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Engaging with the community

This section provides information and examples of ways schools can engage with their communities using digital technologies.

Discussion starters
teacher with dataprojector display

Use these discussion starters in conjunction with the e-Learning Planning Framework to identify your current practice and some next steps in developing the use of e-learning tools to engage with your community.

  • To what extent have you investigated what your community wants/needs in terms of using technologies? How might this enhance student learning?
  • To what extent have you implemented strategies to inform and consult with the wider community about the impact of e-learning, cybersafety, and digital citizenship?
  • To what extent do you actively seek e-learning support, advice, guidance, expertise from parent/family/whānau, wider community agencies, industry, and the Ministry?
  • How do you interact with your wider community about the way your school uses technology for learning?
  • How might you deliberately encourage your parent/whānau community to interact and participate in their child’s learning as part of on-going study, and conferences/celebrations?
  • How might technology open up different channels of communication to suit the needs of your parent/whānau community?

Practical steps
student taking a photo

Use these practical steps for Principals and school leaders, and teachers to develop the use of e-learning tools and strategies to build links with your community. It is suggested these e-learning examples and resources are used in conjunction with the e-Learning Planning Framework. 

  • Survey your community and collect information on their current e-learning understandings, wants, and needs.
  • Review ways in which community involvement would be of most benefit to students’ learning.
  • Along with the BOT regularly connect with family and whānau, educators, providers, Māori communities, enterprises, and government through face-to-face (screen media, print media displays in foyer, assemblies, movie competitions), and electronic mediums (school website, social networking, mobile devices, newsletters, LMS) to:
    • inform the wider school community about the role, impact and effect of e-learning as well as digital citizenship and cybersafety
    • ensure the wider school community has greater understanding of their roles in mentoring and managing cybersafety and digital citizenship at home
    • encourage family/whānau feedback and engagement with learning through messaging and comments
    • ensure the school website/network is updated with invitations for the wider community to connect/consult with the school
    • provide opportunities for parents to attend workshops/seminars to better understand the benefits of e-learning.
  • Leave computers on at the end of the day and invite parents to view digital student work.
  • Find out what kinds of technology parents use/have access to.
  • Provide deliberate support/training to show parents how they can engage with students’ work – both face-to-face and through technology.
  • Create and promote online spaces that invite parent participation and feedback, for example, blogs.
  • Establish a site/portal for parents to access, and contribute to, student learning or specifically designed e-portfolios designed to inform future steps in learning.
  • If appropriate, consider using multiple channels to make connections with the community, for example, mobile devices, instant messaging services, social media, school website.
  • Gather feedback on how interactions between home and school have had an impact on learning – share the success stories.
  • Engage with Māori learners, whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori communities in open dialogue about teaching and learning with and through technologies, using specific strategies and protocols for effective communication.

Key resources

The engagement of whānau/iwi and wider community networks are enhanced by the use of digital technologies. A deeper level of engagement can lead to improved student achievement through blended, culturally inclusive, and sustainable e-learning practices. These links provide stories on how schools are making use of different digital technologies to connect with their communities and describe the benefits to learning and teaching.

Online resources supporting te reo and tikanga Māori

Online resources supporting te reo and tikanga Māori

Te Kura o Tiori Burnham School principal, Rob Clarke talks about setting up Taha Māori @ Te Kura o Tiori as part of their school website. 

e-Portfolios in the classroom

e-Portfolios in the classroom

Associate Principal and Senior Team Leader at Te Kura o Tiori Burnham School, Linda Sweeny, explains the process for setting up Blogger for students to use as an e-Portfolio. 

e-Portfolios - the benefits for student learning

e-Portfolios – the benefits for student learning

Deputy Principal Miranda Makin explains the benefits of using e-portfolios for students participating in the Impact Projects .

Sharing learning using the class blog and e-portfolios

Sharing learning using the class blog and e-portfolios

Teacher, Jacqui Innes from Russell Street School describes how students individual e-portfolios and the class blog serve different purposes but work in conjunction with each other. 

