Online learning tools acquired through our Digital Immersion Programme have enabled one of our schools to bring te reo lessons to an Australian classroom.
Te Kura o Otangarei principal Myles Ferris has collaborated with Sydney’s Briar Road Public School in an innovative move to connect Maori students in the Australian school with their culture.
Myles says a conversation with Briar Road’s principal Tammy Anderson, “who really wanted to do something for the Maori students in her school”, got him thinking about utilising the school’s digital platforms to establish the international virtual classroom.
“Knowing and learning about Zoom, a video conferencing tool that we’ve used, Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom are all things we’ve taken on board in terms of this digital journey we’re on.
The result is a Google Classroom with a video conferencing tool where students from both schools will be taught te reo by a Te Kura o Otangarei digital immersion teacher in real time.
Myles says the virtual classroom aligns with the schools’ and trust’s collective desire to support Maori culture.
“All Taitokerau principals are involved in creating a digital platform that also supports and encourages Maori language. It’s really important that we adapt the digital tools we’ve been provided with to have a Maori context and learn as Maori.
“We have a huge Maori population so it’s essential that we don’t lose who they are in the digital world.
“This collaboration gives us a lot as well; we receive comparative cultural learning from Briar Road’s Aboriginal students and the Maori who are living and learning in a different culture.”