Monday, August 8, 2016

Auckland lawyers appeal pupils' homework

By Alastair Lynn 

Ako Hiko Education Trust patron Phil Goff helps Alipate Vaka, William Pasa and Jairus Hulbert-Matthews with their homework.

Litigation, affidavits and depositions are not what you would typically find in the classroom.

But that hasn't stopped clued-up lawyers trading the courtroom for some impromptu lessons in maths, science or English.

And the pupils of Wesley Primary School are soaking up this new wealth of knowledge. To continue reading this article via, click here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

WHY, HOW and WHAT we share

By James Hopkins
Manaiakalani Outreach Facilitator

Everyday hundreds of students across the Ako Hiko cluster share their learning via their blogs. As they become more familiar with the processes and skills needed to share their learning in the 21st Century, it is fascinating to see who engages. Often comments are from Whānau and friends, but from time to time they come from further afield. This is a true teachable moment as we begin to talk about concepts like ‘authentic audience’ and ‘purposeful online relationships’ as part of the CyberSmart programme.

Many of the learners embrace the chance to post their learning to blogs and understand that it has a much greater potential of reaching the intended audience than ever before. Picture this, a student writes a speech about world hunger and the constant struggles of people living in the third world communities. When completed it is collected by the teacher, read aloud to classmates and feedback/feedforward is given. This in itself is a great learning experience, but it often leaves the writer with the question ‘how can my research and learning really have an impact?’ This is where a blog comes in. The chance to place the learning online, share the processes and research involved and attempt to reach people who feel the same way or have the power to implement change, is greatly improved. A personal passion that started in the mind of a learner now has the possibility of reaching someone that can make a real difference...
One example of a blog treaty constructed by a student at Christ The King School

As part of their learning and device use, we spend a lot of time looking at the concept of Smart Relationships. Using resources from Manaiakalani schools and carefully constructed research, students are shown how to engage with their readers and commenters through well worded responses. Alongside this we teach the importance of carefully constructed comments when looking at peers’ learning. This is a valuable online and offline skill that helps them focus on reading the learning and making a purposeful comment to connect.

Cybersmart Quality Comments.jpeg

Image courtesy of Manaiakalani and the CyberSmart Team

While facilitating in schools I often get asked the same question… ‘How can we make sure their safe online when sharing their learning?’ This is of course a teacher and parent concern that is very common. Just searching the web for a few minutes can fill your screen with horror stories. However, we focus on making SMART decisions that proactively reduce or eliminate risks online, rather than reacting to something that has already happened. I urge you to head over to the Ako Hiko Cluster Twitter feed and explore some of the student blogs. The emphasis is on sharing learning. Student’s personal information is guarded and the blog remains free of elements like their email address or last name. Teaching these life skills now is invaluable as the learners of today become the workforce of tomorrow.