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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


  • Valay Raman (View all users posts) 06 Sep 2012 1:33pm ()

    Thanks Jane. We are certainly putting in the time and resource into connecting with our parents. We have an open door policy and parents are most welcome at anytime to use our computers to view their children's work or use it personally. This is advertised in our newsletters, signage and through student voice. A student will go home and let their parents that his/her work is on display. This allows us to bank in emotional brownie points with the parents that we can use when we discuss poor behaviour, etc. You need to be there to watch their proud faces. The moral of this story is when connecting with parents, connect with them on positive issues and not just the negative ones.

  • Valay Raman (View all users posts) 07 Sep 2012 9:22am ()


    This is our latest ERO report for 2012. It is reflective of our joint home school vision. Our community is highly valued. Since many may not have internet access at home we decided to create a school radio station to communicate with our parents.

    Our radio station uses 4 languages to communicate. We use Maori, Samoan, Tongan and English. Items are created by students, teachers, parents and visitors to our school. This is a powerful medium to get our message across as it does not infringe on other daily tasks. Parents also love listening to their children's voice.



                                          CONTEXT FOR OUR SCHOOL- CONFIRMED REPORT 11/07/2012

    The important features of this school that have an impact on student learning are:

    Finlayson Park is a Year 1 to Year 8 school, in Manurewa, of nearly one thousand students. The most significant feature of the school is the way that learning programmes reflect the aspirations and values of its largely Māori and Pacific communities.

    Students' home languages, cultures and identity are strongly affirmed and the school curriculum draws on contexts that are culturally relevant.

    The long-serving Principal and Board of Trustees are committed to bi-lingual learning. Bilingual programmes in Te Reo Māori, Samoan and Tongan are complemented by the English mainstream and immersion Te Reo Māori and Samoan language programmes. Trustees support teachers to study second language learning and bilingualism at tertiary level to enhance their vision for high quality bilingual education.

    Students are positive and co operative learners. They are respectful of their teachers and of each other's cultural backgrounds. Te Reo and Tīkanga Māori are evident in all classrooms and the value of rangimārie (caring) is promoted throughout the school. Teachers help students to understand learning processes and work closely with Parents and Whānau to support children's learning at home.

  • Valay Raman (View all users posts) 13 Sep 2012 11:36am ()

    Thanks Janelle. We know this works yet some teachers don't practice this as often as they should.

    I had a group of year 5/6 e-learning students teach a group of parents yesterday how to sign up and post blogs. I will video the next interaction with their permission- simply awesome for both parents and students. My students were very nervous at first but once into the lesson, I could not not stop the discussion, interaction and the learning. We reflected afterwards and my student plus the parents simply cannot wait for next Wednesday. Please try this if you can. Afterall it is known fact that the best way to learn is to teach.

    Here is one of my students blogs. Please visit and comment.



    We have now invested in a colourful, large digital signboard for our school as another method of communicating with our families. This will be on 24 hours-365 days in front of our school with important messages for the community in regards to our school. I am thinking that, wishing children happy birthday could be an important announcement for the child and their families. What other important notices could we put up on our digital signboard? Your ideas and thoughts would be helpful and greatly appreciated. The signboard is costing us $12000.

  • 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.

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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

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