New Zealand - Students learn digital publishing

 A super heroes fantasy, a political satire and a moral tale based around basketball are the stories a group of Te Kura students have chosen to tell through digital technology.

In September, 15 students in the Hawke’s Bay region from years 8 to 10 were selected to participate in the KIWA SLAM programme. It was run through a partnership with digital publishers KIWA Digital, who also worked with Te Kura on the creation of an interactive educational app which tells the Māori legend about the creation of Wellington Harbour.

The pilot programme involved attending two one-day workshops in Hastings where the students worked in teams to create and design stories, illustration, animation and sound effects, and narration, for the production of three mobile apps. A smaller group then travelled to Auckland in October to bring the stories to life at the KIWA Digital production studio with the help of KIWA staff.

Each app is an interactive, read-along, digital book that combines a narrator’s voice with original picture illustrations and touchable text that is synchronised to highlight and sound when the word is touched.

At the start of the project, many of the students had little or no technical experience. ‘The students learnt a lot of new skills, such as the techniques of audio narration, storyboarding and how to critique their own work,’ says KIWA Digital Chief Executive Steven Renata.  ‘They also gained a deeper appreciation of the care and work involved in producing a final professional product.’

KIWA has been developing the SLAM workshop concept for more than two years, working with education agencies and community groups on projects that offer students real world experience of creating and digitally publishing their own stories.

Steven says that KIWA Digital has been impressed by Te Kura’s commitment to new approaches to learning to increase engagement and achievement.  ‘The school’s authentic learning approach ensures students have learning programmes that are meaningful and relevant, and based on each student’s passions and goals.  We feel the SLAM model is a good fit, and are keen to develop a sustainable model based on the learning from the pilot.’

There is a further workshop planned for students in the Auckland region in the first term of 2017. Ultimately, KIWA Digital hopes to develop the SLAM programme so that Te Kura students across New Zealand are able to participate.

To experience the apps our students have created, visit the global App Store at the links below.

Ray Lee days:

Hillary Trump:

Trevor Basketball: