep your eyes peeled over the next few newsletters for more stellar tips to help you reduce the clutter.

Trainer Tip

Calling all junior teachers! Introduce computational thinking to year 0-3 students with the help of Bee-Bots.

If you’re lucky enough to have Bee-Bots but your school can’t afford to buy mats for the bots to navigate around, there is a Virtual Bee-Bot App that has a dozen map options that are absolutely free! 

Click on Select your mat to choose your free map from the dropdown menu that includes number lines, treasure maps and loads more!  

Try this exercise: Ask your students 2+2. Instead of giving their answer directly, they must code their bot to move to the correct answer.  

We’d love to see how your students enjoy this exercise!   

Tag us on social media so we can share with others the positive impact the tech has on students and inspire other teachers to give it a go! 

@usingtechnologybetter @utb.edu.nz 

#usingtechnologybetter #utbpd


Lesson Planning Made Simple

Minecraft: Education Edition is certainly a buzzword in schools right now – and for good reason.

I’ll be honest and confess that when I was in the classroom a couple of years ago, I wasn’t using Minecraft: EE for its true purpose, using it only as an incentive for students to get their work done. I was completely oblivious to the abundance of curriculum-focused content available through this game-based platform.   

Minecraft: EE lessons are already built out for teachers and many include comprehensive lesson plans that will save you time and energy! I highly recommend you give it a go, and if your school doesn’t already have Minecraft: EE, the Ministry of Education provides it for all New Zealand schools free of charge.   

Free download here > Minecraft: Education Edition  

If you lack confidence in this space, we offer fabulous hands-on Minecraft training that will get you up to speed in no time!

PLD Update

Over the last few weeks, we’ve loved connecting with schools around Aotearoa to help scaffold them through the PLD application process. We are delighted that all the schools we worked with have successfully gained the PLD hours they requested (which are completely free thanks to the MoE!).

We were stoked to get this email from one of our new schools after they submitted their very first PLD application:  

“Thank you so much for all of your guidance and continuous offers for Zoom calls and check-ins. I greatly appreciated it all; it helped hold me accountable and get the job done!”  

If it’s your first time, the process may seem daunting. You don’t have to go it alone. We’re here to help you unpack the application, and craft yours to specifically meet the needs of your staff and school.  

Getting FREE PLD for 2023 means you can use your budget for other projects or resources in your school. Bonus!  

Blog Bites

If you’ve got hundreds, thousands, or maybe even tens of thousands of emails in your inbox, it’s time for an inbox spring clean! Why bother?

Because it’s very likely that opening your inbox to a huge email count every day is causing you some level of frustration, anxiety and cognitive overload (even if you don’t realise it).  

Imagine the weight lifting off as you open your inbox to find only one page of emails (or less). What a sign of relief! That’s what an inbox spring clean can do for you. Happy spring cleaning!  

Click here to read > How to Spring Clean Your Inbox in Gmail

UTB Team Milestones

Celebrating Work Anniversaries
We’re celebrating a few work milestones this month. Here’s what it means to us to be part of the UTB family for Mark, Fran and James.

“All I want in a vocation is to make a difference in people’s lives, work alongside great people, and have the chance to grow professionally and personally. UTB gives me all of that in spades.”  
Mark, Learning & Development Lead – 3 years  

“Being a part of the UTB team has helped me believe in myself more than ever. I’ve been given opportunities to grow, which has motivated me to do so much more than I thought possible. I’m very grateful to be a part of this team.”  
Fran, Customer Service – 1 year 

“Great people and great culture with constant improvement of processes to make things better. I’m glad to be part of UTB and look forward to many more years to come!”
James, Customer Relations Manager – 1 year 

Recent Posts

Here’s What
Our Clients Say

PR Industrya


In 2018, Using Technology Better designed and delivered a two phase post-migration training program for this New Zealand based graphic design firm. The initial goal of the training program was to reduce frustration with G Suite, with the long term aim of facilitating a change in culture and collaboration that can lead to transformative practices

Download your skills checklist to see how you score...


Choose Industry:

Which Skills Checklist?


Nice Move Allstar!
You're about to get
awesome value in your
inbox that's going to make
life that little bit easier & sweeter!


Pop in your details below and we'll send you the PLD Checklist 📧

First time applying for MoE Funded PLD?

Get the Latest Blog Posts, New Tips And Tricks


NSW DoE Leadership Webinars


NSW DoE Leadership Webinars


Holiday Rescue Maker Camp

Student to agree to and tick:
Guardian to agree to and tick: