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From Hawaiki to Minecraft

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Started by Tessa Gray 25 May 2018 1:05pm () Replies (2)

Cross posted from Te Ao Māori me te Hangarau Matihiko.

Kia ora, I’ve just been looking into maps about ethnic migration and in particular fascinated by the history and stories (some we’ve got wrong) about Māori migration to New Zealand. A couple of things struck me, early Māori arrived in Aotearoa:

  • in carefully crafted double hull waka;Waka at Waitangi
  • a long time ago – thousands of years of migration;
  • over time - not one isolated incident;
  • and also emigrated out of Aotearoa as planned events - not by accident or blown off course as some previously thought;
  • each tribe (iwi) are descendants of the ancestors of those waka - all with different stories associated to each;
  • first migrants all demonstrated sophisticated ancient knowledge of the stars, ocean currents as well as migration of migrational creatures like birds and whales.

The knowledge of the stars is passed down to us to this day in the tukutuku weaving which adorns the walls of our carved and embellished whare (houses). Many of these tukutuku panels descend from the star charts carried by ancient navigators. https://maaori.com/people/maoriara.htm

Māori have long had a close affinity and relationship with the earth and the skies, the lands and the seas, as well as with all the creatures of the earth which also becomes an integral part of introducing creative ways to problem solve using the modern tools and digital technologies of the day. Now jump forward a thousand years or so...

In 2016, Microsoft New Zealand partnered with technology education group OMGTech! and CORE Education to translate the Minecraft coding sessions into te reo Māori for the ‘hour of code’. They all wanted to make sure young Māori were being encouraged to engage in digital technology by having digital resources available in Te Reo Māori. Our very own, Wawaro Te Whaiti of CORE Education says;

“This is a fairly new realm for Te Reo Māori and requires some very careful thinking about terminology and the development of language. We’ve made a great start, but there is still a lot more to achieve,” Minecraft tutorials now available in Te Reo for ‘Hour of Code’

Anne Taylor, Schools Manager for Microsoft New Zealand, says

“The Hour of Code teaches kids the basics of coding, and how to use digital skills to help create, innovate and solve problems, and it is critical for the next generation of students of be equipped with these skills for future jobs, regardless of the industry.” Minecraft tutorials now available in Te Reo for ‘Hour of Code’

Here’s a taster of some of those resources in Te Reo Māori, for more about their purpose and potential see, Microsoft tutorials now available in Te Reo for 'Hour of Code' and the resources @ https://code.org/learn

Screenshot of hour of code resources in te reo maori

Coding doesn't just have to happen once a year (or in an hour), it can become a regular part of a learning day. In Rotorua, tamariki and rangatahi have been learning about computer science and coding through making games - like building a marae in Minecraft to show how tikanga Māori can be used in a digital space.

“We want to level the digital playing field for Māori and show tamariki and rangatahi that while coding is part of a new future, it can still acknowledge the whakapapa of the past,” Potaua tells us. How can you make your own Minecraft?

Are there any other resources, top tips or ideas you'd like to share in this thread, so that our students can increase their participation in computer science, the language of digital technologies as well as Te Reo Māori?

Also see:

Image source: Māori waka at Waitangi Dirk Pons


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