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Connect with our communities with - and about - ICTs

How does your school talk with and involve its community of families and whānau? There will, no doubt, be a range of ways that you inform, discuss and share the learning in your school, from newsletters to parents' evenings.

  • To what extent are you able to extend these conversations using technologies? Why would you?
  • And to what extent do you also need to deliberately involve your community when you talk about how we can use ICTs for learning?

This forum aims to explore ways to make connections with your community using different technologies, and the benefits provided by these connections. Commentators include: Moana Timoko, Janelle Riki and Togi Lemanu (National Blended e-Learning facilitators for Māori and Pasifika).

Until then, check out this snapshot from Enabling e-Learning, in which Principal Dave McShane, teacher Susan Lee, and kaumatua from Te Kura o Kutarere discuss how technologies have helped to engage the local community to support and share students' learning.

Source: Enabling e-Learning: Leadership - Beyond the Classroom


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 3:17pm ()

    Thanks for the feedback Nathaniel Smile I was pretty impressed when I visited yesterday. They were literally rushing in through the door at break time. Their professionalism was something to be proud of too Smile

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 3:12pm ()

    Wow! That is very cool. What a great way to develop some great life skills and fantastic that they are involving their parents.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 3:08pm ()

    Merivale School are doing some exciting things to connect with the local community. Their radio station (107.5 FM) has been going out live on air for two years now.

    They’ve set up their station with the radio bundle from Sitec, with four microphones in a small, dedicated space off from the library. They’re also licensed to play music through Apra.

     Merivale DJs at work

    Students get skilled in the art of on-air production and designate themselves roles – lead DJ, helper, interviewees etc. They korero in both English and Māori, sharing their mihi and sometimes even singing along to their own school song. The rush to get into the station at breaktimes, is a testimony to how much these students love this.

    They have a vested interest in involving their parents and some ring home to ask for song requests. Responses have come as far a-field as Auckland. The feedback from the community is incredibly encouraging and teachers have noticed improvements to oral literacy skills, as well as self-confidence and self-managing skills.

    Merivale School welcomes visitors if you want to know more.

    Anyone else connecting with their community via radio waves? If so, how is this working for you?

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 21 Dec 2012 12:48am ()

    Kia ora Te Ahua - Nice to see you here!!!!  Just thought I'd add a little more info about Te Ahua's wonderful contributions to our community of Kaikohekohe - The article is a year old but see the progress mentioned in Te Ahua's previous post.

    Kids thrive on netbook computers

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 19 Dec 2012 9:45am ()

    I agree whole heartedly with everything you have said. I think it must be a partnership between home and school. Each school has its own culture and I would love to see more bonds being made between partners in education like this.

    Congratulations too for taking the leap from lurker to contributer :-)

  • TeAhua Park (View all users posts) 19 Dec 2012 9:35am ()

    Kia Ora Koutou

    I'm a bit of a "newbie" when it comes to posting on the VLN. (first post actually)  I tend to just browse through the feed and  not make any contribution...but I was particularly interested in this discussion.  I think making a connection to the community is vitally important in the whole scheme of e-learning.  I wanted to share an article of about my class entitled "Children Connected" that came out today in our local paper.  


    Over the past term I, along with Stevie Woodman have run a class in the community.  We were lucky enough to have top Energy gift us a space for the term.  Our guiding priniciples have been on students making connections to others (co-operative learning), to self (key competencies), to community (real life authentic projects/ inquiry) & to the world (through use of ICT).    The thing that really stood out for me was how engaged students were when they worked through an inquiry model to answer the key question:  How can I contribute to making Kaikohe (our community) better?  Funily enough it also got parents and community involved because they also wanted to help make a difference.  As mentioned above, social media worked wonders in keeping parents "in the loop" as did having a kai and barbecue in our local park before sharing our learning journey & student work with whanau.  There was standing room only...just!  I guess the point I am making is...we have to get out in the community to make changes.  We have to be approachable, we have to try new ways of keeping contact with whanau (and with technology we can)...we have to break down the barriers, and I do mean the physical ones too (most schools have fences and I'm not sure if its to keep kids in or parents out...) as well as invovle our communities.  Most parents want to help.  I work in a decile 1 community with 98% Maori....parents have so much trust in teachers and tend to let us do our job...yet they have so many talents and knowledge they could share.  So I guess we need to KNOW our whanau and invite them in to share...or go to them in the community.

    I found working in the community gave us so much more opportunities to do things.  Community groups got invovled...students worked with local businesses....we learnt, solved problems & contributed to our community in "real time"....resulting in engaged, empowered learners.

    I look forward to reading more...and even contributing the little bit I have to offer to discussions around e-learning.  I am so passionate about finding ways to connect with whanau and communities so appreciate the ideas from you all.  

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 27 Sep 2012 3:31pm ()

    Ruia School- Whānau Partnerships http://partnerships.ruia.educationalleaders.govt.nz/Reviewing-partnerships 

    Has an interactive tool that helps school leaders and whānau to identify the strengths and needs of their school–whānau partnerships in relation to seven areas:

    • Overview
    • The school curriculum
    • Teaching and learning at school
    • Teaching and learning at home 
    • Reporting
    • Day-to-day involvement in the school community
    • Special events and occasions
    You can either register your school to access the tool or check out the download.
    You'll also find other useful info.

  • Amanda OConnell (View all users posts) 27 Sep 2012 2:15pm ()

    Hi there whānau, is anybody in a school where they are using edmodo as a social platform for communicating with the community and blogging for students? Would love to know about your experiences Smile

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 25 Sep 2012 10:39pm ()

    This is an interesting read Exploring kura engagement strategies with whānau, iwi and kura.

    You'll find links to related stories about engaging whānau.

  • Valay Raman (View all users posts) 19 Sep 2012 2:39pm ()

    At Finlayson we use text messages for student absences. Most parents have mobile phones instead of land lines and I think that would be worth investigating as another method of keeping a positive conversation going especially for when children have done something awesome. I can imagine myself as a parent, receiving such a text and showing it off to my friends and family-possibly saving the text for his 21st birthday -this would make me proud and possibly develop a positive relationship between school, child and parent. I wonder what would be the total cost of such a practice. I believe we have landed on a winner here in terms of feedback. Feedback has a massive effect on learning.

Join this group to contribute to discussions.

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the classroom - Connecting school to the wider community with and about technologies.