Manaiakalani is an elearning and literacy strategy that is being coordinated out of Pt England School but includes a lot of schools in the Tamaki region of Auckland.
The plan was/is to get one netbook per child (almost like one laptop per child but not quite?) for students from year five through to year thirteen, and to distribute wireless broadband into homes in the community, increasing family engagement in education. The first netbooks distributed run Ubuntu and they use Google apps for managing their work. Software in the build includes GIMP, Scratch and TuxPaint. The newer devices are Chromebooks.
To see how it all fits together you might want to check out the Tamaki Achievement Pathway website.
The Manaiakalani Hackers meet at Pt England fortnightly to support the project, along with all the other stakeholders: teachers, students, families, philantrophists, researchers, contributors, and the Manaiakalani Education Trust (hopefully I included most of the stakeholders in my list!).
Us hackers wrote some design principles way back in the beginning, which we revisit occasionally to see if we are still on the same page. We have indepth honest discussions at our meetings – rowdy, passionate discussions – where lots of points of view were brought to light and thrashed about. We frequently have guests at our meeting and all the given feedback is very useful.
I think the role of the hackers and the Trust are to facilitate the changes necessary, so technology is developed, and solutions tailored to be appropriate to the pedagogy desired.
Wow! Looking back over the last few years since Manaiakalani started, here are some highlights courtesy of http://www.manaiakalani.org/our-story
- Tamaki College became New Zealand’s first state secondary school go fully digital in 2012 with all 600+ students with netbooks and has doubled its NCEA level 2 results for Māori and Pasifika in its first digital year making it among the top 60 improving schools in country
- We have research validated rates of improvement for reading, writing and number across its primary schools that exceed national averages
- We have developed and tested a software product called the Teacher Dashboard which is now in is the hands of 1m + users in the USA and elsewhere
- Commercial partners have invented a wireless network that has gets UFB quality wireless into family homes for $4 netbook per month
- More than 1500 families on an average adult income of $19k are paying off netbooks at $40 deposit and $15 per month over 3 years with an 80%+ payment success
- Nearly $4m over 4 years has been raised to support this innovation and nearly 30% comes from parents
- Tamaki year 9 students are sitting internal assessment online (NZQA have announced all exams will be online in 10 years)
- We are creating a digital teaching academy in 2014 partnering with the University of Auckland.
The success comes down to:
- Collaboration across 11 schools where ‘all boats rise on a rising tide’
- Parent as investors with support from commerce and philanthropy
- Results focus on reading, writing and number with comprehensive research
- Shared pedagogy across cluster – Learn, Create and Share
- Affordable infrastructure