Bruce Henderson aka BoogieO

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Contact-new.svg Bruce Henderson
Employer:Raumati Beach School
Occupation:Teacher, ICT Coodinator, Acting Caretaker, General dogsbody, Deputy Principal
Nationality:New Zealander
Languages:English, txt
Country:New Zealand/Aotearoa
Certificate orange.svg
This user was certified a Wiki Apprentice Level 2 by Nelliemuller .
This user is a WikiNeighbour
for WikiEducator.

My Profile

Professional Background

My father was a teacher, which is why I was determined to be something else -I was accepted for an apprenticeship in Marine Engineering. It fell through, so I went to Teachers' College.

After a few years I headed off on the great OE (Overseas Experience). A kibbutz in Israel, ski-tow in Switzerland, driving a fork-truck in London, beer in Munich, a trawler in Devon. Eventually returned to New Zealand, had to fight to get back into teaching and have been involved in education ever since.

In 1982 I went on a year's teacher exchange in Ulster -the first NZer since before "the troubles" It was a wonderful year, gave me a new focus on the learning process.

Back in New Zealand I quickly immersed myself in the use of computers in learning -first a Sinclair ZX81, later Commodore C64s, Acorns, the earliest Mac Classics.

Now Deputy Principal of a large (620+ children) primary school on the Lovely Kapiti Coast.


Started as a five-year-old at Ashburton East School, in Canterbury. After two years, moved to Colac Bay, on the southern coast of the South Island -a small two-teacher school, my father was also my teacher. Another three years, and we moved to Eltham, in Taranaki. In 1960 I started secondary school at Stratford Technical High School; but after only two terms the family moved to Pakaraka, in the Bay of Islands, and I relocated to Bay of Islands College. I was not known for my academic brilliance...

In 1965 I started my teacher training at North Shore Teachers' College, which at the time was on South Auckland. I gained my basic teaching diploma by the skin of my teeth, and taught my first real class at Taipa District High School, in the far north.

Since then I have steadily added to my qualifications; but most of all I have continued to learn -from colleagues, from friends, from the students I teach. I expect -and sincerely hope- that this process will continue until the day I die.

My Interests...

...are many and varied. I have surfed since the 60's (longboards), but now kneeboard and boogie-board. I live at the beach, which helps! I've been an orienteer since I started in Northern Ireland in 1982, and have competed and worked at World Masters level. I started geocaching on the way to an ICT conference in 2007 (thankyou dragonsinger! ... you're very welcome --dragonsinger57 04:06, 27 August 2009 (UTC)) My username for both wikispaces and geocaching comes from these interests.

In between times I work in the garden, enjoy good food and fine wines, do a bit of mountainbiking, walk on the beach...

Life's good.


I have a long list of schools I've taught at -for much of my early career I was a real gypsy. In order they were

Taipa District High School -1967, Years 4 and 5; Kaeo District High School -1968, Years 3 and 4 then 7 and 8; Kaikohe East School -1969-71, Years 3 and 4; Tikipunga Primary School -1972-3, Years 3 and 4; The big OE 1974-76 -mostly working around Europe; Raumanga Primary School -1977, Year 3; Dargaville Intermediate -1978, Year 7; Waka aranga School, Auckland -1979-84, Years 5 and 6; (1982 -Commonwealth Exchange to Northern Ireland -Year 5 and 6) Birkdale Primary School -1984-89, Deputy Principal; Dyer Street School, Lower Hutt 1989-94, Principal; Sun Valley School, Wainuiomata 1995 -Year 5 and 6; Wadestown School, Wellington, 1996-2006, Years 7 and 8; ...and now Raumati Beach School -2006 to ?, Deputy Principal. Over the years I've been responsible for all sorts of things -music festivals, sporting and athletic events, outdoor education and of course the range of core curriculum areas. As time has passed I've gained a greater interest in strategic areas of education -the structures and systems that help (or hinder) effective learning to take place. As part of this I've had a special interest in learning for gifted and talented children -an area I'm focusing on today. And since the mid-1980's, the place of computers (now ICT) in learning. It is maybe the most exciting part of my journey -the acquisition of a completely new skillset, one that continues to develop at a great pace, one that is turning the traditional model of "teacher as expert" on its head. Maybe that appeals to the closet anarchist in me -I love it!


I've been lucky in my life, in that I've learnt from some awesome people -starting with my mother. She learned from her father to have an enduring curiosity, and question things around me -she passed this on to myself and my two brothers. It got me kicked out of Sunday School, and didn't always endear me to my teachers! As a result I've always had an interest in astronomy, geology, marine biology, early Christian history, the world at large. I try to foster this in the children I work with.

Carl Sagan in one of his "Cosmos" videos -I have the full set- said "The only sacred truth is that there are no sacred truths". It's a maxim I've lived by ever since I first heard it.

