UTB eNews NZ: Sept 2022

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 

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Privacy Policy

Using Technology Better Privacy Commitment


We hold the privacy of your personal information in the highest regard.

Using Technology Better regards customer privacy as an important part of our relationship with our customers. The following privacy policy applies to all Using Technology Better users, and conforms to Internet privacy standards.

This policy will be continuously assessed against new technologies, business practices and our customers’ needs.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, you should first contact the support team on our Contact Us Page.

Collection of Information

In order to use the Using Technology Better website, we may require information from you in order to provide the best service possible.

All correspondence may also be collected and stored, particularly in regard to sales, support and accounts, including Email.

Any information collected by Using Technology Better is collected via correspondence from you or your company. This may be via the telephone, Email, mail, fax or directly through our website.

Visitors and customers of japan.usingtechnologybetter.com will have their information shared back to DAIWABO INFORMATION SYSTEM CO., LTD. and DIS Service & Solution Co., Ltd.

Use of Collection Information

Any details collected from Using Technology Better customers is required in order to provide you with our

products and/or services, and a high level of customer service.

Correspondence is recorded in order to provide service references, and to assist in our staff development.

Web Site Use Information

Similar to other commercial Web sites, our Web sites utilize a standard technology called “cookies” (see explanation below, “What Are Cookies?”) and web server log files to collect information about how our Web site is used.

Information gathered through cookies and Web server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our Web site, and the Web sites visited just before and just after our Web site.

Storage of Collected Information

The security of your personal information is important to us. When you enter sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) on our website, we encrypt that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).

When Credit Card details are collected, we simply pass them on in order to be processed as required. We never permanently store complete Credit Card details.

We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it.

If you have any questions about security on our Website, you can email us at <ContactEmail>.

Access to Collected Information

If your personally identifiable information changes, or if you no longer desire our service, you may correct, update, delete or deactivate it by emailing us at <ContactEmail>.


If you purchase a product or service from us, we may request certain personally identifiable information from you.

You may be required to provide contact information such as:



Postal address

Your school or organisation

Financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date, name on card, card billing address).

We use this information for billing purposes and to fill your orders. If we have trouble processing an order, we will use this information to contact you.


Using Technology Better uses personally identifiable information for essential communications, such as


Accounts information

Critical service details.

We may also use this information for other purposes, including some promotional Emails.

If at any time a customer wishes not to receive such correspondence, they can request to be removed from any mailing lists by contacting support.

You will be notified when your personal information is collected by any third party that is not our agent/service provider, so you can make an informed choice as to whether or not to share your information with that party.

Third Parties

Using Technology Better may at its discretion use other third parties to provide essential services on our site or for our business processes.

We may share your details as necessary for the third party to provide that service.

These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.

Using Technology Better does not share any information with third parties for any unknown or unrelated uses.

What Are Cookies?

A cookie is a very small text document, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier. When you visit a Web site, that site’s computer asks your computer for permission to store this file in a part of your hard drive specifically designated for cookies.

Each Web site can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a Web site to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.

Browsers are usually set to accept cookies. However, if you would prefer not to receive cookies, you may alter the configuration of your browser to refuse cookies.

If you choose to have your browser refuse cookies, it is possible that some areas of our site will not function as effectively when viewed by the users.

A cookie cannot retrieve any other data from your hard drive or pass on computer viruses.

How Do We Use Information We Collect from Cookies?

As you visit and browse our Web site, the site uses cookies to differentiate you from other users. In some cases, we also use cookies to prevent you from having to log in more than is necessary for security.

Cookies, in conjunction with our Web server’s log files, allow us to calculate the aggregate number of people visiting our Web site and which parts of the site are most popular. This helps us gather feedback to constantly improve our Web site and better serve our clients.

Cookies do not allow us to gather any personal information about you and we do not intentionally store any personal information that your browser provided to us in your cookies.


We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our Website.


Links on the Using Technology Better site to external entities are not covered within this policy. The terms and conditions set out in this privacy statement only cover the domain name of usingtechnologybetter.com

Changes to Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this privacy statement, and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time, so please review it periodically. If we make material changes to this policy, we will not use the personal information you have submitted to us under this Privacy Policy in a manner that is materially inconsistent with this Privacy Policy, without your prior consent

Delivery Policy

Most goods are digitally delivered instantly via email.  Our services may be delivered either via an online medium or live in person.

For our online delivery see below.  For services delivered live onsite, please refer to our speaker agreement form which is emailed to you on confirmation of booking.

Refund Policy

We do not offer refunds or returns unless we cannot supply goods or services or the goods or services are not delivered as promised.

Australian law is the governing body for all work, goods and services supplied by Using Technology Better.

Marketing Release

Using Technology Better (UTB) may film, record, and photograph me (the results of which are the “Recordings”). UTB may also incorporate into any production(s) any separate content (e.g., quotes, testimonials, biographical information, profiles, photos, videos, sound recordings, artwork, etc.) I provide to UTB or approve in writing (“Materials”).


I grant to UTB an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free license to, in its sole discretion, (i) edit, translate, and modify the Recordings and the Materials, (ii) attribute the Recordings and Materials to me by my name, age, and city and state of residence, (iii) incorporate the Recordings and the Materials into content to promote UTB, its programs, or products (“Content”), and (iv) publicly use, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works from, and perform/display the Content, and any excerpts thereof, in any language.

2. No Compensation.

I grant this permission without any financial or other obligation of any nature.


For any issues or concerns please contact us