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Cultural expression through digital technologies

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Duration: 2:25

At Aorere College, all year nine students take a whole year’s course called Digital Innovation and Design as a core subject. This gives students a foundation in digital fluency, digital technologies, and design to use across all learning areas. Technology teacher, Muzaffer Ali explains how students create algorithms to draw a pattern significant to students’ own culture. Students, Rakshay, John, Lainey, and Nikki outline the patterns that they created and why they enjoyed being able to express their culture through digital technologies.

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Title slide: Cultural expression through digital technologies

enabling e-Learning

Muzaffar Ali, Digital Technology teacher

In a school like Aorere College we have students of all sorts of ethnicities and cultures. And, I think the DID programme really allows them to express themselves in a platform that they wouldn’t normally associate with culture.

Aorere College flag. Students walking into the school grounds.
So, a classic example would be in our DID programme we have a Pencil Code unit. So, that unit, the students have the first introduction of how to code. Muzaffar speaking to the camera.
So they basically code a little turtle and they tell the turtle how to go about designing anything they want or telling the turtle what to do. They make the turtle basically create a pattern Student coding on a computer.
or anything that is culturally significant to them. So, we’ve had students that have created a marae, for example if we asked them what kind of building could you code? Muzaffar speaking to the camera.
We also had students that did tukutuku patterns, koru patterns, with very complicated code actually. Computer screen with examples of tukutuku.
So, they’re learning and applying the knowledge of this basic coding system into a world where, you know, their culture is actually represented. So it’s pretty awesome. Muzaffar speaking to the camera.

Rakshay, year 12 student

I’m personally Fijian Indian so I got to choose out of which designs. I decided to do a mix of both. So, it starts off with Fijian patterns, and slowly transitions into Indian patterns, and then by the end of it it turns out and writes my name, which I thought was really cool. It took a long time but it was a very good process.

Rakshay speaking to the camera.

John, year 11 student

I created a cultural pattern based on my culture, which is Cambodian. It consisted of a flower that is native to Cambodia.

John speaking to the camera.

Lainey, year 12 student

In year nine we did the flags,

Lainey speaking to the camera.
but I also remember – we were told to do patterns from our culture. Lainey working with another student on the computer.
And I thought that was just really awesome seeing that they’re incorporating the cultures into school. Lainey speaking to the camera.

Nikki, year 11 student

With the LEGO Mr Kelly told us to

Student at computer coding LEGO blocks. 
create something that meant something to us and something that related to our culture and whether it be Māori or Polynesian or whatever we were. Nikki speaking to the camera.
And most of us decided to build maraes, or wakas, or pous (like standing cultural landmarks). Student building virtual waka.
Those are some of the things that we built. So, there were chances for us to express ourselves in there. Nikki speaking to the camera.


Tags: Technology, Secondary, Cultural responsiveness, Coding, Design, Kia Ako