Showcase: Alistair West

This week’s awesome educator? Alistair West, who brings a fantastic mix of technical know-how, passion for his subject areas, and a love of technology to his classroom at Scots College.


1. What brought you to #WellyED?

@AKeenReader and I’m mighty glad she did. I’ve always felt the best PD you can experience as a teacher is collaborating with other teachers, whether it be visiting a colleague  in you school or another school. #WellyED is an online extension of that.

2. What’s something exciting that’s happening in your classroom or in your sector?

OneNote ClassBook Creator! 50 years after IBM announced computers would create a paperless world, I think I may have achieved it in my classroom!  ClassBook Creator has enabled me to set up individual notebooks for all of my students allowing me to deliver content, provide instant feedback and feedfoward anytime, anywhere, and my students can collaborate through shared online notebooks.  I’m currently uploading the entire term’s lessons, enabling students to work independently at a pace that suits them. I’ve been looking for a digital exercise book for quite a while now.. .I think I’ve found it.

I’ve also managed to base my entire Year 11 Digital Tech’s Term One unit on the Cricket World Cup, under guise of turning data into information.

3. Who or what inspires you?

Teachers who are willing to embrace change, innovate and ‘give things a go’ – we expect this of students and thus should model it ourselves.  It’s not easy and can be painful at times, but the rewards make it worthwhile.

Tim Bell – for all of his hard work and the resources he has provided to help teachers teach  computer science and programming.   Also for saying, “Let’s be creators not consumers of technology” – That’s the first thing I put in my Digital Tech course outlines!

4. What’s your next professional learning goal?

I’m currently on a mission studying modern learning environments, if you know of any good ones worth viewing… let me know!

5. When I’m not teaching, I’m…

Watching my sons play football, taking photos, cooking, reading, ski-ing, hiking, watching movies, going on road trips, travelling and trying to get more followers on Twitter than @AKeenReader.

If you can help Alistair on his quest to learn more about modern learning environments, feel free to email him: or tweet him: @alwestnz

And we’re always on the hunt for more fantastic local educators to showcase. Nominate them by tweeting us @Welly_ED or email us

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