Home Learning TV supports learning at home and school

Issue: Volume 99, Number 7

Posted: 2 June 2020
Reference #: 1HA7Wh

Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV is continuing to bring high-quality educational content to learners, whether they’re at home or at school.

Around 95,000 households have been tuning in to Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV each school day, and the response from viewers – learners, parents and teachers – has been overwhelmingly positive.

All the teacher-led lessons on Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV are aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum and include lessons for five- to 15-year-olds. There’s also Karen’s House for younger learners and advice for parents. Alongside household names like Suzy Cato and Jason Gunn, a team of teachers have taken up the challenge to teach in front of a camera – something that has been a new experience for all of them. 

Every school day, learners and parents are encouraged to send their feedback about the lessons so that it can be shared with the teachers to inform their planning. They’re also sending photos or videos to show the teachers and viewers what they have been learning.

Adele, a seven-year-old student in Dunedin, wrote: “Hi Bec, I have made some cool art from your fun art classes you did. I learnt how to draw 3D, your art classes are GR-8 .” While Ashlee said, “I love this channel, it is a great way to learn.”

Using Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV in the classroom

Innes Jephson, a teacher at Kapiti School, has been back at school since the move to Alert Level 3. He usually teaches Year 3 and 4 students but has been supervising a group ranging from Year 0 to 7.

“We have a small bubble with only six students attending. Each child has a device so they can access their distance learning. They also have boxes with other learning activities, reading books that they are interested in. 

“We have also had Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV on the projector playing all day. The children attending have access throughout the day and as items that interest them come on, they watch and join in. We have had children jumping up and down in their own bubble, listening to what is happening and learning along with the presenters.

“The lessons add variety to the children’s day, inspiration for our teachers who are creating lessons at home, and great messaging to parents about coping with learning from home.” 

Pauline Cleaver, Ministry of Education Associate Deputy Secretary Curriculum Pathways and Progress, says teaching to a TV camera rather than to students is not easy. 

“I want to acknowledge the huge effort of the teachers who have taken up the challenge to teach on television, so the nation’s children and young people can stay engaged in learning at home.

“We know there is a lot of interest among teachers in using the Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV lessons with their students – whether their students are in front of them or learning from home.

“To make it easier for teachers to incorporate the lesson into their teaching, we’ve begun publishing a weekly schedule of lessons on our Learning From Home website so teachers can scan what’s coming up next week, and build specific lessons into their teaching programme.

“We’re also providing some of the lesson plans so that teachers can use and reuse these again to support teaching and learning.”

New content and presenters are continually being added to the schedule. Recent additions include a session for teens with Jason Gunn and senior science with Michelle Dickinson, plus waiata with Anika Moa. Digital technology and projects for junior and senior learners by the education team at Te Papa are coming soon. 

Pauline says the Covid-19 situation and our response to it has really highlighted that learning can take place anytime, anywhere – not just in the classroom, but at home, online, outside and in any blend of these contexts. 

Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV lessons are being used by schools for the Deaf through their TuriTV television site, with a sign language overlay and are available throughout the Pacific, with some countries looking to host the lessons on their own television networks.

The lessons developed and presented by teachers for Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will become part of a bank of resources that teachers, parents and learners will continue to have access to for some time to come.

Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV is available on Freeview channel 7, Sky channel 502 and Vodafone TV channel 502 between 9am and 3pm. The channel is available to live stream on TVNZ OnDemand and all of the lessons are available to re-watch on TVNZ OnDemand(external link) too. 

Q & A with Te Mete Loman 

Te Mete Loman, a teacher at Middle School West Auckland, teaches senior te reo Māori lessons on Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV.

Q: How does it feel to be part of an initiative to take education into the homes of children and young people across Aotearoa in such extraordinary circumstances?

A: It has been an absolute privilege to take part in this kaupapa, and humbling to think that my personal investment in myself as a professional and as a practitioner, not to mention those who have actively contributed to who I am as an educator, is now touching more learners than ever. 

Being part of this kaupapa also contributes to my deep-seated desire to generate change in our education system, particularly for those learners who are the most vulnerable, and sadly my people (Māori) are still heavily occupying that space.

I have felt that this is an opportunity to share my passion for te reo Māori and make it accessible to so many who would usually not have access to it, or at least in a quality format, and it seems as though it is being received very positively. So much so that it seems the te reo Māori segments have attracted many more viewers than just those who were the target audience.

This is a heart-warming aspect in itself that we are able to excite and entice all-aged learners into wanting to engage with our language and culture.

Q: What’s the most challenging aspect of teaching on television? How different is it from teaching in a classroom?

A: There are a couple of difficulties that I faced, the first being the fact that the only energy in the room is mine. I realised how crucial the energy of the learners in the space is to creating a learning environment that is alive. Instead I had to develop what could possibly be classified as an imaginary classroom in my head with imaginary learners in front of me that were responding. 

The second challenge was the amount of planning that needed to go into the lessons. This of course is all of the things that nobody sees, but for a single 25-minute episode, there is in excess of five hours’ planning. So, trying to juggle that commitment with being in lockdown with my own children and continuing with my online teaching commitments, it was definitely a challenge. 

In terms of the difference to a normal classroom – well, it would never take (or shouldn’t, at least) five hours to plan a 25-minute lesson. There is much more flexibility with regards to timing, e.g. if you go over or under a little in class it is easy to balance it out with other activities or to carry over the learning to the next period or day. Whereas for TV the window of time is only plus or minus a couple of minutes.

Q: What’s the most fun or rewarding aspect?

A: Being able to excite and entice people who may not usually want to engage in te reo Māori or maybe haven’t had the quality opportunities, to then engage and get excited about the indigenous language of this country.

The other rewarding aspect has been a personal one, whereby I have really had to challenge myself to apply my knowledge and understanding of best practice language acquisition pedagogy without the luxury of having the learners right there in front of me, and not being able feed off of their engagement which has a huge contribution to the direction and approach of a good language teacher. 

I have had to be innovative and creative with very limited resources and access to technology and technological platforms to then bring to life an engaging product on a TV screen. So, yes that has been a great personal challenge to develop myself.

Q: What do your students think about you teaching on TV?

A: A few of my students have commented on my presence on TV, however, I must say that we have worked extremely hard to ensure many of our learners have access to technology and that as a school we have set up a very robust online learning programme that supports both teachers and students to still engage in authentic and meaningful ways. 

I have felt like we have had a good level of success in this space despite all of the challenges the lockdown has presented. We are lucky to have a group of really supportive and proactive staff members who have absolutely gone above and beyond during this time to ensure our whānau have what they need and that we can still support our students in their learning journey. 

With that in mind, many of my students are too busy or preoccupied with online classes or projects that have been set for them to watch the TV show.

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BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:15 am, 2 June 2020

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