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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


  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 03 Sep 2012 6:53pm ()

    Kia ora koutou

    Ko Moana Timoko tōku ingoa.  Kei Kaikohe tōku kainga noho.  He poutakawaenga au mō CORE Education - Ngā tima Te Marautanga o Aotearoa me Blended e-Learning.

    Te Marautanga o Aotearoa has nine learning areas: Te Reo Māori, Pāngarau (Maths), Pūtaiao (Science), Hangarau (Technology), Tikanga-ā Iwi (Social Sciences), Ngā Toi (Arts), Hauora (Health and Physical Education), Ngā Reo (Languages) and Te Reo Pākehā (English).

    Te Marautanga o Aotearoa aims to develop successful learners, who will grow as competent and confident learners, effective communicators in the Māori world, healthy of mind, body and soul and secure in their identity, and sense of belonging. They will have the skills and knowledge to participate in and contribute to Māori society and the wider world.

    The whānau, the community, and the iwi of learners contribute to their education. For them to experience success, the school, the whānau, hapū, iwi and community must work together effectively and consistently. The curriculum upholds the cultural identity and heritage of learners and their families.

    Schools and kura working with families, whānau, communities and iwi to use Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as the foundation to build a school curriculum or marautanga-ā-kura that reflects their own unique identity, values and vision to meet their students learning needs.

    Ref:  www.minedu.govt.nz

    Te Marautanga o Aotearoa acknowledges whānau as important contributors.  

    Engaging with whānau is a priority!

    A great place to start with the implementation of this curriculum is forming 'Te āhua o ā tātou ākonga' - a graduate profile that acknowledges the aspirations that whānau have for their tamariki.  Whānau have to be engaged in this process - Why?  


    A question was once asked of me...Who do the children belong to?  My holistic response would be something like...everyone has a joint responsibility to look after and care for our young ones, but as a mother....MY CHILDREN BELONG TO ME - Mummy!  I have aspirations for my tamariki and I know that what I think needs to be acknowledged and valued as being important within their education.  I know that I have a responsibility as Mummy to ensure that my children achieve and I know that I need to work with our kura to ensure that happens.  I am an Educated Educator who works in Education.  I am aware of the need to engage with whānau to achieve better outcomes for our tamariki.  

    I'm trying to get to my point...

    Are we as educators fully informing our whānau of the important role and responsibility they have, and that they have the opportunity to have a say in what their children are learning about?  In creating 'Te āhua o ā tātou ākonga' - the Graduate profile - schools need to engage with their whānau.  Traditionally hui have been called - some schools get a good turn out and some do not.  Do we rely on the numbers that attend these hui to create 'Te āhua o ā tātou ākonga' - the Graduate profile OR do we try other ways to engage all of our whānau?  We could arrange home visits, individual meeting times, ph calls and/or letters home.  We may want to introduce a survey about communicative devices/tools our parents may have access to.  I think this is my point...LOL.

    Some questions/ideas to think about - I realise that the links below are very popular and probably 'OLD SCHOOL' now, but they could be used as an opening for communication.

    How can we engage, inform and encourage Whānau participation through the use of technologies?

    Facebook  - check out these Facebook: Facts and Figures


    An overview of Google Docs - Check out Blogger


    Email / Text....We just try several things!!! We set high expectations for communicating, creating links & connections with our whānau and we make the effort...an extra effort to do it!!!!

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 03 Sep 2012 10:14pm ()

    Kia ora anō

    Thought I'd jump back in here and add a post that I shared a while back ...

    I'm thinking about embracing other ways to just get whānau in the school...using ICT to not only share student achievement/notices etc but to assist with basic living tasks, such as paying the household bills, checking bank balances etc.  Having computer/internet access for parents who do not have access at home...running workshops around setting up internet banking, paying bills online, inviting local bankers in to set families up etc... accessing better discount rates because you're paying online....Thinking of simple ways to help families with financial matters and/or budgetting.  Times are hard for many and I'm sure any way of cutting back on household costs would be appreciated.  It wouldn't hurt to have Tea/Coffee facilities set up in a designated space and a little play area for younger children.  Display important notices around the room - with links and instructions to the school newsletters/blogs etc.   

    You'll find more ideas in the discussion post: How can we foster home school partnerships?

    54 posts about improving/enhancing the interactions between home and school - connecting with parents/whanau to improve student learning.

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2012 6:07pm ()

    FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD!  Northland College (Kaikohe-Northland) often provide food for parent/tch evenings- hot finger foods/sandwiches/tea/coffee - We once had a staff bake off - Inter-house competition and that was great too - the judges were those that attended.

    During Youth Week we also planned a Whānau and Friends meal - with messages hidden under seats - those with messages had to stand and share their yarn about the Youth Week theme.  Could be a fun exercise to do with cell phones...hand in your ph number, phones must be on...receive a text and share a yarn.  

    Youth Week 2013 - May 4th to May 12th - Check out the link for more info - Check out past events - Grants are available for special projects that promote the Youth Week theme - Keep checking at the beginning of 2013 for more info - Google it!

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 14 Sep 2012 12:29pm ()

    Kia ora Amy - Tino pai āu mahi!

    I recently met with a principal & teacher who are not yet confident in using skype but mentioned that they know of whānau members from within their community who are using skype to contact whānau overseas.  I suggested that they draw on the expertise of those whānau to share their knowledge with the students, staff and other whānau members.  They have since identified other members of their community with expertise in the use of other e-Learning tools/devices and will be calling on them to share what they know.  Acknowledging, involving and appreciating the expertise of whānau is very important in building & sustaining strong supportive relationships.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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.