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Argo Floats Newsletter 2

Argo Floats Newsletter #2 for Teachers


In one week (16-25 June) you will join me in Wellington and out in the Pacific Ocean for the Argo Floats field trip. This field trip is supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, NIWA and NOAA.

Things to do from this newsletter - (previous newsletters for this field trip)

  • Book to be part of live audioconferences with Argo Floats experts who will be on board the RV Tangaroa.
  • Find out about the new LEARNZ Backchannel that you can be a part of during the audioconferences.
  • Prepare for your students' participation in the field trip by utilising the background readings (online now) and activities (online any day).


  • Please enrol all the classes you are taking on this field trip; this enables us to report accurately to our supporters, continue to offer LEARNZ free of charge and it helps us to support you and your students.


  • Personalise the field trip for your students by taking part in a live audioconference using the MoE audiobridge at no cost. During audioconferences students will be able to put questions to experts who are on location.
  • Two 20-25 minute audioconferences will be held on select days from 16-25 June.
  • For more information about audioconferences go to LEARNZ Support - Audioconferences.
  • All you need for an audioconference is a speaker phone.
  • Skype was successfully used by teachers for audioconferencing in 2013. However because of complications with some versions we require you to contact us so Skype can be enabled for Argo Floats audioconferences.
  • Check the audioconference topics on the timetable and book your audioconference now by emailing shelley.hersey@core-ed.org.

3. NEW! LEARNZ Backchannel

  • During the Argo Floats field trip, the LEARNZ team will be running a backchannel during live audioconferences. An explanation of the LEARNZ Backchannel is at
  • The LEARNZ backchannel will be a specially-configured live chat where students, or teachers on their behalf, can
    o   share ideas
    o   ask extra questions
    o   answer questions
    o   contribute links and other examples of their classwork
  • As you are enrolled in this field trip, look out for an email invitation in the days just before the field trip with a link to the LEARNZ backchannel.


  • Once your class has read the Argo Floats background readings, students are welcome to ask questions on the Ask-an-Expert Web Board.
  • Students should read 'Guidelines for using Ask-an-Expert' before posting questions. Students don't need to register when posting questions.
  • Students can register with their first name when using Ask-an-Expert so that they may easily locate their question and answer.


  • Do you have suggestions for the Argo Floats field trip website? Maybe you would like a video made on a specific topic or a career for your students.
  • Email shelley.hersey@core-ed.org if you have a request for content such as field trip videos, audioconferences, diaries or photos.


  • If you have questions regarding the field trip please email me shelley.hersey@core-ed.org or call the Teacher Freephone 0800 CALL LEARNZ (0800 22 55 53).


  • There is no prescribed way of using a LEARNZ virtual field trip.
  • Curriculum links are available for you to check and see how the field trip relates to your class programme.
  • Use your teacher access login (username and password) if you use the site for planning purposes.
  • Give the class login (username and password you set up for them in MyLEARNZ) to your students to use.
  • For help with login procedures see login explained and/or call 0800 22 55 53.
  • There is a planning sequence in the Resources section under the heading Contributions. This short term lesson sequence makes use of all field trip components for a 3-day virtual field trip.
  • The Prepare Students section of the Argo Floats site ensures your students are ready when the field trip gets under way.
  • The background readings give an overall idea of the topic and can be used to generate further inquiry. The activities consolidate new learning and encourage deeper thinking.
  • During the field trip your class can follow the action in my daily diary, watch the videos, and ask questions or listen during live audioconferences with our experts. Combined with the background readings, activities and Ask-an-Expert, these components are powerful mediums for inquiry learning.

I look forward to you joining us on the Argo Floats virtual field trip.

Ka kite ano and see you all soon.


LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Newsletter #2