FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for Teachers
Here you can find the answers to some of the questions you may have about the Summer Learning Journey.

Q: What is the Summer Learning Journey?
A: The Summer Learning Journey is a free digital literacy programme for school students. It was designed to encourage students to continue learning over the summer holidays. There will be 4 weeks of activities for students to complete over the summer holidays (17th December 2018 - 25th January 2019). There will be a mixture of reading and writing activities for students to choose from. This year our theme is 'The World Around Us', with a focus on our natural and built environments as well as on issues related to environmental sustainability and climate change. The programme has been designed for year 4 - 8 students.

Q: Why was the Summer Learning Journey programme created?
A: The Summer Learning Journey was created in response to concerns about the annual drop, slide or slump in literacy achievement experienced by students in New Zealand schools. It (the summer slide) is not an issue unique to New Zealand. For more information on the summer slide in literacy, please watch this webcast that features Mr Ron Fairchild, executive director of the National Summer Learning Association in the United States of America.

Q: Who can join the Summer Learning Journey?
A: At this stage, the Summer Learning Journey is open to all students attending schools in the original Manaiakalani cluster and Phase I outreach-clusters [TMPO1] who have been exposed to a full CyberSmart curriculum.  Students who have not completed a Cybersmart Curriculum are not encouraged to complete one before enrolling in the programme. Schools who are not part of the Manaiakalani organisation are warmly welcome to make use of the resources on this website. They are free and open to the public. The SLJ team will not, however, be able to provide personalised support to students who are not attending Manaiakalani and/or TMPO1 cluster schools this year.

Q: How do my students register for the Summer Learning Journey?
A: 
To make sure that your student's blog is being monitored by our team, they will need to register by filling in the registration form.

Q: What do I need to do for the Summer Learning Journey over the holidays?
A: Nothing! You are more than welcome to view and comment on all of your students' blog posts, however we have hired a full-time blogging team to do this. We will also share our data with you so you can see how your students are getting on.

Q: What are the benefits of my students participating in the Summer Learning Journey?
A: Research has shown that students who take part in the Summer Learning Journey return to school after the summer break ready to learn, and achieve better results in reading and writing than students who do not participate. All students who participate will receive a certificate and a digital badge for their blog site and there are some great prizes up for grabs for our most active bloggers. It's also a lot of fun! Click here to read some testimonials from students who have previously taken part in the project.

Q: Where do my students complete the activities?
A: Students are asked to post their responses to the activities on their school-sponsored blog site. It's important that they include the link to their blog when they register. If you have turned on 'comment moderation', you will need to remove this so that the students can comment on each other's posts.

Q: How do my students participate if they don't have internet access at home every day?
A: There will be a downloadable PDF version of each week's activities along with an audio-version of the activities. Students can save this to their devices and work from a Word document over the summer. Students can then upload all completed activities when they have internet access. We have also created a mobile-friendly version of the SLJ for 2018-2019 that allows students to access the programme from a smart device. Finally, we have partnered with some local libraries and community centres who have agreed to support our students and offer their WiFi. For a list of centres in your area, please check with your principal. 

Q: Where can I hear more about the Summer Learning Journey?
A: Click here to watch a recent Seven Sharp interview with Rachel and two of our bloggers from last year. For more information about the programme, you can also read about it in the New Zealand HeraldEducation Central, The Dominion Post, the Newsroom, the NZ Book Council website, or in the Annual Donor's Report (2017) for the University of Auckland.

Q: How do I know that this programme works?
A: Click here to read a report of the results from the 2017 Summer Learning Journey programme.

Didn't find the information you were looking for? 

Please contact Rachel: rachel.williamson@auckland.ac.nz or Hazel: h.fowler@auckland.ac.nz and they will be happy to assist. Alternatively, you can watch this amazing video about the Summer Learning Journey created by students at Park Estate School in Papakura.

SLJ Promo Video - Papakura students