n8lemh42_400x400Tēnā koutou, no Yorkshire o Ingarani ahau, kō the Chevin te maunga, kō Wharfe te awa, Ngāti Pakeha tōku iwi, kō Karen toku ingoa.

I’m Karen Spencer, Deputy Principal at Wellington High School — Te Kura Tuarua o Taraika ki Pukeahu,  Aotearoa, and the Lead Principal for the Capital City Kāhui Ako.

I am a firm believer that nothing matters in education without the bedrock of strong relationships with our young people and their communities, and a shared vision for ways to make learning inclusive and relevant.  He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.


With over twenty years in the education sector in New Zealand and the UK, Karen is internationally recognised for her work in future-focused, inclusive learning through digital technologies, blended/online professional development and online community development. She is an inspiring facilitator and presenter, known for her energy, humour and research-led approach.

Previous roles:

  • As Director of Education for Netsafe, Karen helped define a forward-thinking, school-centric approach for engaging with young people in New Zealand schools around digital citizenship and cybersafety.
  • As Senior Consultant with CORE Education, Karen provided strategic advice for the Connected Learning Advisory-Te Ara Whītiki service on behalf of the Ministry of Education. In 2014, she spearheaded Connected Educator Month for New Zealand and Victoria, Australia.
  • She has undertaken extensive consultancy work in curriculum, e-learning and assessment projects for the Ministry of Education (New Zealand), NZQA, and for international agencies. She has been central to the development of national professional learning projects that target system-wide e-capability development, such as Enabling e-Learning, the VLN Groups social network and the e-Learning Planning Framework.

In 2013, Karen received the inaugural ICET Asia-Pacific Senior e-Fellow award. She was also awarded the John Allan Scholarship by the University of Waikato (2013) and a Masters in Education with Distinction in 2014.

Karen is highly networked [Twitter ~ @virtuallykaren], she blogs at Karen Spencer and writes for a variety of educational publications: http://bit.ly/KarenMS_publications.

[updated April 2021]

This blog has been my online ‘home’ since 2007 – a space for pondering, sharing resources and pulling threads together. You can also find me here:

One thought on “About

  1. Thank you Karen for your wonderful session today at ULearn. You are indeed a National Treasure!

    I’m delighted that you were just the person I needed to speak to re CLAIRE BOONSTRA . When I locate your email, I shall send you further info.

    Warm regards

    Janet McCarroll


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