Digital fluency and wellbeing through a Mātauranga Māori framework
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
In a recent grant, Spotswood College in Taranaki set out to build and develop digital fluency and digital wellbeing through a Mātauranga Māori framework. Championed by Morehu Ransfield, the school's Head of Department for Te Reo Māori, they wanted to provide a way for students to learn leadership skills and experience team building and mentorship via the digital world. This innovative programme weaves together te reo Māori, tikanga, Te Tiriti and e-sports.
The programme is called Oranga Matihiko — digital recreation.
It is about building and developing digital fluency and digital wellbeing.
Students engage in online activities that best suit their particular skill sets and create opportunities to collaborate with other communities to achieve their personal goals, aspirations, and dreams in the digital space. This mana-enhancing approach to learning has enabled students to build confidence while showing them potential career pathways in the digital space.
As a secondary school, the opportunity to engage rangatahi Māori is paramount now more than ever. According to the Department of Internal Affairs' Digital inclusion user insights — Māori, improved digital inclusion for Māori requires:
- more affordable access to the internet and devices
- stronger leadership and power sharing between government and iwi
- recognition that digital-first and online-by-default strategies are marginalising some whānau
- more skills training provided for all ages.
This programme engages students facing these issues. It looks at e-sports, broadcasting, live-streaming, and online content creation. With e-sports recently debuting at this year's Commonwealth Games, we know it's an expanding field and ripe with opportunity. Collaborating with Victory Up, Ngāti Gaming, and the Digital Natives Academy, students are developing their digital proficiency in a holistic Māori environment. Students have been provided with appropriate hardware and can access online mentoring in and out of class via Discord.
Cultural competency remains at the forefront of Oranga Matihiko. Students have been working towards understanding whanautanga, manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, wairuatanga, pukengatanga, and how these core values apply to them and their whānau. Members from the Ngāti Gaming community have been using Discord as a tool to collaborate with the students, embedding Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga with digital content creation and design and video production skills to help students present their ideas
They have also seen regional and national entities interested in the programme and how they could get involved. By extending their networks, the school will be able to provide students with potential future pathway careers in the e-sports industry — Spotswood College is now one of the leading schools for hosting the Taranaki High School Esports Committee and has national support from NZEsports CEO Jonathan 'Arkadian' Jansen and the New Zealand Esports federation. From the outset of this programme, they have been using our evaluation toolkit to develop an evaluation plan. In the second half of this project, they will dive into the data they have gathered. Designing this programme with an inbuilt evaluation plan means Morehu and his crew can demonstrate impact to solidify and expand this network of supporters. This programme looks set to offer a great model for others to follow.
Each year InternetNZ uses profits from the sale of .nz domain names to give out community funding. We provide funding for community-led initiatives that help to create an Internet that benefits all of Aotearoa.
This organisation received grant funding in 2022.