Whānau & Family


Nau mai, haere mai -

Welcome families and whānau of Toki Pounamu schools learners. Information on this page will give you more detail about the Toki Pounamu programme running in our cluster of schools, and access to resources that will support you to help your child with their Chromebook and their learning. The Toki Pounamu school’s cluster is being supported by the Manaiakalani Outreach - Connected Communities Programme.

Digital Immersion

'Digital immersion' is how a teacher and student's first year in a classroom with Chromebooks for learning is described.

The focus is on quickly learning to use the Chromebook and other digital tools effectively, and learning using the 'Learn Create Share' approach.

Cybersmart lessons happen weekly.

View the slideshow for a summary of how this approach to learning works.

What is Digital Immersion?

What is Cybersmart?

The Cybersmart curriculum was developed in 2011 by teachers and parents in Manaiakalani schools. Toki Pounamu schools are keen to ensure students have the opportunity to learn positive strategies and how to make great choices online, encouraging confident digital citizens in the 21st Century. There are seven Cybersmart categories schools will cover, from a basic level with younger children through to advanced teaching at an older level. Building positive digital footprints and relationships with others online, and understanding how digital media works, are prioritised. Check out some of the content from the Toki Pounamu Cybersmart Curriculum here.

Tips for managing the Internet at home:

The digital world that children are growing up in is quite overwhelming for many parents. Have a discussion with your child/children - let them know that internet access at home is a privilege to be earned and maintained through them demonstrating Cybersmart choices, and respecting and following your guidance.

Your child's Chromebook will generally stay at school for term one, so that they have time to learn how to use it effectively, handle it safely, and demonstrate that they can follow all aspects of the Kawa of Care. They will be able to take their Chromebook how when you are ready. It can always stay at school until you are ready to have it at home.

Here are some guidelines that may be useful:

  • Have your child work on their device in an area of the house where you most frequently spend time, and have them sit so that the screen is easily visible to you when you walk past. Take an interest in what they are doing online - this gives you an opportunity to connect with your child's online life, and lets them know you are available for support.
  • Don't have devices charging overnight in your child's bedroom. Establish a place for charging in a living area in your home.
  • Establish times when you child can use their Chromebook - if they don't want to cooperate, let them know that their Chromebook goes back to school and stays there until they have had time to show that they are prepared to follow your guidelines. Your school is very happy to support you with this, just ask.
  • Keep your wifi password secret. Type it into your child's device when it suits you for them to be online. Your school can show you how to do this.

Your child will test boundaries online in the same way that they test boundaries in the real world as they grow, and the way that they use the internet will change over time. Keep guiding and supporting them, and keep your boundaries firm around online access being a privilege to be earned at home. Your school is there to help, and is happy to arrange sessions where parents can get together to share ideas on managing online activity at home.

Parent Modules

Module 1: Kawa of Care and the Digital Immersion Learning Environment

This is an introductory course split into two parts. Part One covers all the physical features of the Chromebook. It also covers important aspects of the Kawa of Care and ways to practically apply the values of this agreement in the home. Part Two is an introduction to accessing children’s work from relevant sites. In this session, parents will be shown a classroom website, a classroom blog, and then a child's individual blog. From here parents will be shown the difference between all three, how each website and/or blog may be relevant for different times and how to effectively use them as a means to engage with children’s learning, to stay informed. These sessions may be run together.

Please Note: Most Toki Pounamu schools will require you to attend at least one session before the Chromebook can go home with students.

Module 2: The Parent Portal and Cybersmart Values

Module 2 training is for confident users of Chromebooks, split into two parts. In Part One, parents will be taught the use of The Parent Portal, and how to use the portal in conjunction with the school site and child's personal blog. In Part Two, parents will learn practical Cybersmart values to apply in the home. Parents will also learn specific skills e.g screenshots, safe browsing, checking history of devices and other helpful skills for the home. Parents also have the opportunity to learn more about Google products such as docs and gmail (Optional). Offline Apps will also be covered, to show parents how to operate Chromebooks for learning if there is no access to wireless. These sessions may be run together.

Module 3: Searching the Internet and Google Apps

Module 3 training is for those who would like to be further skilled as Cybersmart parents. This session involves parents practising searching skills using Google, and then investigating resources that could be helpful to them, e.g how to use Google maps, how to search and find their bank, how to google the school site to find notices etc. Parents can also explore Google Apps, discovering how they are used by the children and how they can use them in their everyday life too. This sessions is very personalised, dependant on what parents are interested in - the main purpose of these sessions is to use all the skills and knowledge from previous modules and aid parents in becoming independent, confident digital citizens active in their child's world.

Beginners Module: Getting Started in the Digital World

The Beginners Module is for parents who have little to no experience using computers. This is a basic 45 minute session in which parents will learn the basics of their child’s device. In this session, parents can learn device maintenance, how to power on, how to use the mouse and how to navigate round the different menus. Learn about the difference between logins, improve typing skills and find relevant apps online. This session can be personalised around what parents are most interested in learning.

Specialised Training Sessions

Specialised training sessions are available for groups of parents who would like to learn more about specific topics e.g Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat. If you find areas of interest in relation to you as a parent or to your children, you are welcome to discuss with your school the possibility of running a session around your specialised topic of choice. Often, if you have an interest in a certain area there will be other parents who may be just as curious and interested.

Resources for Parents

Articles of interest to parents, on NetSafe New Zealand's website, which provides cybersafety and security advice to New Zealanders.

A fantastic site for resources, videos and advice that are easy to understand and can help you as a parent when it comes to your children and their Cybersafety.

Once you become comfortable in using Google Apps for Education, check out some of these Safety Tips recommended by Google.

A range of information suited to young and older teens, and their parents.

Contact Information