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Digital tech to teach students about Passchendaele

08 May 2017

ANZAC day reminded us recently of the sacrifices made during WWI, when brave Kiwis and Australians marched into battle to defend the world.

This year marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, and the Government has plans to use digital technology to educate young New Zealanders about the battle.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry, today announced a competition that challenges senior students to create a curriculum resource for their younger peers.

Kaye says the national competition will be available to schools and kura for students aged 16-19.

“The national competition, for senior students aged 16 to 19, has been organised by the Ministry of Education with partners and sponsors the Fields of Remembrance Trust and the Passchendaele Society.”

The competition will focus on using digital technologies to create a resource that will enable younger students to understand and appreciate the gravity of what happened, says Kaye.

“Entrants are asked to use digital technology to produce a curriculum resource for year 7 to 10 students about the Battle of Passchendaele.

“This is an amazing opportunity for senior students to learn more about the Battle of Passchendaele, and to share their insights with younger students through the curriculum resources they develop.”

The prize includes sending 10 students to attend a commemoration service in the West Flanders region of Belgium where the battle took place, says Kaye.

“The winners will attend the National Commemoration Service on 12 October 2017, at the Tyne Cot Cemetery near Zonnebeke in West Flanders.”

Barry says the competition is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our young people.

“This will be the trip of a lifetime for the 10 winners, who will get the opportunity as I did two years ago to stand on the battlefield, visit the war cemeteries and understand the sacrifices made by their forebears.”

The competition also ties in with the Ministry’s digital direction, encouraging the use of tech to innovate learning, says Kaye.

“The competition is also a great example of the innovative ways that digital technologies are being used to transform teaching and learning in our classrooms.”

Barry says it’s important to discuss Passchendaele as it was a dark day in New Zealand’s history, leaving a deep scar on our nation.

“The battle saw one of our darkest days as a nation, with 846 of our soldiers losing their lives on 12 October 1917.

“It’s important we continue to commemorate all those who fought for our freedom and peace, and we provide opportunities for our young people to reflect on and honour their sacrifice.”

The competition will run Monday 08 May - Sunday 02 July, with winners being announced Monday 24 July.

Kaye says she looks forward to seeing the work that comes out the entries.

“This is a fantastic educational opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the innovative and creative resources that are developed as part of the competition.”

For more information - Follow the link.

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