World-building game Minecraft and classroom version, Minecraft: Education Edition, have inspired millions of children the world over. Now young learners will get to explore the traditional world of Māori in block form, with the brand-new Ngā Motu (The Islands), commissioned for students to experience and build on life in a Māori pā and learn more about Māori language and culture.
“This week is Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, but if we want our indigenous language to remain a living, and thriving, part of our society it’s crucial that teaching and learning is carried throughout the year. That’s why Microsoft is investing in resources that inspire students to explore te ao Māori while having fun and challenging their imaginations – this is how we create a culture of lifelong learning,” said Anne Taylor, Education Lead for Microsoft New Zealand.
Educators across New Zealand are already using Minecraft to transform learning, from learning programming with Hour of Code to designing sustainable villages and even reconstructing Gallipoli in-game. While Microsoft has previously released te reo Māori editions of existing resources, such as last year’s Voyage Aquatic and Hero’s Journey, this is the first time an official world has been created in Minecraft: Education Edition especially for Aotearoa. Game designer Whetu Paitai, of Coromandel-based Piki Studios, was given just five weeks to imagine a fun but educational teaching resource that reflected Māori language, culture and heritage.
The result was Ngā Motu, a truly immersive Minecraft world where mobs of moa and kiwi flock around the palisades of a traditional pā with a waka hourua floating in the harbour. Students can build their own wharenui and learn words in te reo Māori from friendly guides modelled on Paitai’s own children and their friends, or via in-game exercises. The game’s resource packs swap typical Minecraft swords for more appropriate patu and soon intrepid voyagers will be able to visit the taniwha living off the coast as the game grows.
“We’re believers in learning being organic, being able to explore all the elements, because nothing in our lives exists in isolation. Our mission is for everyone to be able to play these games and see more than just what a waka is – they’ll be able to see how it fits into that whole world,” Paitai said.
Paitai was supported by two professional translators, Hemi Kelly and Piripi Walker, to translate the instructions and language pack for the game. There were even some new words for some of the in-game Minecraft items.
“It was important to make sure te ao Māori was respected as its own being, the mana and cultural IP of each artefact upheld and maintained throughout the process,” Paitai said.
Soon Ngā Motu will reach an audience beyond New Zealand, as Piki Studios is now an official member of the Minecraft Partner Program, enabling it to add to the resources available in the global Minecraft Marketplace. For now, Minecraft: Education Edition will be available to classrooms in New Zealand, as part of Microsoft’s Schools Agreement that provides resources such as Minecraft: Education Edition to every State and State-Integrated school.
“Ngā Motu is a truly amazing resource for Kiwi students and teachers and we know they’re going to absolutely love exploring and building on this world,” said Taylor.
“The creativity and attention to detail with which Whetu has approached this project just blew us away. What he’s created goes way beyond what we could ever have expected.”
For more information on Minecraft: Education Edition in New Zealand please visit: http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Future-focused-learning/Minecraft. Explore the Ngā Motu world and lessons in Minecraft: Education Edition at: http://aka.ms/ngamotu
Ka hihiri ngā ākonga o Aotearoa i te ao Mahimaina o te ao Māori
Ka whakaputaina e Microsoft te Minecraft: Education Edition tuatahi i te ao e hōpara ana i te ao Māori tūturu.
Nā te kēmu waihanga-ao a Minecraft me te putanga akomanga, Minecraft: Education Edition, kua hihiri katoa ngā tamariki tini miriona puta noa i te ao. Nā, ka āhei ngā ākonga tamariki ki te hōpara i te ao Māori tūturu mā ngā poraka, me Ngā Motu, he mea waihanga mā ngā ākonga kia whai wheako ai me te waihanga ao i roto i tētahi pā Māori me te ako anō mō te reo me te ao Māori.
“Ko Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori tēnei, engari mēnā e hiahia ana tātau kia noho tō tātau reo taketake hei reo ora, momoho hoki, i roto i tō tātau ao he mea nui kia whakahaerehia ngā whakaakoranga me ngā akoranga puta noa i te tau. Koinā te take e haumi ana a Microsoft ki ngā rauemi e whakahihiri ana i ngā ākonga ki te hōpara i te ao Māori me te pārekareka me te whakapātari i ō rātau hinengaro – koinei te tikanga hanga i ngā akoranga pūmau,” te kī a Anne Taylor, Kaiārahi Mātauranga mō Microsoft New Zealand.
