Meet the PLD team

Preparing future-ready people

Our experienced PLD professionals give your teams the skills and confidence to get the most from the latest digital technologies.

Jo Nicol - Team Lead

Jo leads the Cyclone PLD team. She is a MoE Accredited PLD Facilitator and has a postgraduate qualification in digital and collaborative learning. She is an experienced History teacher, middle leader in secondary schools and has extensive experience in running school libraries.

Jo is passionate about helping educators create and develop future-focused and student-centred learning environments with strengths in using G Suite for Education and Design Thinking.

Twitter: @jonicolnz
Linkedin: Jo Nicol

Jo’s strengths are:

  • Using G Suite for Education to enhance teaching and learning
  • Digital Fluency across the school community
  • Future-focused pedagogy
  • Design Thinking
  • Social Sciences curriculum design – History
  • Middle Leadership mentoring and coaching
  • Library Development

Brad Thomas

Brad is an experienced Digital Learning Designer, Google Certified Teacher and a MOE Accredited PLD facilitator. He has worked extensively with school leaders and teachers to develop effective digital strategies to support and enhance teaching and learning.

Brad is passionate about supporting others to reach their goals using technology and as a Level Two Google Certified Educator he is passionate about the opportunities that G Suite for Education provide for enhancing student outcomes.

Brad’s strengths are:

  • Digital Fluency
  • Literacy Years 4 to 10
  • Developing a Multi-Modal literacy approach
  • Strategic Planning
  • G Suite for Education
  • Teaching as Inquiry

Anthony Breese

Anthony is a MoE-Accredited PLD facilitator and has been a registered NZ teacher for the past 19 years in the Primary and Intermediate sector. Anthony is passionate about using technologies to enhance student learning, student agency in the classroom using technologies to support literacy and numeracy.

He has skills in Innovative Learning Environments, strategic planning and developing digital learning programme to support students and teachers to enhance learning opportunities. Anthony has strong knowledge using Apple, Google Suite, and Microsoft Education, using Learning Management systems and using studio recording digital music.

Twitter: @slicnz
Linkedin: Anthony Breese

Anthony’s strengths are:

  • MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator
  • Using digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning
  • New Zealand Curriculum
  • Using technologies to support literacy and numeracy
  • Technology Curriculum delivery – Computational thinking and Design and Developing Digital Outcomes
  • Developing creative and innovative classroom programmes
  • Project learning and integrated learning
  • Specialist in Apple, Google Suite and Microsoft in Education
  • Robotics
  • eLearning and strategic planning
  • Teacher in an Innovative Learning Environment (Flipping the Classroom)
  • Digital Music and Recording

Nathan Scott

Nathan is a passionate, future-focused educator who strives to make a difference for teachers and learners in all aspects of their learning journey. Nathan has been a registered NZ teacher for the past 15 years in the secondary sector teaching Mathematics, Computer Science, and Robotics.Nathan strongly believes that it is best for a learner (at any age) to actively engage with hands-on experiences in learning spaces that are safe for them to experiment and explore; to try, to succeed and to fail.

Linkedin: Nathan Scott

Nathan’s strengths are:

  • Computer Science and Computational Thinking
  • Robotics
  • Digital Technologies: Hangarau Matihiko
  • Digital Fluency
  • Numeracy and Mathematics
  • Office 365 and G Suite for Education
  • Future-focused and student centred learning

Danny Bedingfield

Danny is a trained teacher with over 15 years of facilitating in schools and commercial organisations. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and he is equally comfortable working in the Apple and Google environments. He has a proven track record of designing solutions for clients that will empower users to make the most of technology in their lives.

Danny has a passion for the use of tech in creating inclusive learning for all people. He has designed workshops that have been promoted by the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand and were well received across the country. Danny’s other passion lies in music and videography. He films and creates movies, often flying drones to get aerial footage that he utilises his Adobe skills to edit and present. Danny has a good sense of humour and believes that learning should be fun, meaningful and hands on.

Danny’s strengths are:

  • Microsoft 365, OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams
  • Change management, 365 adoption
  • Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote
  • Microsoft Outlook, working more efficiently
  • Google Certified Educator
  • Adobe Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro and InDesign
  • Apple iOS and Mac OS
  • eLearning and strategic planning
  • Conference presentations
  • Online training and webinar support
  • Learning through multimedia, creating video tutorials

Sam Harris

Sam is a registered secondary teacher, who has worked in schools as a teacher in charge of History as well as an Across School Teacher within a Kāhui Ako (community of learning). In these roles, Sam has worked extensively with teachers on their use of digital technologies in the classroom and has worked collaboratively to establish localised teaching and learning opportunities that are connected and relevant to students lives.