Using e-portfolios to record the learning process

Using e-portfolios to record the learning process

Russell Street School teacher, Jacqui Innes, describes the process and benefits of planning explicitly for what students will share on their e-portfolios.

Te Kura o Kutarere

Connecting with the community

Principal, Dave McShane, teacher Susan Lee, and kaumatua from Te Kura o Kutarere  discuss how technologies have helped to engage the local community to support and share students learning.

Connecting teachers, students, and family

Connecting teachers, students, and family

Students and teachers talk about how they share their work, the ease with which they can do it, and the different tools they use.

Home–school partnerships

Home–school partnerships

Finlayson Park school has set up a computer lab and fund a teacher aide to provide teaching on how to use computers and the Internet for parents. 

Study centre

Study centre

Finlayson Park School work with the philosophy of doing more for many with less. They have set up a free after school study centre for students to allow them access to computers and the Internet as many families don't have Internet access from home. 

e-Competencies in action at the KidsCan Film Festival

e-Competencies in action at the KidsCan Film Festival

At the KidsCan film festival in Nelson 70 students were put together for three days to create films. Kellie McRoberts describes students' development of e-competencies within this project. 

Using technologies to connect with the community

Using technologies to connect with the community

Principal Jane Danielson explains the different applications they are using to connect with their community. 

Using e-portfolios to share students learning

Using e-portfolios to share students' learning

Rob Clarke principal of Burnham School describes the benefits of using e-portfolios in the school community to connect with parents.

Engaging your school community using technologies

Engaging your school community using technologies

Rob Clarke, principal of Burnham School, explains the importance of face-to-face meetings in terms of successful whānau and community engagement with e-learning tools.

Sharing a mihi

Sharing a mihi

Students at Burnham School found the process of creating and sharing a mihi, which involved engaging with their families and the community to research into their past and using technology to share that with their parents/whānau for feedback, was valuable.

Using Ustream to share assemblies

Using Ustream to share assemblies

James Rea, DP at Russell Street School, shares how they are using Ustream to live stream their school assemblies.

Using blogs to communicate with the school community

Using blogs to communicate with the school community

James Rea, DP at Russell Street School, shares how students are using their library blog to post book reviews and character profiles.

Maximising technology to support learning between home and school

Maximising technology to support learning between home and school

Technology enables access to the Internet and removes communication barriers for Wadestown School student, Renée Patete.

Stop motion animation to promote literacy

Stop motion animation to promote literacy

Sue Martin uses stop motion animation with her students to promote narrative skills, particularly sequencing and retelling. 

Improving written and oral language with multimedia

Improving written and oral language with multimedia

Sally McDougall and her students explain their process for writing book reviews and creating QR codes to share them with the wider community.

Engaging parents in learning through technology

Engaging parents in learning through technology

Hillcrest Normal School teacher, Michelle Macintyre shares how technology has enabled parents to be involved in different ways with students' learning.

Using mobile devices to improve communication

Using mobile devices to improve communication

Parents from Holy Cross School explain how they are able to connect easily with the school, using mobile devices and different forms of digital media.

Mobile devices at home

Mobile devices at home

Holy Cross School student, Coretti and her mother, Fiona Tuffs, discuss how using a mobile device makes access to schoolwork easier. Corretti explains how the iPad is changing the way she learns. 

Parent technology sessions

Parent technology sessions

Holy Cross School principal, Kathy Moy-Low explains how they consulted with and engaged the parent community in e-learning. Parents explain why they attend the after school parent technology sessions. 

Introducing digital technologies to the community through student voice

Introducing digital technologies to the community through student voice

Staff and students of Ruawai Primary School used student voice to share with their parent community the ways in which digital technologies are used to support learning, and to share what students are learning with their families.

Bringing the classroom to the community

Bringing the classroom to the community

Staff at Mahurangi Christian School discuss how the school connects the classroom to the community through digital technologies.

