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Indigenous cultures and e-Learning

Started by Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu 05 Nov 2013 2:09pm () Replies (22)

Recently I've been having discussions with colleagues around their perspectives on Māori and e-Learning, and Pasifika and e-Learning.  

We've been wrestling with the ideas around how Māori or Pasifika learners see their cultural identities within their learning, if e-Learning is the vehicle/tool/framework through which to raise their academic achievement.

Some concerns were raised around potential loss of cultural identities through focusing too much on the fixation on technology (negative consequence) compared to using e-Learning and technology as a way to celebrate cultural identities.  

Too often the focus can be on the segregation/separation of indigenous cultures and everything associated with cultural identities (multi-ethnic, intra-ethnic, bi-cultural, multi-cultural) from e-Learning, because people see them as separate, or may even value one over the other.

What are your thoughts on what TRUE INTEGRATION would look like?

What would be the best of both worlds?

How can blended e-Learning be a way or an approach to assist Māori and Pasifika learners in navigating their way to success?

What type of success are we talking about here? 


  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 1:09pm ()

    Read the latest article in Ed Gazette about how Pasifika teachers are engaging their students with literacy 

    Samoan education leaders step up


    Thanks Pauline Scanlan for sharing :-)

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 18 Nov 2013 2:53pm ()

    Thanks Alana for sharing :-)

    As a Pasifika educator like you, I wanted to share my thoughts on the "bi-cultural understanding" criteria.

    I would be hesitant to include Pasifika in this criteria - because this particular strand focuses on the bi-cultural understanding between Māori and Pakeha.

    I believe it is implicit that Pasifika learners will be able to learn about the bi-cultural understanding, rather than being included in that context - they just need to understand the dynamics of the shared history with reference to Te Tiriti o Waitangi - that informs this very criteria.  Others would say - if we include Pasifika, why not include other ethnic groups as well?

    As a former Social Studies teacher, Pasifika learners have been better able to understand bi-cultural relationships by looking into their own cultural backgrounds for similar references like the Mau movement in Samoa, the Niuean participation in World War I and the revival and return to nationalism in Hawaii (and that's not even touching the inter-cultural relationships in the Pacific as well).

    I'm looking forward to seeing you in January 2014 :-)

  • Alana Madgwick (View all users posts) 18 Nov 2013 12:22pm ()

    Hi Tessa,

    Firstly can I commend you and thank you for sharing this fabulous document on being culturally responsive through e-Learning pedagogies.  I was blown away when I first opened this- so thank you for sharing.  My first response is just something to think about-  as a Pasifika educator, I think we have worked very hard to separate the merging of Pasifika with Māori.  We are our own entity, with our own cultural identities.  It has been fabulous to have the Pasifika Education plan that embodies the values of our Pasifika people that is different from Ka Hikitia.  I love the way you have articulated the terms "bi-cultural heritage" because I think that reflects the commitment of everybody to the Treaty of Waitangi.  Is there a way we could reflect the difference for Pasifika learners in this document.  Maybe a first start would be just to separate the resources in to two layers on the left hand-side.  

    I actually tried to go in and add some Pasifika resources for you- but I found that I was locked out- I signed on to the VLN -I am also using chrome to open the google doc but I can't seem to add anything?  Has anybody got some ideas as to what I am doing wrong? Sorry just a newbie to this.

    Can someone help?


    Thank you again for sharing and I absolutely love the document- I look forward to using some of the resources and supporting schools to embrace something like this.


    Have a great day.


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 18 Nov 2013 12:52pm ()

    Kia orana and talofa lava Alana, awesome feedback thank you.

    Thumbs upAlso, I am SOOOO in the new learning zone when it comes to upskilling myself with current knowledge/skills/understanding when it comes to cultural responsiveness, so having a reminder about the need for Pasifika to have an identity of its own - is vital. Again thank you. We're safe in the knowledge that mentors like yourself can jump in and clarify this for all of us.

    I just need to say, I can't take all the credit here. I've curated and added to some work that was originally started by the digi-advisors a wee while back in response to e-learning and Registered Teacher Criteria. Many minds at work here, so would warmly welcome more tweaking!

    I've made the original document live and editable, but have now made it public on the web, so try the link again and let us know how you get on...

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 16 Nov 2013 2:28pm ()

    Thanks Tessa.

    I have jumped into the doc and made some comments and suggested some other links that may be useful for Māori and Pasifika learners.  


  • Lynda Stuart (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 6:55pm ()

    Re - e-learning and cultural responsiveness

    Hi everyone. Just a quick response. We are just beginning this journey as a cluster of 6 schools in the Mt Albert/ Mt Roskill area. We are working closely with Manaiakalani ( many of you will have heard of this cluster). Our name is Ako Hiko - which encompasses teaching and learning as a two way experience which can be enhanced by the use of modern information and communication devices. As schools we have large numbers of Pasifika and Maori students alongside students of many other ethnicities. Whanau in our schools have been an integral part of making the decision to move into leasing students individual devices from the beginning of 2014. They see that this is their children's present not their future and want to take every step possible to support their children's learning. Not easy for many of them but we are making it as affordable and well supported as we can. Two classrooms in each of the schools are moving into this. Professional learning development is happening for the teachers of the rooms and this is extremely exciting. The achievement challenge that is at the centre of our work is around writing and results will be shared and we are hoping that this will be a part of research also.
    Enjoy the week.
  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 2:41pm ()

    What a great question Manu, "How do we use technology to truly teach in a culturally responsive way?" Thank you for inviting the conversation.

