Schools might be back in action but online learning doesn’t need to stop.
This is the thinking behind a fun and interactive online learning journey launched by Taitokerau Education Trust this week.
Te Ara Akoranga – The Learning Journey is an extra-curricular resource designed to develop literacy among Year 5 to 8 students in a supportive online environment.
Taitokerau Education Trust Executive Officer Liz Cassidy-Nelson says the Government has made great progress in connecting student households to the internet during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Online education is now more accessible for students who would have otherwise been living without broadband. We know how beneficial learning online is. Tamariki become incredibly engaged when digital resources are opened up to them, and we want that learning and engagement to continue beyond Covid-19.”
Te Ara Akoranga participants, with their schools and/or whānau, are invited to complete activities from the trust’s specially-curated site each week. They will be supported by a community of commenters.
They can earn prizes throughout the programme by sharing their mahi on a private Facebook page.
We know how beneficial learning online is. Tamariki become incredibly engaged when digital resources are opened up to them
Te Ara Akoranga is an extension of the trust’s successful Summer Learning Journey, which ran during the summer of 2019 – 20.
“We had 45 students from five Northland schools participating, engaged and sharing some amazing mahi throughout the summer,” says Cassidy-Nelson.
Whau Valley School is among the schools already participating. Principal Steve Jenkins says he signed up having seen his tamariki enjoy and benefit from the Summer Learning Journey.
“It has enabled a number of our whānau to have a device at home, where tamariki can continue learning through provided activities when and where they choose.”
Both programmes have been developed by Whau Valley School digital learning teacher Trish Horne, and based on the University of Auckland’s summer digital literacy initiative to counteract the ‘summer slump’ that sees students’ learning decline, or reverse, during the six-week summer break.
Activities will be posted each week until July and students may start the programme at any time throughout the term.
Taitokerau Education Trust aims to bridge the digital divide by giving students in a cluster of Northland schools equal access to online learning.
Jenkins says: “Many of our whānau are not in a position to purchase their own devices, so provision of these through the trust is invaluable and is beginning to bridge the digital divide within our kura.”
To enquire, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Students will need to have access to a device and, ideally, internet but the programme can be distributed to addresses of students on a weekly basis.
Taitokerau Education Trust
Works to bridge the digital divide by giving students in a cluster of Northland schools equal access to online learning. This is done by making sure personal-use devices are affordable for every participant.
We also know that access alone is not enough for students to succeed, and believe a student’s combined learning environment shapes their ability. This is why our programme utilises a three-pronged approach that encourages students, their whānau and their educators to work in collaboration. Our students are successful because they are supported by a core learning network of people who participate, collaborate and engage fully with the curriculum – at home and at school.