Using the eLPF to inform strategic planning at Waerenga o Kuri

Using the eLPF to inform strategic planning at Waerenga o Kuri

Principal, Richard McCosh explains how they used the e-Learning Planning Framework to identify strengths and areas needing development within their school.

Developing a framework to support Māori achieving success as Māori

Developing a framework to support Māori achieving success as Māori

The board of trustees, parent community, and school leadership team at Waerenga O Kuri School explain the collaborative process they used for developing their Māori achieving success as Māori (MASAM) framework.

A student’s perspective of inclusive education

Inclusion

Waerenga o Kuri student, Herepo Wynyard talks about how the involvement of her whānau both online (through her e-portfolio), and face-to-face at school has encouraged success with her learning goals.

Benefits of the MASAM framework for the school community

MASAM framework

Motu School community share their perspectives on the partnership that has been built based on the Māori achieving success as Māori (MASAM) framework they developed together.

Seamless learning facilitated by BYOD

Seamless learning facilitated by BYOD

Connor Fitzgerald-Mansell, a student from Hillcrest High School, describes the benefits of bringing his own laptop to school.

Connecting with ICTs

Connecting with ICTs

e-Learning teacher Mervyn Cook and student Connor Fitzgerald-Mansell, from Hillcrest High School, discuss the benefits of being able to connect via ICTs during outside of scheduled class time.

Māori achieving success as Māori – setting up a framework

Māori achieving success as Māori – setting up a framework

Motu School principal, Paul Cornwall explains the process they went through to setup a framework for Māori achieving success as Māori (MASAM).

Parents engaging in student learning

Parents engaging in student learning

Motu School community talk about the positives of parents engaging in their children's learning.

Creating MASAM – Collaborating with the community

Creating MASAM – Collaborating with the community

Parents, BOT, and teachers from Motu School discuss their collaboration around whanaungatanga to create their Māori achieving success as Māori (MASAM framework).

BYOD – Information and support for parents

BYOD – Information and support for parents

Teacher and e-learning leader, Kate Friedwald explains the information provided for parents at Wairakei School to introduce a BYOD trial for Year 5/6 students in 2014.

Setting up BYOD in the classroom at Wairakei School

Setting up BYOD in the classroom at Wairakei School

Kate Friedwald describes step-by-step the process she went through from researching BYOD to setting up a classroom learning programme using BYOD at Wairakei School.

Outcomes from the BYOD pilot at Wairakei School: Parents reflect

Outcomes from the BYOD pilot at Wairakei School

Parents from Wairakei School describe the benefits that being in a BYOD class has had for their children.

Improving student writing using blogs

Improving student writing using blogs

Wairakei School teacher and her student explain why blogging encourages students to produce better quality work because it is being seen and commented on by an authentic audience.

Building connections with parents and whānau

Building connections with parents and whānau

Wairakei School principal Shane Buckner explains the benefits of using digital technologies to build connections with parents and whānau.

Māori succeeding as Māori

Māori succeeding as Māori

Chris Luke, teacher at Coastal Taranaki School, talks about the Te Ika Unahi Nui initiative, using digital technologies, and the benefits this has had for Māori students.

Strengthening Māori identity, language, and culture

Strengthening Māori identity, language, and culture

Students and parents from Coastal Taranaki School talk about the difference marae-based learning has made to their engagement, motivation, and confidence.

Marae-based learning Puniho Pā

Marae-based learning Puniho Pā

Coastal Taranaki School teacher, Chris Luke explains how he connects students' learning at the marae with the learning in the classroom.

Teaching and learning with Māori tradition and modern technology

Teaching and learning with Māori tradition and modern technology

Te Ika Unahi Nui is a wānanga (learning) partnership between Tarawainuku marae, Coastal Taranaki School, and the local community.

Planning the new build, a school and community partnership

Planning the new build, a school and community partnership

Halswell School principal, Bruce Topham explains key steps in planning and building an innovative learning environment that is part of the community.