Sam has a postgraduate qualification in digital and collaborative learning and has been a Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator (MIEE). Sam is passionate about curriculum design and is particularly excited about the role that digital technologies can play in transforming teaching and learning experiences through the New Zealand Curriculum refresh and coming NCEA changes. Below are some of the areas that he can help support within your school:

  • Office 365 for education
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum
  • Senior Social Sciences curriculum development – History
  • Digital Technologies: Hangarau Matihiko
  • Digital fluency across the curriculum
  • New Zealand Curriculum Refresh & NCEA Changes
  • Middle Leadership mentoring and coaching
  • Working across Kāhui Ako (Communities of Learning)

Cyclone Associates

Emma Planicka

Emma is part of the Apple Consultancy Network. She has over 11 years’ experience in education. She has a passion for providing meaningful learning experiences and is strong in both Apple and Google platforms. Emma enjoys working in a collaborative manner to source useful resources and practical ideas.

Twitter: @EmmaPlanicka
Linkedin: Emma Planicka

Emma’s strengths are:
  • MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator
  • Using Google Suite effectively in teaching and learning
  • Digital Fluency across the school community
  • Providing meaningful learning experiences, practical ideas and useful resources
  • Redefining teaching and learning using iPads

Mandy Dempsey

With a passion for innovative teaching and learning, Mandy has over 15 years experience facilitating professional development for teachers and students. Her specialty lies in the use of digital technologies to empower learners and open up new and exciting opportunities for growth. She is an accredited Apple Professional Learning Specialist and MoE PLD Facilitator.

She has recently completed post-graduate studies specialising in digital and collaborative learning and has had involvement with the University of Canterbury in developing resources to support implementation Digital Technologies/Hangarau Matihiko in primary classrooms.

Twitter: @MandyNZ
Linkedin: Mandy Dempsey

Services that Mandy has provided include:

  • Nationwide and Australian  tours of innovative learning environments
  • Teacher workshops (both locally and nationwide)
  • Modelled classroom-based eLearning workshops (teachers working alongside students)
  • Conference presentations
  • Curriculum Development
  • Supporting school leaders with strategic planning and writing tailored PLD programmes
  • Personalised PLD, supporting teacher inquiries
  • Online learning including implementation of learning and student management systems

Kylie Stanley

Kylie has 15 years experience working with students, teachers and academics from early childhood through to tertiary education, with a focus on the meaningful integration of technology in education.

After being employed as a Teacher for the NSW Department of Education, she began developing and facilitating professional learning courses in robotics, coding and game design for primary and secondary teachers across New South Wales. One of her most recent roles was a Teacher/ Instructional Leader in a primary school, which included mentoring and building digital capacity across teaching staff.

Through Kylie’s leadership, teachers were able to confidently teach their students essential digital literacy skills and successfully integrate technology into their classrooms. Kylie has been a speaker at several education conferences,  facilitated digital technologies workshops, and developed curriculum resources as an Education Consultant.

Kylie is passionate about bridging the gap between traditional teaching methods and modern teaching practices that includes relevant and purposeful teaching of technology in the classroom. She believes that all learners should have access to opportunities to understand, create and express themselves with technology.

Bevan Holloway

Bevan believes the learning experience for students can and should be better. A 2018 CORE Education e-Fellow, where his research focused on the use of teaching through play in a secondary school, Bevan has deep knowledge of how to enable and support genuinely agentic learning contexts for students. Bevan taught at secondary level and has held HOD and school governance roles.

Bevan takes a strongly relational approach to his PLD work and focuses on working with individuals or small teams who want to put their learners at the centre of their practice.

Bevan’s strengths are:

  • Supporting pedagogy for agency, with expertise in play
  • Strategic thinking and planning


Holloway, B. (2018). “Play: A secondary concern.” Set: Research Information for Teachers, NZCER Press.
Holloway, B (In press). “Living in a small data world: play in secondary school”. CORE Education.

Cited in

Carr, M. Lee, W. (2019). Learning stories in practice. Sage Publications.
Claxton, G. Powell, G. (2019). Powering up students: the learning power approach to high school teaching. Crown House Publishing.

Dr Martyn Reynolds

Martyn is an experienced educator with over 35 years of classroom and management experience including 14 years as a Specialist Classroom teacher, working to help staff reflect on and enhance their practice. He is interested in supporting educators in their thinking about culturally aware pedagogies and management behaviour so that learners, communities and staff all benefit. He has worked in partnership with Māori whanau and his PhD looked at Pacific/Pasifika ideas of success as they play out in schools.

