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Meet a Minecrafter: OMG Tech!


It's important that our indigenous cultures are represented in technology so that they can create technology that's relevant to them, and relative to their community's needs And so we we fight, we have to fight, for who we are and what we do

My name is Zoe, I am the co-founder of OMG Tech! and which is a charity set up to help every kid get access to the technologies that will shape their futures So when I got to see the kids this year coding with the Hour Of Code in Te Reo Māori it was amazing The kids are just like overjoyed, their faces light up They get those moments where they've just suddenly been able to do something they've never been able to do before and they know that they could do this My name's Michael Dargaville, everyone just calls me Mike

It took me about a week and a half to complete the translation Yes so some of the words in Maori don't have direct correlations in English Te Reo Māori is interconnected between the people, the land and all our surroundings Once you understand Te Reo Māori, you understand yourself better, and you understand your "whenua" – the land, and where you live So moving into a new age where technology is one of our main life sources, practically, and it'd be nice to see it in our own language

We're at a "kura kaupapa", so these kids do full immersion learning in their native language, their indigenous language which is Te Reo Māori, for all of their other subjects So the workshop we just ran which was the Hour Of Code in Te Reo allowed them to experience digital technologies in the same way that they experience all of their other learning It's really important for those kids to have these experiences in Te Reo Māori, because it doesn't happen in these kind of schools otherwise, so they won't do coding in English because it's a full immersion school, so if there aren't the resources available, these kids just won't get those chances and then they won't be represented in our technology future As Western people we're really lucky, because technology is inherently designed for us It's designed by people that look like us, it's designed by people that come from really similar backgrounds to us, and it solves problems for us

But when we start looking at problems and other communities, technology doesn't always serve them Heaps of these kids are so smart, so intelligent but they've got nowhere to focus it Our kids that we work with from these communities have such a different focus when they think about technology, it's always about people, it's always about the environment, and it's always about creating the world for a hundred years in the future This is their world that they're living in, it's not mine it's theirs And so you know for them to be able to do like Minecraft in Te Reo Māori, I think that's so awesome

I go into a lot of schools and I work with a lot of young kids and one of my first questions with them is "Who plays games?" And then your second question is "Who plays Minecraft?" and like you'll get half the room, it doesn't matter where you go, Minecraft is such an incredible platform for young children to interact with technology as a tool, and so for them to be able to then take the thing they love and then see how it's made, it was amazing The Hour of Code platform has made it so easy to do these translations and really holds in it that idea that coding is for everybody, and it needs to reflect everybody And you know, it puts a smile on my face when they come here and they learn something new, you know like today they learned Minecraft and they enjoyed it, they said that they enjoyed it, something that was relevant for them And what Minecraft's doing is it's creating a whole new generation of kids that have those skills naturally, that can naturally work cross borders, cross ideas, come together in project bases, and all be able to reflect what they love and the thing that they create, and come in and out, and just create masterpieces [Singing in Te Reo Māori] Pride

I feel pride when I see them create all these amazing, amazing structures, amazing worlds I feel they're just like stepping in, stepping into a bigger world that they have, that they can do anything in Those things are like our human rights We have to be able to be representative and serve all of society, not just the people that created it, and the best way to do that is to have more people from diverse backgrounds feeling connected to technology and being able to create with technology for them and their communities as well

Source: Youtube

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