Equip your teachers to support students becoming digitally capable individuals

Register now for PLD – Coding Unplugged or iPad Animation workshops

Coding Unplugged book coming in 2019!

Learn and then teach the building blocks (concepts and practices) of coding:

Click here to receive information when Coding Unplugged book is available in early 2019.

Digital fluency (Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko) is now part of the New Zealand Curriculum. Acumen provides PLD to assist your school prepare:

PLD workshops

One day PLD workshops around New Zealand in May to July 2019.

Coding Unplugged
Digital Technologies and computational thinking.
(See below)

iPad Animation
Storytelling and digital technology using the iPad.
GO TO webpage--->

Coding Unplugged impliments the digital technologies curriculum and focuses on:

  • Progress Outcomes 1 and 2 of Computational Thinking for Digital Technologies. Learn how to code without devices (Unplugged) or the internet (Off Grid). Just pen and paper and GO!
  • Concepts and practices of coding BEFORE advancing to devices - an excellent introduction to coding
  • Fun and engagement with accessible instructions for every teacher and student regardless of their confidence with or knowledge of computers
  • Highly visual and practical lessons use a wide range of paper based and physical activities
  • Low demand on resources and facilities means the lessons are scalable for small groups or multiple class programmes
  • Equitable access to learning for a wide range of students
  • Develop skills, confidence and interest in digital technologies
  • Build skills so students can be innovative creators of digital solutions
  • Lesson Plans ready-to-use for 20 weeks.

"We had three classes (90 students) actively learning coding at the same time." – N.R, teacher.

Coding lessons start and end with a Coding Assessment to provide accurate and helpful details and statistics on student achievement results. Download the Assessment to evaluate the computational knowledge, maths and application of computational skills that will be gained in our programme. Email us if you want a copy of the assessment marking sheet.

If you are not confident in computers, be assured that no experience is needed. You'll use games and puzzles about pirates and a hot chococate drink, a pack of playing cards and a game of table tennis. In fact, we rarely even mention the word computer.

If you are more familiar with computers, you'll find this workshop will equip teachers with confidence and ready-to-use activity resources (pen, paper and games) in the building blocks of coding such as:

  • Breaking tasks into a SET OF INSTRUCTIONS and putting them in ORDER with PRECISION
  • Finding PATTERNS and repetitive steps
  • COMPRESSION to communicate the same information with EFFICIENCY - no wasted steps
  • FUNCTIONS to shorten and simplify code for common tasks
  • LOOPS to shorten and simplify code for repetitive tasks
  • CONDITIONS to test if a statement is true or false and then taking the appropriate action (IF, THEN, ELSE)
  • OPERATORS to expand the power of conditions (<, >, AND, OR, NOT)
  • VARIABLES for things that change, eg a score
  • Testing and DEBUGGING.

The workshop is particularly suitable for students in Years 3-8.

"I felt coding would be boring, but it was fun and challenging at the same time. I did it and I am proud!" – S, student.

Ready to register--->

"The average student's mark improved from 10.7 out of 40 to 22.7 out of 40 after only two days." – S, Teacher (INDIA).

ATTEND the Coding Unplugged workshop

Why coding?

It is important to learn coding because it is a core part of digital fluency (becoming familiar with using modern digital tools and methods to benefit society). For many students actual coding or an understanding of how coding works will be part of their job.

Coding is writing down the instructions for a task, Any task! Then everyone else who needs to do the same task can follow the instructions and get the same outcome. Basically coding is breaking a task into a series of simple and logical instructions. The instructions need to be very clear, totally unambiguous and make no assumptions.

Here are some situations where coding is useful:

  • navigation (directions)
  • cooking (recipe)
  • weaving (pattern)
  • morse code
  • knitting (pattern)
  • written instruction manual (how to…)
  • pictorial instruction diagrams (origami)
  • medical triage diagram, and
  • computer programme.

What about devices?

  • Devices, and their animation effects, can be a distraction in early learning
  • Not every child is attracted to devices. Coding Unplugged gets students engaged in the underlying computational thinking which they can then apply to many situations including computers
  • Devices and computer coding will naturally follow after these unplugged lessons.

"Year 6 student said they had no need for coding because they were going to be a vet. We found a vetinanary triage flowchart for care for a horse. The student was stunned it was written in the same coding langauge." – C.L, teacher.

Ready to register?--->

2019 workshop dates for
Coding Unplugged workshop

Earlybird payment from $190+gst - save $60 per person

(Standard registation $260+gst)

For every Teacher registration you can bring a Teacher Aide or Helper Parent for HALF PRICE.

• Monday 20 May 2019- Hamilton
• Friday 24 May 2019- North Shore Auckland

• Monday 10 June 2019- Invercargill
• Thursday 13 June 2019- Christchurch

• Tuesday 25 June 2019- Palmerston North
• Friday 28 June 2019- Hawkes Bay

• Tuesday 30 July 2019- Nelson

All workshops run 9am to 3.30pm.

If you don't see your location listed above please contact us and we'll see what we can do. Craig is an Accredited PLD Facilitator though the Ministry of Education and welcomes all requests for centrally funded PLD on specific digital media topics or for the implementation of Digital Technologies.

"Mathematical thinking and reasoning is strongly developed without the distraction of an animated outcome." – D.P. Teacher, Wellington

Coding Unplugged workshops can be run on demand for teacher only days and as customised programmes for teachers and students together. We encourage schools and clusters to host a PLD workshop at your school on a date that suits you. Contact us if you want to explore this option. Indicative prices for one day workshop in New Zealand are:

  • 6 teachers from $180 per person plus travel
  • 12 teachers from $120 per person plus travel.


To register for the Coding Unplugged or iPad Animation PLD workshop and pay by Paypal or Credit card:
Book online


To register for the Coding Unplugged or iPad Animation PLD workshop and pay by internet banking, cheque or to receive an invoice first, please email the following details:

  • School name and address
  • Contact teacher name, email and phone
  • Names of attending teachers
  • Workshop location.

Payment by internet banking to: Westpac - 03 0578 0002555 01- Acumen.
Cheques can be posted to Acumen, 19 Trevor Terrace, Newtown, Wellington 6021.

We welcome you to submit any specific questions (technical, workflow or content/projects) you'd like covered on the day. Please also contact us if you want to discuss whether this workshop is right for you.

Contact us about running a teacher only workshop or customised programme for teachers and students at your school.


Paid registrations can be changed to another teacher from your school or another school - no problem. Just send us an email of the details so we know who is coming.

In the event that you need to cancel a registration, a cancellation fee of $50 per person will apply - except where the cancellation reduces the number of registrations below the viable number for that workshop and a higher cancellation fee may be retained. Our viable numbers are quite low and we'll let you know at the time so you have the opportunity to find an alternative teacher to attend.

The workshop will be presented by Craig Lauridsen, an Accredited PLD Facilitator by Ministry of Education.

Since 2017 he has delivered an introduction to coding concepts (unplugged - no internet) and (off grid - does not require devices). This allows for 100% participation and engages students in mathematical thinking and reasoning without the distraction of an animated outcome.

He has taught many digital media topics over 11 years. Such as stop motion animation, enquiry project videos, school assembly TV news show, creating persuasive language advertisements, movie trailers and coding.

Craig is the co-founder of Newtown Movie School and author of iPad Animation, Creating a Stop Motion Story and Stop Motion Handbook. These books are promoted by Boinx as Official Resources for their iStopMotion software.