Hillcrest School teacher, Miel MacLean and students share how learning experiences, in a student-led inquiry into Māori kites, were enriched through using technologies and publishing via a collaborative wiki.
So we were looking at the different cultural uses of kites around the world. So why kites were flown, why they were made, any special time of the year, any celebration around that and it started off with the children researching various countries. They got to choose a country.
There was South Korea part Mrs McLean, our teacher, show us, showed me first and, and I show our class.
From there, once we found the class wiki, the kites round the world wiki they realised that New Zealand didn’t have anything there on it so they started to question, well why can’t we put something on there. No one’s put anything up there about New Zealand and they wanted to find out more about New Zealand kites which we had talked about before anyway and it was coming up to Māori new year and I had thought it was the perfect time, so we were going to do an overview of Māori kites anyway but the children decided that they wanted to all focus on that. They started becoming really interested in Māori kites.
We went to the Marae and we were learning about kites. Mrs McLean videoed us at the Marae
Once we had created the movie, I had pods of children writing an overview of what had, our learning, and the process. This was kind of a final step after we had, we had done some writing on that in class anyway and pods of children pulling together photographs and the with the video and the writing and the photos we pulled this together, uploaded this onto the kites around the world wiki so that we could share this with everybody else. It meant that it took it from being an activity that they were, that they could have just done in the classroom to be in an environment that was authentic but not only that then being able to share this with their family, with their friends, with the world I guess. So that was a big step of learning for them. Now that they see themselves as creators of new knowledge it has opened a whole new door for them. They have realised that they were the ones initially researching on the Internet getting all this information and they’re now sharing this with someone else, and someone else on the other side of the world is doing what, what they did and this is their work, this is their learning.
I now know that I can be, like, in control of my own learning using technology.
It was quite difficult for me to let them take over. I had to trust that this was going to be ok and it was completely unplanned and completely not scheduled and it’s also shown me how powerful ICT tools can be not just in the researching and all the groundwork but in the sharing of it.