May 13, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Chromebooks connect Kura as Otaki moves to become global digital education icon

4 min read


Otaki will take a giant leap towards becoming a world leader in digital education today and no one is more excited than the kids of Te Kura a Iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano.

Students at the Otakibased Maori language immersion school are set to receive their very own Chromebook, an internet-capable computer device, as part of the launch of a community-led initiative that is aimed at improving students access to digital information.

Inspired by the Manaiakalani programme operating in Auckland, the initiative in Otakiis being driven by the Te Reanga Ipurangi OtakiEducation Trust.

Chairwoman Rachael Selby said there are 1060 students at the six schools in Otaki and the goal is to get a Chromebook into the hands of every child by next year.

We want to provide every child with a Chromebook to improve access to information so that children can integrate global and local knowledge. They will learn from and with one another at home and at school.

Ms Selby said Otakiwill become a world leader in digital education and the next step is to find a way for students to be able to connect to the internet wirelessly anywhere in Otaki.

New teachers who come to Otakiwill become part of a new way of teaching and engaging with the community. They will have the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications and be recognised as innovative 21st century teachers.

After securing finance through Telecom Rentals the trust has purchased 317 devices for the first instalment and will enter into Hire Purchase agreements with parents who pay for the devices through a range of payment options.

Technology To Support Teaching Of Te Reo

The kids at Te Kura a iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano will be the first to get their devices at todays opening ceremony at the award-winning Te Wananga o Raukawa Nga Purapura lifestyle centre.

Tumuaki Harina Cooper said she was excited about the options it would provide her students.

Technology has the potential to engage young minds and instil an excitement about learning in ways that few traditional teaching aids and techniques seem capable of doing. The children are excited by the prospect of using computers to learn.

Te Reanga Ipurangi OtakiEducation trustee and Te Kura a-iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano teacher, Moko Cooper said through the initiative they would make a significant commitment to develop digital content in te reo Maori.

The challenge for kura Maori is to source, create and share digital content in te reo as resources are inadequate.

A te reo Maori resource development team comprising kaiako and reo experts from Te Kura a-iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, Te Rito, Te Kura Maori o Porirua and Te Wananga o Raukawa have rallied together to work on te reo content.

Community Driven Collaboration

The Te Reanga Ipurangi OtakiEducation Trust was formed after a working party was set-up within the tertiary provider, Te Wananga o Raukawa. The Otaki and Porirua Trusts Board sponsored the establishment of the Trust in December 2013 after all the schools in the town signed an MOU with the Trust.

Working party member Sonya Daly said its purpose was always to advance the educational pursuits of the children in Otaki who are members of the Confederation of Te Ati Awa, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Toarangatira.

Other non-kura schools within the Otakicommunity were invited to participate in the initiative with a view that Otakiwould eventually be a digital campus.

Ms Daly said a community hui was called in 2013 at Te Wananga o Raukawa to share the vision and the community was introduced to trustees of Te Reanga Ipurangi Trust.

The Trust was established under the mana of Ngati Raukawa to serve the Otakicommunity to promote and lift educational achievement through developing digital citizenship in the community. This includes developing the capacity of children, whanau and families and promoting learning for life.

The initiative is also being replicated and implemented in four schools in Porirua through the Te Mana o Kupe trust.

The trust is chaired by Te Wananga o Raukawa lecturer Antony Royal and he said the first phase of the Porirua East initiative will be implemented at one kura kaupapa, two primary schools and a high school. It is expected to then extend to ten other schools in Porirua East.

He said the schools were considered to be low decile and he hoped they would be able to level the playing field through the initiative.

The Chromebooks mean that the traditional education will change and be replaced by 21st century pedagogy. It means that learning will no longer start at 9am and finish at 3pm, it will also meant that parents are more involved in the learning.

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