In 2002 The Maui News featured the first three students that were embarking on internet high school. Myron B. Thompson Academy out of O‘ahu facilitated the remote education model. Eighteen years later Hawaiian educators have quickly championed the new space of virtual learning without skipping a beat.
One notable favorite forum was created by Maile Naehu from the island of Moloka‘i no less. Maile has launched Ka Hale Hoaka, an impressive virtual teaching medium that serves Hawaiian language, music, chant, hula, arts and crafts. Hawai‘i Public Radio recently interviewed her and helped tell the backstory of her build. Hawaii News Now also featured Ka Hale Hoaka on Christmas Eve.
As some students struggle with the newly demanded format of learning, others are resonating with the independence and flexibility. More time will need to pass before educators and the Department of Education can fully assess the productivity but for the culturally strong, nothing is wrong. The bodies of indigenous instruction and the veraciously talented Hawaiian arts kumu (teachers) are taking full advantage of the internet reach.
Students who may have never considered dancing hula, learning the ukulele or lived too far from Hawaiian immersion schools are in the comfortable learning spaces of their homes and appear to be strengthening their cultural alliances by resource accessibility.
In even greater news, the new meeting standard now using platforms such as Zoom, BlueJeans and eCamm has forced-fed the cross pollination of field experts and organizations making a broader reach for participants. Lectures, presentations, work groups and new collaborations are expediting progress in fantastic ways. In one presentation, a renowned archivist met and made plans to address massive curriculum delinquencies with a Hawai‘i Board of Education member.
This slowed time frame has reduced the nautical miles that separate our islands and there are some silver linings in the clouds.
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