Mahi Tahi and Manaakitanga - VTaL in DigiTech and Collaborative Learning

by - 13:02

The Scenario

This year the Senior DigiTech class, is again a multi-level Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 class; and  mostly made of students who undertook Senior DigiTech in 2017.  In addition, there are four new Level 3 students who did not take DigiTech in Level 1 or Level 2, as well as two Level 2 students who did not take DigiTech in Level 1.  Students who undertook DigiTech as either a Level 1 or Level 2 student, are familiar with how to access Learning Information, Information about Progress

The Idea!

The idea that I had for students to collectively gain an understanding of the course and assessment information for the year, was for students to collaborate within a Google doc.  This is not a new concept at all.  However, the way in which the collaborative process was implemented, in that the strategy itself was deliberate in terms of integrating principles of Mahi Tahi - Collaboration and Manaakitanga - Support for Others, is what makes the learning strategy purposeful and meaningful to the students.

The idea also aligns well with "Manaiakalani Achievement Challenge 1, and what I am doing to lift the language capabilities of my students", as discussed in a recent Middle Leaders Professional Learning Group.


The VTaL Tools and Processes Used

The following are some of the VTaL Tools used and applied in the Learning Process:

  • Subject Google Site - Students located the Project Instructions through my Subject Site
  • Subject Google+ Communities - Students located exemplars of work by Tamaki College students, to assist with responses to questions about the assessment information
  • Workspace - A Group Evidence Google Doc was used as the collaborative tool

Mahi Tahi me te Ako - The Collaborative Learning Process

Students accessed the assessment information and project instructions via my DigiTech with Ms Anderson Subject Site, and then develop questions about the assessment that they wanted clarity on.

Students then individually logged their questions into a Google doc, which was set up as Group evidence in a Workspace, accessible through the Student Dashboard.

In pairs, students then worked together to identify responses (information, links to Tamaki College exemplars in the DigiTech Google+ Communities, links to external exemplars on NZQA, links to websites etc) that would hopefully address many of the questions.   Any response that was logged, students could also tag their name to the response to demonstrate how they have contributed back into the collaborative learning process.

How Effective was the Teaching and Learning Strategy?

This particular teaching and learning strategy was effective in enabling all learners to collectively contribute into the collaborative learning task.  Students who did not, were soon identified, due to their lack of names tagged against responses to queries.  Students therefore had a vestured interest in the learning process.  Students knew that contributing into the process benefited all, just as they also knew that not contributing into the process demonstrated a lack of manaakitanga, or support for their peers.  There was no consequence to this from a teaching point of view; it was more that students understood and valued the collaborative process, Mahi Tahi, and due to responding in pairs, felt safe about contributing their responses because the richer the document was with responses, the more useful the document became.  Thus, promoting support and care amongst the students, Manaakitanga.

The following links are the Q & A sheets that students collaborated on at each level, and is available for future use and references by all students.


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  1. Love the idea that students were given the opportunity to work in pairs to be able to identify their responses and understanding of the learning process.