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Chromebooks Connect Kura

Chromebooks Connect Kura As Ōtaki Moves To Become Global Digital Education Icon

Ōtaki 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 Ōtaki based Māori 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 Ōtaki is being driven by the Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education 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 Ōtaki will 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 Ōtaki.

“New teachers who come to Ōtaki will 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 ā iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano will be the first to get their devices today’s opening ceremony at the award-winning Te Wānanga o Raukawa Ngā 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 Ōtaki Education trustee and Te Kura ā-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 Māori.

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

“A te reo Māori resource development team comprising kaiako and reo experts from Te Kura ā-iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, Te Rito, Te Kura Māori o Porirua and Te Wānanga o Raukawa have rallied together to work on te reo content.”

Community Driven Collaboration

The Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trust was formed after a working party was set-up within the tertiary provider, Te Wānanga 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 a community hui was called in 2013 at Te Wānanga 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 Ngāti Raukawa to serve the Ōtaki community to promote and lift educational achievement through developing digital citizenship in the community. This includes developing the capacity of children, whānau and families and promoting learning for life.”

Extension Into Porirua Decile 1 Schools

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 Wānanga 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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