Mobile tech revolutionising the teaching of te reo

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The teaching of te reo Maori has gone digital, thanks to a ground-breaking project led by Victoria University Faculty of Education lecturers Tabitha McKenzie, Rawiri Toia and Hiria McRae.

The three lecturers in Te Kura Maori have developed an innovative approach to teacher professional development. In response to limited relief teacher numbers in schools and a dearth of language specialists, a model using video podcasts, online support and in-school facilitation has been developed to advance Maori language and language acquisition amongst teachers.

The programme has been implemented in three rural regions, and co-ordinator Tabitha McKenzie says the use of podcasts sees schools and their communities taking the lead in their own language development.

‘One of the advantages of using podcasts and iPods is it is ubiquitousit’s anytime, anywhere learning. We know that teachers are very busy. The use of iPods means they don’t have to leave their school for six months for intensive training. They can now learn and implement new approaches to teaching on a daily basis.”

The trio have received recognition from afar for the projectwinning an International Award for Excellence for a paper published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Education, and is part of a Teacher Professional Development project called Whakapiki i te Reo.

Tabitha, who coordinates the project, says she is delighted with the progress being made in schools, and the wider implications of the project.

“We are the first Whakapiki i te Reo provider to use mobile assisted technology, so we are revolutionising the way te reo Maori is being taught. The technology has allowed us to go nationwide and get out to those rural schools that often don’t get to participate in professional development because of their isolation.

“The use of mobile devices offers opportunities for strengthening Maori language and Maori knowledge and expressing a Maori worldview in local, national and international contexts.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Please, I would like to lear Te Reo via listening on i pod etc… can you tell me please were to access?
    Regards

    Darren

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