To what extent can MOOCs impact on the understanding of media literacy for New Zealand Intermediate aged teachers and students.

Shem Banbury – Mindlab Inquiry 2019

Step 1: Briefly define your audiences

Throughout my Mindlab inquiry my audience has always been the tamariki of New Zealand. The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that I developed is designed to be shared with as many students as possible. The course can be viewed here.
Locally my audience has been my Year 8 class at Aquinas College. My students have been exposed to the Toku Ako website and many have enjoyed taking the online course.

A group of diverse people talk in social media speech communication network connections

In the Supporting Future-Oriented Learning paper from the Ministry of Education, the chapter that struck me was Changing Script: Rethingking Learners and teacher’s roles.

The focus in this chapter was a move away from terms such as “student-centred” or “teacher-driven”, and instead to think about how learners and teachers would work together in a “knowledge-building” learning environment.

Pleasingly this is what MOOC’s offer teachers in today’s education. MOOCs enable teachers and students to construct educational pathways together. There is not the need for the teacher to be the fountain of knowledge or understand everything.

Analyse the audiences’ perspectives

It has been an interesting journey into the world of MOOCS and reflecting upon my inquiry I have noted that generally students enjoy taking online courses. I suspect that many are used to this kind of learning through websites such as Mathletics and Education Perfect. Students have an eagerness to participate, have a wide range of skills to deal with any technical issues and enjoy this type of learning.

In contrast I have found the uptake of teachers around New Zealand less enthusiastic. While I do not know the reason for this, my hunch is that it could be one of the following;
– Teachers don’t see media Literacy as important.
– Teachers are unfamiliar with the website and don’t want to try something new.
– Teachers did not know about the Toku Ako website.

Step 3: Discuss how you are addressing the context of different audiences and their perspectives while you are taking action.

For students I must remember that in their interconnected world there are no boundaries to learning. Our tamariki can explore the world through online learning conversations and feedback from around the world. This gives students control over their learning and an unlimited number of choices to their learning. Mark Barnes (Role Reversal, 2013) highlights this when he said “gone are lectures, worksheets, rote-memory homework, and multiple-choice tests.  These are replaced with engaging, interactive mini-lessons and sophisticated digital learning tools”. 

With teachers it is important that I show them the importance of media literacy to their classroom programme. Media literacy is not a subject to be taught. Instead, it is a series of skills that are cross curricular. When addressing this audience I will need to get this message across.

Bolstad, R., Gilbert, J., McDowall, S., Bull, A., Boyd, S., & Hipkins, R. (2012). Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching — a New Zealand perspective. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education. Retrieved from

Barnes, M. (2013). Role Reversal, Putting Students in Charge of their Learning. Learning and Leading with Technology. USA & Canada.

Microsoft Corporation. (2012). 21st Century Learning Activity Rubrics. Retrieved from ITL Research:

Ministry of Education. (n.d.). Te Kotahitanga in-class observation tool. Retrieved from Te Kotahitanga: