Thursday, 20 August 2020

NEXT Foundation : Rising to the Challenge, Stories from the Covid-19 Crisis

The latest edition of the NEXT Foundation's publication covers stories from the COVID-19 crisis, and in the education section mentions the response of the Manaiakalani Programme.

"Covid 19 turned Aotearoa New Zealand’s education system on its head. The race to online learning presented both challenges and opportunities for the education projects NEXT supports. Nicholas Moody reports on how each project adapted to the new normal...."

Read the full article on Manaiakalani: A switch to seamless learning here P3

The article quotes from interviews with several participants in the Manaiakalani team effort:

Robin Sutton, principal of Hornby High says
“We haven’t experienced some mad rush to ‘figure out how to do this stuff’, but rather we have been able to focus on the relational issues that are so important for our young people,” says Robin Sutton, principal of Christchurch’s Hornby High School which has been part of the Manaiakalani programme since 2015.

 “The stress and anxiety levels for staff are far lower than they might otherwise have been, because much of what we need to do is what Manaiakalani have been evolving for the past five years. While remote earning offers its share of challenges, it is not some barren desert that we need to start terraforming before we can make it habitable,” says Sutton.

Dorothy Burt, says children have been well prepared for the transition to online learning in lockdown. 
“We have numerous Māori and Pasifika families who are sending delightful photos in from home that show children with smiles on their faces learning with their teachers via distance learning,” she says. 
While having access to devices and internet service is important, their number one focus remains on “teachers and effective teaching practice”, regardless of whether they are in or out of lockdown. 
“The digital world is the world of our young people, but the key component is not a device, it is a teacher who knows how to teach and knows how to make connections with children and young people,” says Burt.

 “Teachers’ primary goal each day is making connections, so during lockdown we check in on children’s wellbeing using Google Meet from one to three times a day, making sure everyone is OK and keeping those student-teacher relationships going,” she says. Screen time is limited and physical activity is built into each day’s learning. “The kids are enjoying home learning. We are getting surprising numbers of children turning up to class with over 50% joining the video chats, even during the school holidays. And the cool thing we are discovering is that a lot of whānau are listening in too.”

Pat Snedden, Manaiakalani Education Trust says

“Our schools are now completely fit-for-purpose to operate in or out of school and we barely blink,” says Manaiakalani Education Trust chairman Pat Snedden.  “For the rest of New Zealand, this is a huge challenge. We are offering to help schools with their digital capability to get in that position. We are prepared to be of assistance and of service to the wider kaupapa because we all need to help each other contend with the Covid-19 crisis.” 

And from Frank Janssen, NEXT’s kaihautū representative

“All the learnings the Manaiakalani programme has made over the past 15 years are now bearing fruit. This is a complex and comprehensive programme that is measurably improving education outcomes for its students. There is a deep level of understanding about what works and it is unique for an initiative to have built up such a rich body of learning and knowledge over such a long time in New Zealand,” says Janssen.  

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Learning at home from the Bay of Islands

We were inspired to see teachers from Bay of Islands college featured in the Northland Age newspaper and in the online publication.

Kamlesh Prakash, head of science at Bay of Islands College, has been a lead learner himself, participating in the Manaiakalani Digital Fluency Intensive to continue to upskill. He has also generously shared with his colleagues locally and across the country using online forums to share his knowledge and successes.

The photo of his makeshift desk brought a smile to the face of everyone who knows him, and the words he shared with the paper rang true:
Kamlesh Prakash said attendance rates for most of his online classes had been more than 70-80 per cent throughout the lockdown period. He agreed that one model would not fit all, but overall he was happy with what his students had achieved so far "in these challenging times".

There is a talented pool of teachers at Bay of Islands College and other teachers to comment in the article included Head of physical education Ruth Hills; Head of English Hayley Brocklehurst; Patsy Wynyard, head of Māori; Specialist classroom teacher Esther Van Dyke; and Principal Edith Painting-Davis. She quoted a firmly held belief of the Manaiakalani Programme

"Nothing can replace an effective teacher, and any teacher who can be replaced by a computer, should be," she said.

Read the article online in full here 

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Chromebooks make a difference in Lockdown

Genesis School-Gen Trust making home learning possible 

 Thanks to Genesis School-gen Trust and Genesis customers, even more Manaiakanai learners will be able to continue their learning from home despite the closure of their schools during the lockdown. While most Manaiakalani children have their own learning device to enable learning anywhere, any time, not every family is able to manage this. 

So sincere appreciation to Genesis School-gen Trust for its generous donation of 200 brand new Chromebooks in recognition of this issue. As a result, 200 disadvantaged children remain connected and learning, not only during the lockdown but into the future.


Chromebooks purchased by the Genesis School-gen Trust and given out the day before lockdown meant 200 students could stay connected with their teachers and continue their learning. Most importantly, it meant the students didn’t risk falling behind.

Find out what it meant to Angelica, one of the recipients of a Chromebook, and hear what it meant to her to be able to keep learning.

Read more here

200 Chromebooks arriving from 

Genesis School-Gen Trust.

Willing hands at the ready as staff and students from Pt England School, supported by volunteers from Fusion Networks, prepare to provision and deliver the devices to students across Manaiakalani Schools.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

MET Chair speaks to NZCatholic

"Manaiakalani Education Trust chairman Patrick Snedden told Catholic journalists at the recently concluded Australasian Catholic Press Association conference in Auckland that digital learning is “truly transformational”." read more here

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Fusion Network's Partnership with Manaiakalani

Fusion Networks continue to expand their partnership with Manaiakalani and share their perspective on their website:

Fusion’s dedicated Education Services Leader Matt Elgar says  ‘clustering’ where schools work together to minimise travel time, share knowledge, and work to agreed standards and processes, leads to Fusion engineers being able to spend more time on-site, resulting in enhanced and proactive services.
“There’s a single point of contact, it’s streamlined, and the processes are completely transferable across schools in the clusters. We take sole responsibility for each site so the buck stops with Fusion. The technology works and we haven’t skipped a beat. Often it’s an even bigger challenge than working with corporate clients, pushing the limits of technology if you can imagine for example 30 kids all going on You Tube at once….”

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Supporting wifi to our homes

Manaiakalani has had supportive partnerships with Vector and Auckland Transport in our pursuit of providing wifi free to our learners in their homes

Every so often a project comes along that gives everyone a good feeling. Auckland Transport, with help from Vector, has funded the installation of twenty specially designed street light columns in the Glen Innes area to connect local schools to a Wi Fi network. The aim of the project is to help the Manaiakalani Trust to give local children access to high speed internet via Wi Fi. Whilst internet is readily available in the homes of most New Zealanders the affordability of internet and broadband still puts it out of reach in lower decile areas like Glen Innes.

This article describes more about how the wifi to homes project was implemented.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Manaiakalani Summer blogging

Dr Rachel Williams has been giving media interviews about the success of the summer blogging programme the WFRC has implemented for Manaiakalani children during the holidays.

"Students across 10 [sic] east Auckland schools can read and share their blogs with one another, giving and receiving feedback.
It’s paying off, she said: "We’re seeing incredible gains personally, socially, developmentally, in terms of literacy achievement in both reading and writing".

The full newspaper report is here