    When we use technologies to explore, create, communicate (as part of the learning process), the challenge lies between what/where we access information and how we project ourselves locally and in the wider global context. This largely takes on a ‘eurocentric’ look and feel – mainly due to the digital resources available.

    Roimata touched on this when she comments, "We need more apps in Māori". There are a growing number of digital resources in/for Māori and Pasifika such as Digistore, (including Māori related resources) Facebook in Te Reo Māori, resources for Pasifika students and celebrating Te Reo Māori but throwing a set of digital resources to students in a cultural context won't necessarily amount to culturally responsive practice. It might mean the need for more defined learner set goals, with and through the use of technologies.

    If we want our children to access, process and construct knowledge that truly reflects cultural identity - what would this look like? Would it include representation of language, visuals and content/contexts in a digital format? What would we need to do as school leaders and teachers to enable this happen?

    As part of an on-going process to review/refine the e-Learning Planning Framework resources, some thinking is emerging about how schools, teachers, students, whānau and communities can use technologies effectively to reflect cultural responsive practices.

    In light of this, I've had a little play with the following shared Google Doc that tries to align aspects from the Leadership, Teaching and Beyond the Classroom dimensions of the eLPF with a cultural responsive lens.

    eLPF, cultural responsive practice and RTC

    I'm not sure if I'm on the right track or not and would love others to 'jump in' and add some specific goals for teachers/school/students as well as any ideas/examples/resources that might help address explicit ways of working with technologies that would truly reflect cultural responsiveness. Is that ok? Love to see how this grows. Smile


    Largely taken from Registered Teacher Criteria and e-learning

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 2:16am ()

    Fakaaue lahi Karl, there certainly needs to more korero around what being culturally responsive means.  I agree that although equity is an issue that parents can be supported in their move to invest time and money into their children's learning.  

    p.s. Not hating on any comments - just appreciating :-)

  • Karl Vasau (View all users posts) 11 Nov 2013 12:35am ()

    Hi everyone...i am just thinking out loud here so please no haters lol...

    I believe that technology is just ONE tool we are encouraging our pupils to use to enhance thier learning opportunities...We have seen positive use and development but can technology be associated with achievement...how is it measured?

    I dont think schools have thought enough or AT ALL about how students will use technology to express or strengthen their cultural identity as we have traditional ways of doing this within our own cultures. Have we asked our parents or communities about using technology for this purpose...my school hasnt..."Culturally responsive" massive statement needs korero... 

    If a community of parents (any culture) can be convinced, assisted, educated or exposed to technology as a tool for enhancing their child/ren learning then they WILL invest. Barriers of affordability and access are a matter of priority for families and that if it is clear to them about their potential then it will happen...of course their a many situations of families who are struggling and experiencing poverty, but i am often inspired that some of these families within my own community are making that INVESTMENT...

    just some thoughts :):)


  • Roimata Baker (View all users posts) 07 Nov 2013 11:16pm ()

    Equity - yes this is so important.  We are having conversations about devices and access so that students can enjoy the benefits of Ako-E at home as well as at kura.  I'd like to see this access extend to marae.  Here we have rooms and another building that I'd love to see being used as a study hub for our tamariki.  It's ideal as it is so central.  

    For Kura Kaupapa Māori - developing the content and ensuring that staff are well supported with PD is vital to the success of Ako-E.  

    Jason I too have seen wonderful progress with boys.  It started with Photobooth book chats posted on Edmodo and it continues now with students writing their own short stories, emailing me at night for directions on how to log in so they can crack on and while I'm wary of never clocking out, I'm loving the fact that they want to work at home.  

    We need more apps in Māori.  We need to keep talking about this,  we need more PD.  Kia kaha ki a tātou katoa.

  • Josie Peita (View all users posts) 08 Nov 2013 7:24am ()

    Roimata I love your ideas for the marae and whanau at home. It must be very exciting to have your tamariki engaging with you to learn more in their own time. What a thrill for koro, kuia, nga matua, and siblings to be able to lsupport and earn alongside in this way. Exciting! Totally agree about apps in Te Reo Maori and PLD for kaupapa Maori and rumaki reo Maori teachers and whanau.

  • Alana Madgwick (View all users posts) 07 Nov 2013 8:54pm ()

    Thank you Karen for your links- what I love about these stories is at that the teachers show cased have a belief that they can and do value each individual's culture, language and identity & whānau. It is through this belief that then technology is used as one of the (exciting) vehicles to allow this.

    I don't think the question is 'How can we use technology to be culturally responsive?' I think the question should start with- How are you being culturally responsive in your teaching practice?  Once teachers have a belief that it is their job to do this- then how they do it- comes naturally. It is in how they talk, how they set tasks, how they set their classrooms up, how they greet students etc.

    Technology helps us explore how to do it but doesn't answer the Why should I?

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