After many years as a gypsy, I finally settled down and married in 1996. Philippa is my best friend as well as my wife -we share everything, take turns at cooking dinner and choosing the wine, go orienteering and cycling together. Her three sons all live in Australia, which gives us both reasons to travel and places to stay. We like to holiday in beautiful places -Hawaii, Rarotonga, Western Australia. She is also a teacher -of Mathematics, at a local college. We have a lovely home just a few minutes walk from the beach, and try to get there at least every other day. When we're at home, we're on holiday at the beach!


My Projects

Talked with my Maths group on Wednesday about what they would like to see in an online, interactive maths activity, suitable to the (very high) abilities. They're way past the drill-and-kill stage, and are accomplished problem-solvers. They're competitive, but also very collaborative; challenging them is going to be a challenge in itself. Some ideas so far:

  1. Statistics challenges that require them to collaborate to design a solution -i.e. not possible to find a solution unaided.
  2. Geometrical challenges -"How many triangles/squares (of varying sizes) in a complex geometrical pattern"? But how do you embed a diagram into a wiki?
  3. Design formulae for recurring patterns and sequences (Fibonacci et al)
  4. Develop their own problems to solve, based on ones they've done already -extended and modified.

We'll continue to work on this over the next week or so -content may well be a collaboration in itself.

My Sandbox

My sandbox

got bold and italic sorted Makes good sense. OK, some things worked first time, some didn't. try again:

Hmmm, I've given myself another edit label. Not what I intended. And got rid of it. Progress. Of a sort. So that's what making headings does.

So far: +italic is OK +bold is OK +bold italic combines the two


  1. first point oops -tab doesn't do what I expected
  2. second point

My Reflection

Not a bad start. Some ideas coming together. Finding it not as easy as I'd hoped getting regular time to work on this -the caretaker/general dogsbody aspects of my workload aren't helping. Might have to set a slightly slower overall schedule for myself?

Just came off the online session. Thoroughly enjoyed it -great listening to the inspiration coming through the ether! Have just fitted a new headset, will participate more when I have the mike, camera and headphones working in unison.

Thank you for joining the session. Looking forward to hearing/viewing you next time. --Nellie Deutsch 06:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm signed up for the next course Bruce - and I think we'll be able to work towards our school portal - i think it's quite provident that we have 3 levels of our school represented on this course! now that Paul and Ian have had their visit things might quieten down enough for us to plot together. --dragonsinger57 07:17, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

After a VERY hectic couple of weeks getting the Tournament of Minds teams trained up and competing (successfully!), I can at last take a very deep breath and get back to my wikilearning. Have managed to develop a number of Maths problems with my group, will hopefully be able to upload them in the next week or so. They've done well. Need to talk with Jo, decide where is the best place to put them. Also how to upload my own geometrical diagrams. 18 Sept. Making progress -slowly. Have seen my group only twice this week, but the Math problems continue to be written. Am nearly ready to divide them into sets, as they will be uploaded so that each set has a range of tasks on different content topics.

Feedback & Notes from my WikiNeighbours

(Comment.gif: Excellent work in filling in the info box, Bruce. Keep up the good work. Have you considered what you'd like to add for content? Thank you. --Nellie Deutsch 03:35, 27 August 2009 (UTC)) Thanks Nellie -yes I have. I'm talking to my accelerate Maths group about what they'd like to see as interactive online content, taking it from there. I have a sort of backup plan if they don't come up with anything. In the meantime I'm learning lots from dragonsinger!

Great strategies, Bruce. --Nellie Deutsch 10:08, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

(Comment.gif: You may wish to get level 2 by adding internal and external links. --Nellie Deutsch 09:54, 30 August 2009 (UTC)) (Comment.gif: Hi Bruce this is interesting tho a little confusing, hopefully things will become as clear as mud sometime! --Angietidy 03:48, 27 August 2009 (UTC)) (Comment.gif: Hi Bruce - I think it will be very helpful with us all being able to physically sit down together to work out the coding etc. --dragonsinger57 04:00, 27 August 2009 (UTC)) Agreed -working as a team was great today. I already have more questions for you -but they can wait 'til tomorrow!

(Comment.gif: Good Progress. Keep adding. Warm wishes. --Dr. Gita Mathur 06:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC))

(Comment.gif: I enjoyed reading about you, especially the fact you call yourself "an anarchist". I'm glad you've traveled around and even managed to live on a kibbutz in Israel. Originally I was raised as a kibbutznik. Can't wait to read more about the Math accelerated project of yours. Good job, Bruce! --Hani 07:09, 5 September 2009 (UTC))


Hello and welcome to eL4C29, a free online Learning4Content wiki skills workshop.

Enjoy the workshop.
Patsy portrait 1.jpg

You may wish to check the schedule and layout of the workshop and introduce yourself.

  1. Click on the link EL4C29.
  2. The page that will open is the workshop page with all the links you will be using during the workshop.
  3. See your name in the list of participants.
  4. Whenever you have time click on each of the boxes.
  5. You may even start with Day 1 activities.
Enjoy the workshop.