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e-Learning and Pasifika

E tumau le fa’avae, ae fesuia’i le faiga

The foundations remain the same, but the ways of doing it change

The New Zealand Curriculum is focused on helping schools to create future focused, confident, connected, lifelong learners.  In addition to this is the knowledge that all of our students need to be digitally adept and globally connected.  With the growing number of schools investing in Innovative Learning Environments, and BYOD, a digital pedagogy is another way to connect and create with Pasifika learners.  Collaborating, creating, and sharing are integral aspects of Pasifika culture, as well as integral aspects of the e-Learning Planning Framework. The tools and technologies used in the classroom allow Pasifika voices to be used, heard, and shared – in any language. Here are some ideas about strategising an e-learning pedagogy, with Pasifika learners in mind.

How can e-learning make a difference for Pasifika learners?

  • Successful learning for Pasifika learners is founded on their languages, cultures, and values. It builds on what we know to be effective curriculum and pedagogy in the different cultural contexts with which learners from the Pacific Islands identify.
  • At the heart of the Pasifika Education Plan lies the importance of connecting and responding to the identities, languages, and cultures of each Pasifika group in schools, and of personalising learning so that we offer successful pathways for Pasifika learners. Values drive the learning design such as respect, service, leadership, family, belonging, and relationships.
  • Technologies can make it easier for schools to provide relevant and meaningful connections to students’ communities and aiga, and provide learning experiences that are designed around culture, identified needs, strengths, and interests.

For Pasifika learners, e-learning can offer ways to:

  • engage with families and communities in ways that meet needs and draw on culture and language
  • capture and reflect the homes and communities of learners to help build relationships between teachers and students
  • personalise learning to show teachers care about their students’ progress and can design learning that meets needs and builds on strengths
  • record, review, share, and clarify progress towards learning outcomes.

From Enabling e-learning

Food for thought

  • In what ways does your e-learning pedagogy lift the chance of Pasifika success?
  • How do you ensure that a student’s cultural identity is integrated into their digital world?
  • How are the tools and technologies used in your school creating meaningful connections:
    • for students and their learning
    • between students and the global world
    • with the school community.

School Stories

Examples of how schools are looking at e-learning with a Pasifika lens

Assessment and e-learning
An Auckland Girls Grammar School Samoan language teacher explains how she combines e-learning tools in her assessments to allow her students to achieve to their potential through the use of YouTube channels to film oral language assessments. 

Teaching Samoan via video conference
Lalaosalafai Tu’ua teaches at Southern Cross Campus in Mangere. He describes his experience of using video conferencing to teach Samoan at NCEA level 3 and the opportunities this technology provides for students who would otherwise be unable to access this learning.

Using ICT to enhance Samoan language
In this EDtalk, May Crichton discusses making digital stories to create Samoan language learning resources to support and extend children’s confidence with their language, encouraging both children and their families to speak Samoan at home.

Digi advisors and the Virtual Learning Network
A Pasifika teacher shares his story about the benefits of being involved in the Digi Advisor project and being involved in online communities of practice on the Virtual Learning Network.

Using video conferencing to expand learning options
Southern Cross Campus student, Shona Unasa, takes economics via video conference. She shares her learning experience using this medium.

Improving student writing with digital stories
Bridget Harrison's class at Kimi Ora Community School is made up of 100% Māori and Pasifika students. In this clip she shares how they are using digital stories to scaffold the writing process. The success of this approach is reflected in their asTTle writing data.

Modern learning pedagogy through a Pasifika lens
In this EDtalk Anthony Faitaua discusses 21st century Pasifika leaners with regard to modern learning pedagogy. Anthony advocates creating a safe environment, understanding the students’ culture and values, and working with key influential community members in order to build vital learning relationships.

Using e-learning to engage aiga

Powerful connections can be made with families through e-learning.  From e-portfolios, to electronic newsletters, and sharing and showcasing learning, schools are facilitating a deeper engagement with aiga, especially those who are not able to come into school often.  

Using technologies to connect with families may need some practical adjustments.  Trusts such as the 2020 Trust help to digitally connect families throughout the country, with hardware and broadband access.

Parent technology sessions
Holy Cross School is a very multicultural community. Kathy Moy-Low explains how they have consulted with and engaged the parent community in e-learning. One of their initiatives is after school parent technology sessions, which are run once a month. In this video clip, parents explain why they go to the classes – the benefits for their own learning with technology, and how they can engage more with their children's learning. 

Find out more

For discussion and ideas about e-learning pedagogies for Pasifika students visit: 

Learning with Digital Technologies for Māori and Pasifika Learners
Resources, links and kōrero about learning with gigital technologies to empower Māori and Pasifika learners.


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