Programme targets boys in the classroom

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 19/08/2014
Windy Ridge School

SLAM DUNK: Boys from Windy Ridge School celebrate earning their digital publishing certificates with bewigged teacher Sue Ogden and Kiwi Digital staff.

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Windy Ridge School couldn't get some of its boys excited about story writing.

So principal Brenda McPherson took advantage of a Ministry of Education pilot programme "Success for Boys" to help her kids with learning.

Kiwi Digital, a company contracted to the ministry was brought in to the school to run its intensive 48-hour SLAM! cultural storytelling workshop.

The company's executive chairwoman Jill Tattersfield, says the programme works because it grabs the boys' attention.

"It's an idea to ‘slam' through ideas in a workshop, it's the excitement, it's cooler and different," she says.

A group of year 4 to 6 boys at the school got to work with technology while brainstorming their story ideas, which in the space of two days were turned into published, digital e-books.

The company calls its approach "cultural story telling for the digital age".

"I think it's fantastic. It's a programme that's shown us how ICT and e-books can engage reluctant writers and get them excited about writing," McPherson says.

And the school can continue to offer the workshop style of learning, she says.

Kiwi Digital loaded-up the school's tablets with apps the students can keep working with.

The workshops utilise experiential software developed by New Zealand firm Kiwa.

Kiwa's audio-visual learning apps have already been used in Northland and as far afield as Alaska to encourage bilingualism.

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- North Shore Times

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