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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? 


  • Alana Madgwick (View all users posts) 05 Nov 2013 2:36pm ()

    Talofa lava,

    What a fabulous discussion Manu.  Thank you for starting it.  I am working in low decile secondary schools supporting teachers to raise student achievement.  I guess the first issue I have to raise is one of equity.  I definitely see technology as a valuable vehicle for accelerating student achievement and efficacy within secondary classrooms.  However the ability to have:

    1. access to technology in classrooms is not equal

    2. access to technology outside of classrooms is not equal.

    So access has to be equitable before we can analyse the effect it can have.

    The second discussion point would be teacher competency to use technology effectively in their classroom practice.  There is no doubt that if a teacher values students' identity, culture and language in their classroom practice then technology can add an extra (exciting and engaging) dimension to their toolbox (students and teachers and whanau).  However as with any quality resource- it is how you use it that is more important than what it is.  As seen in the English online resource "Differentiation in English', Tamaki College shows how technology can be used to personalise and differentiate programmes of learning that is successful for Pasifika learners.

    I see technology as a limitless resource for teachers and students to inquire into how it helps students build their self-efficacy, key competencies and enhance, value their cultural identity by opening global doors.  The opportunties are endless however we must reflect/ adapt and change as we use it.  Gather student voice- achievement data to ensure we are just not using technology for the sake of it. (That's assuming we have access).

    My two cents worth,


    Alana Madgwick

  • 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?

  • 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.


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