From the first term of 2018, Te Papa has been leading and delivering a new type of education programme which is funded by the Ministry of Education as part of their Digital Technologies for All Equity Fund.

Museums and digital technology teaching and learning is not something that one might normally associate together.  Over the past two years, the Te Papa Learning team have been aligning their practices to the best educational thinking including learner agency and personalised learning, future focused thinking and equitable, accessible and inclusive access.  From the design of its museum education programmes and the development of it’s philosophy, an emphasis on cross-curricula and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) has evolved.

Raranga Matihiko | Weaving Digital Futures emerged from that redesign and is a programme that teaches the new Digital Technology and Hangarau Matihiko curricula content while drawing on the richness of the museum.  The Raranga Matihiko facilitators work with a class of students and their teacher to support them to be not just users of digital technologies, but creators of digital content and tools themselves. Students, and their teachers, learn and explore with a range of technologies including virtual reality, coding, movie making and digital storytelling androbotics.

Each programme spans a full term and includes a 2 day visit to the museum, visits to the class and online support.  Prior to their two day visit to the museum, the Raranga Matihiko facilitators work with the teacher to design a bespoke programme that builds on their class curriculum. Through the inquiry focus, the museum context and digital technologies are woven together to build knowledge and enhance student and teacher learning.  Following their two day visit to the museum, the museum facilitators provide support through face-to-face visits in the school, bringing the technology with them so students can complete projects started at the museum. The students and their teacher have the opportunity to return the following year to deepen their learning.  During 2018, our team will work with 3,766 students and their teachers.

Students at Te Papa creating a movie using green screen.

Museum partnership

While designed and lead by Te Papa, three museums have partnered with us to extend the reach of the programme beyond Wellington..  Growing partnerships between the museums is an essential part of the programme and we were delighted when MTG Hawke’s Bay, Waitangi Museum and Treaty Grounds and Auckland Museum expressed an interest to be involved.  The four museums, including Te Papa, are delivering the Raranga Matihiko programme to decile 1-3 schools and all kura, in their regions.

The partnership between the museums is a collaborative one where ideas are shared, challenges discussed and understandings of how to support learners are developed at weekly virtual meetings.  Together, we work to deliver the programme to ensure access – both in terms of the museum AND digital technology curricula learning – so that all learners experience success.


Students at Auckland Museum drawing on the exhibitions to inspire and inform their augmented reality creations.  

What are we finding.

As we come to the end of our first year of the Raranga Matihiko programme, we are noticing some impressive results.  These will be presented in more depth in our independent evaluation report that will be available in early 2019.    Some of the most exciting results include:

  • We are drawing new audiences into the museums.  Many of the students that we are working with have never visited the museums before.  Some have never been into the city before. Our facilitators regularly comment on the excitement on students faces as they explore the museum.
  • Students and teachers are understanding the new curricula content and taking the learning back to the classroom.  Some teachers are leading staff meetings on the new curricula content and how it can be woven through existing class curriculum; some groups of students are leading learning sessions with other groups of students from their school.
  • Museums are a space where digital technologies, collections and exhibitions can work together to enhance learning.
  • Teachers are discovering new ways to work with museums to enhance their classroom programme.
  • Using digital technologies in a cross-curricula approach and the context of the museum, enables students to draw on rich history and share their knowledge in new ways.  Many teachers are commenting that they are seeing their students’ abilities in new light, often taking the strategies and skills used in the programme back to their class setting.

In November 2018, the Native Affairs team from Māori TV filmed the Raranga Matihiko programme faciltiated out of MTG Hawke’s Bay.  You can watch this here: https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/digital-future-education.

In this video, students from Paparore School in Northland drew on the information shared by the team at Waitangi Museum and produced this wharenui.  Each student carved a story in the pou after learning from the experienced carvers from Te Whare Toi at the Museum at the Museum. Student work, across 5 different tools, were curated into this video.

Paparore School

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