Martyn’s strengths include:

  • Cultural responsive practices based on cultural humility
  • Teaching as inquiry
  • Strategic planning
  • Staff support
  • Classroom observation
  • Consultation as practice
  • Integration of day-to-day technologies into classroom practice
  • Education as a cultural space

Rob Stevenson

Rob is an experienced Primary School leader, recent Dr Vince Ham eFellow and a Kaiarahi for Story Hui. He has worked extensively with Learning through Play, Makerspaces, and co-teaching in collaborative environments. Highly skilled in developing effective digital processes to support and enhance learning, Rob is passionate about supporting others to reach their learning potential.

Rob believes it is more important now than ever before for students to experience learning environments where there are opportunities to communicate, collaborate, create, think critically and develop curiosity. His pedagogical approach has a strong focus on enabling life long learning and the skills to thrive in our changing world.

Rob’s strengths are:

  • Learning through Play
  • Makerspace
  • Collaborative practice
  • Project-based learning
  • Digital Fluency
  • Narrative Assessment
  • Teaching as Inquiry
  • G suite, Apple and Microsoft Education

Lynne Thomas

Lynne is a MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator. She has worked extensively in ICT advisory and facilitation roles to develop digital strategies and effective pedagogy for future focused learning and teaching. She uses the Spiral of Inquiry framework to structure collaborative professional learning and development.

Lynne’s strengths are:

  • Learning with digital technologies
  • Working with school leadership teams to develop their digital technologies strategic planning
  • Teaching as Inquiry
  • Digital fluency and Digital citizenship
  • Using Google Suite to transform learning and teaching
  • Providing practical ideas and useful resources

Rachel Hoddinott

Rachael is a Microsoft Master Trainer and Google Certified Teacher. She has a real passion for technology in the classroom and has helped many educators on their pathway to blogging and coding. Rachael believes in streamlining IT processes to ensure schools and workplaces can work together to get the most out of the environment.

Rachael’s strengths are:

  • MoE – Accredited PLD Facilitator
  • Strategy and delivery of IT processes
  • Microsoft, Google and Apple Ecosystems
  • Coding
  • Numeracy

Anjela Webster

Anjela is an experienced Education Advisor, supporting organisations, schools and kura around educative approaches in fostering online safety, citizenship and wellbeing. As an educator Anjie has held a number of leadership positions, and has taught across different levels and subject specialisation. She completed her M.Ed (Hons) with a focus on the online space and it’s many opportunities and challenges, and worked in an advisory role with Netsafe for a number of years.

2019 Springer Encylopedia Teacher EducationCybersafety, Advice for Teachers
2019 Netsafe From Literacy to Fluency to Citizenship: Digital Citizenship in Education

Cited In:
2018 Netsafe Online Hate Speech
2019  Netsafe Exploring New Zealand Children’s Internet Access, Skills and Opportunities

Anjela’s Strengths:

Fostering Online Safety, Citizenship and Wellbeing

  • Leadership – Effective practice for SLT, leaders, pastoral teams and BoT
  • Wellbeing and online incident management
  • Review and design – policies, procedures (in relation to legislation and regulatory requirements)
  • Staff capability and confidence
  • Learning approaches and resources for all levels
  • Connecting effectively and partnering with whānau
  • Student voice – scoping and sharing
  • Student agency in initiatives and learning
  • Bespoke projects

Gavin McLean

Gavin is a MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator. He has extensive experience leading international educational partnerships and projects in STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and integrating digital learning technologies to build robust hybrid learning environments where students can learn anywhere anytime.  Gavin guides teachers and school leaders to integrate STEM pedagogies and digital technologies in authentic contexts, particularly in local curriculum design; supporting teachers to provide students with exciting, engaging, hands-on, real-world problem-solving learning contexts.

Gavin’s strengths are:

  • Integrating STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and digital technologies into local curriculum design.
  • Working with school leadership teams to develop their digital technologies strategic planning & integrating digital learning technologies into the curriculum & planning.
  • Coaching and Mentoring Teachers & School Leadership to integrate STEM and digital technologies into their local curriculum design
  • Digital fluency and Digital citizenship
  • Guiding and mentoring teachers to improve their instructional design pedagogy in utilising hybrid learning & Learning Management systems (LMS) e.g. Google Suite to transform learning and teaching.