Programme Overview

Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning)

Postgraduate training for the digital age. This 32-week blended learning programme from The Mind Lab by Unitec allows practicing teachers to study a recognised postgraduate qualification part-time while continuing in full-time employment.

Apply for our July intake here. Make sure you select ‘Post Graduate Cert in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) The Mind Lab by Unitec’.

Do you want to know more?

Fill in the form here and we will have someone contact you to tell you more about the programme.

Innovative Blended Learning

The 32-week part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) is an innovative blended learning programme in two stages, each of 16 weeks.

Stage 1

The first stage comprises weekly four hour face-to-face sessions at The Mind Lab by Unitec (either one of our labs or one of our partner schools) combined with online support materials through a dedicated collaborative multimedia portal. Other study commitments are based on assignments and activities based on teachers’ own classrooms, where new knowledge and practice is applied.

Stage 2

The second stage of the course is primarily online, supported by face-to-face assignment workshops and other informational sessions. For the second 16 weeks of the 32 week part-time qualification, students continue to apply new knowledge and practice in the classroom while studying online.

Assessment and workload

Summative assessment is modelled on flexible and innovative practice, allowing for video, photography, blogs or visual diaries of applied practice to augment more traditional documentation of learning through written essays. Collaborative group work is also encouraged.

The study workload outside the classroom is expected to be 6-8 hours per week. Given the ability to capture activities in the classroom through video or other forms of media, it is expected most teachers participating in this programme will use digital tools to capture school-based applied practice.

Who should do the programme?

The programme is designed for teachers and educators at all levels. Our classes are attended by teachers from early years, primary, secondary and tertiary. 

In September 2016 our third set of graduates received their postgraduate certificates in digital and collaborative learning from The Mind Lab by Unitec. These educators, despite their busy schedules, found the time to commit to new knowledge and to arm themselves for today and the future.

Over the duration of the qualification teachers will

  • Gain highly involved students

    Today’s students see ‘digital fluency’ as a natural component of life. Meaningful technology integration is critical in every classroom, across every subject. Learn how to embed technology with project-based learning in the classroom to provide students with new capability, confidence, enthusiasm and a passion for learning.

  • Stay current and relevant

    As the world of education transforms (e.g. flipped learning, BYOD, collaborative leadership and practical inquiry), the knowledge gap over time will continue to increase. Learn how to harness your existing knowledge and teaching practices to “stay in the game” and have the confidence to teach today, tomorrow and well into the future.

  • Progress their career

    The percentage of postgraduate trained teachers in New Zealand is low and committing to further studies allows teachers to be competitive, relevant and mobile. Personal and professional development is a core to all modern professions, and undertaking a postgraduate qualification and upskilling further through study provides an advantage at all stages of a professional career.

Indicative content

The course content will include the following topics (please note these are subject to change as the programme is continually evolved)

Course: Digital and Collaborative Learning in Context (face to face sessions)

  • Epistemology and the Purpose of Education
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Technology Disruption and Mixed Reality
  • Collaborative, Constructionist and Constructivist Learning with Coding
  • Computational Thinking
  • Networked Learning
  • Blended Learning
  • 3D Modelling and Printing
  • Engagement and Agency
  • Real World Learning and Crowdsourcing
  • Agile and Lean Education
  • Makerspaces and the Maker Movement
  • Inquiry Learning and Robotics
  • Design Thinking in the Classroom
  • Games and Game Design in Education
  • Using Device and Brain Sensors

Course: Leadership in Digital and Collaborative Learning(face to face sessions)

  • Thought Leadership and Followership
  • Reflective Practice and Key Competencies in Leadership
  • Implementing Technology Innovation in the Classroom
  • Research Informed Leadership
  • Developing a Growth Mindset
  • Leadership Theories and Styles
  • Online and Distributed Leadership
  • Leading Change
  • Multicultural and International Perspectives on Education
  • Entrepreneurialism and Crowdfunding
  • Agile and Servant Leadership
  • Innovative Learning Spaces
  • Teacher Inquiry into Student Learning
  • Design Thinking in Leadership
  • Gamification in Leadership
  • Research and Community Informed Practice

Course: Research and Community Informed Practice (online)

  • Introduction to Research in Education
  • Locating and Interpreting Research
  • Writing a Literature Review
  • Teacher Inquiry
  • Planning Your Teacher Inquiry Project
  • Collecting Evidence and Data
  • Interpreting and Using Evidence
  • Ethics and Research

Course: Applied Practice in Context (online)

  • Defining Your Practice
  • Your Professional Context
  • The Broader Professional Context
  • Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Responsiveness
  • Influence of Law & Ethics
  • Professional Online Social Networks
  • Professional Context – Crossing Boundaries and Creating Connections
  • Changes in Practice

Qualification highlights

  • Gain new theoretical and practical knowledge within the field of teaching and education supported by research, observation and applied practice
  • Build your knowledge of 21st-century education practices and learn how to integrate relevant technologies and methodologies
  • Develop a more student-centered and personalised approach to learning
  • Evaluate personal teaching environments (class, school or community-wide) and learn how to identify development and advancement opportunities

NEXT Generation Teacher Scholarships

We are thrilled to be partnering with the NEXT Foundation to provide scholarships for this programme.  Please see the enrolment and scholarships page for more information.

With the rollout of ultra-fast broadband to schools across New Zealand, the School Network Update Project, and increasing numbers of BYOD programmes and other classroom technology schemes, digital tools are becoming prevalent in the classroom, but technology alone does not mean better teaching and learning. Teacher education is critical in making the most of technology in schools. As the 2015 OECD report ‘Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection’ states: ‘The key elements for success are the teachers, school leaders and other decision makers who have the vision, and the ability, to make the connection between students, computers and learning.’ We share that vision, and are committed to giving teachers the skills, confidence and experience to transform education for the benefit of all learners. The three complementary themes of digital tools, collaboration and leadership lie at the heart of our Digital and Collaborative Learning programme.


Certificate in Applied

Applications are now open.

Apply now


NEXT Generation Teacher Scholarships

Are you a registered teacher?
Are you employed at a NZ public school?
If you answered “YES” then you could be eligible for a $2000 Next Generation Teacher Scholarship when you apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning).

Apply now

More details about the programme are available in our Booklet.

“It breaks all the stereotypical boxes of what a postgraduate course looks like … this is super fun and engaging.  You meet people who are like-minded, who are on the same journey as you.”
Fee Holdsworth, Tauhara College, Taupo