A new project was recently launched in response to increasing calls for schools to teach more about the history of New Zealand.
The new project will give students a very modern portal to some of the country’s very ancient tales.
According to a recent press release, Manawatū is an augmented reality graphic novel resource that shares the genealogy of the place names of the region.
An educational project
The project was developed as part of a NZ$ 1.91 million, four-year programme by the Ministry of Education.
This aims to improve access to and accelerate the development and delivery of quality te reo Māori localised curriculum resources for students, teachers, and the Ministry’s Communities of Learning programme.
Tātai Angitu e3@Massey, which is the professional learning and development team at Massey University’s Institute of Education, secured the funding for this project.
They worked with an author and a design company to guarantee that the students will be excited about using the Manawatū resource.
Additionally, it will also guarantee that the teachers will have quality guidance to get the best from the resource in their classrooms.
First of its kind
The cutting edge use of augmented reality means that although the focus of Manawatū was to be a resource for kura Māori and Māori medium schools, the Ministry of Education have also commissioned an English version to be rolled out to mainstream schools.
The Project Manager shared that this is the first time that a resource was developed in te reo Māori and then translated to English, and for a Māori medium resource being made specifically available into mainstream schools.
Māori teachers are most often in the position of having to translate English resources into te reo Māori to use with their students.
To be part of this ground breaking project, creating a first of its kind resource for both Māori medium kura and English medium schools is really exciting.
Utilising digital technology for learning
The children of today are part of the generation wherein digital technology is integrated into their everyday lives.
Utilising augmented reality and a high quality graphic novel to engage children in this discussion will speak directly to them and will certainly inspire them more as the creators of tomorrow.
It is critical to nourish their imaginations and creative spirit, irrespective of which school they attend, or which language is their first.
There is an increasing need to supplement teaching and learning activities with resources from the iwi and about the iwi.
The project also involved leading volcanologists from the University, who made use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping to guarantee that the necessary mapping was accurate.