Connecting with the community through social media

Connecting with the community through social media

Rosin Lamb, Communications Manager at Pakuranga College, explains how they use social media to connect with the community.

Sharing student learning

Sharing student learning

Staff and students from Apiti School discuss the benefits of using e-portfolios to share student learning with parents and the community. 

Connecting learning and the community

Connecting learning and the community

Teacher, Nicki Fielder and students from Apiti School explain the different social media tools they use to connect with parents and the wider community.

The Katote cluster – working together

The Katote cluster – working together

Graeme Barber, Principal at Woodend School, discusses the ways in which the Katote cluster works together to create a seamless transition for students moving from primary to secondary school.

Engaging with parents

Engaging with parents

Parents from Hampden Street School share how the school’s open door approach gave them confidence that their children’s learning needs were being met in an innovative learning environment.

BYOD – Consulting with your community

BYOD – Consulting with your community

Pakuranga College deputy principal, Billy Merchant explains their ongoing community consultation process, which includes how and why students devices, and digital citizenship. 

SMS – Connecting parents, students, and teachers

SMS – Connecting parents, students, and teachers

Michael Malins, principal at Konini School, talks about the app they use within the student management system to record, "children's progress... to keep the learning alive in the parent's mind and student's mind".

Learning partnerships with parents

Learning partnerships with parents

Parents of Hampden Street School students explain how blogging and e-portfolios help them stay connected with their children's learning.

Making horizontal connections through a Make Club

Making horizontal connections through a Make Club

Teachers and students from Taupaki School talk about how their Make Club helped to connect their school with whānau and technology experts.

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Education for Māori: Relationships between schools and whānau
This report brings together information about relationships between families and schools. It gives examples of practices that build effective relationships and highlights the importantance for Māori to know who the people behind the school gate are, as well as what those people do. Whānau, primary, and secondary schools were surveyed to find out what they thought about their relationships.

Assessment online – Reporting to parents and whānau  
Find the up-to-date resources on reporting to parents and whānau , which support schools to share information with parents and whānau.

Virtual Learning Network
By joining these groups in the Virtual Learning Network you can access resources shared by teachers and school leaders, and participate in valuable discussion.

Ruia – School-whānau partnerships for Māori learners' success
A resource that supports principals and other school leaders to improve outcomes for Māori students by working in educationally powerful partnership with whānau. Find out more about this Ministry of Education resource and its development on the Educational Leaders website .

Community engagement
This section of New Zealand Curriculum Online features a collection of tools, ideas, stories, and resources to support schools as they explore the NZC community engagement principle.

Home-school partnerships
This section on TKI provides information, guidance, and resources to support schools in developing and building on their home–school partnerships.

Te Mangōroa
Te Mangōroa is a resource for English-medium schools. It is a portal to stories, reports, statistics, and reviews that reflect effective practices to support Māori learners to achieve education success as Māori. Te Mangōroa contains practical illustrations of what Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success  means for teaching and learning. In the productive partnerships section you will find resources, including video, reflecting the principles of productive partnership and examples of this from schools across New Zealand.

A community approach to e-Learning with kura
In this EDtalks video, Liz Stevenson talks about working with kura and their communities as part of the Blended e-Learning programme. Liz is particularly excited about the use of digital storytelling to bring together a network of learners and supporters.

Effective parent, whānau and iwi engagement (Measurable Gains Framework, 2.5)
This rubric helps schools and teachers evaluate how well they are progressing in relation to effective parent, whānau, and iwi engagement.

Te Kāhui Māngai
Te Kāhui Māngai is primarily designed to provide information on iwi (tribes) in New Zealand, including their rohe, hapū, marae, and representative organisations. It also includes certain national and Māori organisations.

Engaging with parents
Resources from the Educational Leaders website.

I'm stuck – can you help me?
A Becta report on the role of technology in parental engagement.

Developing the home-school relationship using digital technologies
A downloadable resource from FutureLab.

e-Learning community discussions

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