Kei te whakamahia kētia e ngā kaiwhakaako hei takahuri i ngā akoranga, mai i te ako i te papatono mā te Hour of Code mai i te waihanga i ngā pā toitū, me te aha me te waihanga anō i a Karipori i rō kēmu. Ahakoa i puta i a Microsoft ngā putanga reo Māori o ngā rauemi, pērā i te Voyage Aquatic me Hero’s Journey, koinei te wā tuatahi i hangaia he ao whaimana i Minecraft: Education Edition, otirā mō Aotearoa. E rima wiki noa iho te wā ki te kaihoahoa kēmu a Whetu Paitai, o Piki Studios o Harataunga, ki te hoahoa mai i tētahi rauemi ngahau, akoranga hoki e whakaata ana i te reo, ahurea me ngā āhuatanga tuku iho o te ao Māori.
Ko te otinga o ngā werawera ko Ngā Motu, he ao Minecraft hōhonu rawa me ngā kāhui moa, kiwi hoki e muimui haere i ngā paparua o te pā me tētahi waka hourua e mānu ana i te whanga. Ka taea e ngā ākonga te hanga tō rātau ake wharenui me te ako i ngā kupu Māori mai i ngā kaiārahi hoahoa i whakatauirahia ki ngā tamariki ake ā Paitai me ō rātau hoa, mā roto mai rānei i ngā mahinga i rō kēmu. Kua whakawhitia e te kete rauemi o te kēmu ngā hoari o Minecraft mō ngā patu, ā, ā kō ake nei ka taea e ngā kaumoana te haere ki te kite i ngā taniwha e noho ana i te moana i te tipu haerenga o te kēmu.
“E whakapono ana mātau ka pā noa mai ngā akoranga, mā te āhei ki te hōpara i ngā āhuatanga katoa, i te mea e kore e noho wehe motuhake tētahi mea i roto i ō tātau ao. Ko tā mātau whāinga kia taea e ngā tāngata katoa ēnei kēmu, ā, ka whānui ake tā rātau kite i tētahi waka – ka kite kē rātau i te urunga atu ki roto i te ao whānui,” te kī a Pita.
I tautokona a Paitai e ngā kaiwhakamāori ngaio, e Hemi Kelly rāua ko Piripi Walker, ki te whakamāori i ngā tohutohu me ngā kete reo mō te kēmu. I puta hoki ētahi kupu hou mō ētahi tuemi MineCraft i roto i te kēmu.
“He mea kia manaakitia te ao Māori, te pupuri i te mana me ngā rawa hinengaro ahurea o ia taonga puta noa i te tukanga,” te kī a Paitai.
Kāore e roa ka taea a Ngā Motu ki ngā minenga o te ao i tua o Aotearoa, ina kua uru a Piki Studios hei mema whaimana nō te Kaupapa Pātui a Minecraft, e taea ai e ia ngā rauemi te tāpiri tuihono i roto i te Wāhi Tauhokohoko o Minecraft i te ao whānui. I tēnei wā, ka wātea mai a Minecraft: Education Edition ki ngā akomanga puta noa i Aotearoa, he wāhanga tēnei nō te Whakaaetanga Kura a Microsoft e tuku ana i ngā rauemi pērā i a Minecraft: Education Edition ki ia kura Kāwanatanga, Kura Tāuke hoki.
“He rauemi tino whakamīharo a Ngā Motu mā ngā ākonga o Aotearoa me ngā kaiako me tō mātau mōhio anō ka tino rawe rawa atu ki a rātau te hōpara me te waihanga i roto i tēnei ao,” te kī a Taylor.
“I tino mīharo rawa atu mātau ki te auaha me ngā iroirotanga katoa i roto i ngā mahi a Whetu mō tēnei kaupapa. Kua eke kē atu ia ki āna mahi ki te taumata i manakohia ai e mātau.”