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EdTech in the spotlight

Te Kete Hono – Schooltalk  | CEO Judy Newcombe  | Building an ecosystem which effectively supports learning in every school.

Te Kete Hono is a social impact organisation which aims to improve equity and educational outcomes for children through innovative digital engagement and supporting signature teaching and learning practices. Grounded in evidence and research, Te Kete Hono also provides professional learning for teachers and school leaders alongside the development of  digital applications that support these practices. 

“Our flagship app SchoolTalk  helps schools track learners’ progress, identify gaps and then take steps to close them, ensuring every learner makes progress in their learning journey,” says Judy Newcombe, CEO at Te Kete Hono. 

Recently the team at Te Kete Hono have launched a second app, Engagement Sliders,  which provides a revolutionary approach to understanding and enhancing learner engagement. By prioritising meaningful conversations, real-time insights, and quick adjustments, it places learners at the centre of the learning process. The app captures learners’ sentiments about the extent to which they are engaged in their learning. 

“This app hits the mark for so many teachers, allowing them to connect with their students in the moment and listen in to their individual needs.”

Teachers can investigate trends in student engagement over time, filter by a range of demographic factors and focus early on those students who might require extra support and a different approach to their learning. 

Te Kete Hono work very closely with their community of schools as an accredited Ministry of Education (MOE) professional learning (PLD) provider in the areas of Assessment for Learning, Student Agency, Digital Fluency and Leadership of Learning. 

“We also support the implementation of SchoolTalk as this often involves considerable change in teaching practice. We also have a very special programme called the Digital Equity programme which involves a philanthropic grant subsidising 25 low decile, remote, rural schools to come on board the SchoolTalk platform with additional support and professional development.” 

Te Kete Hono partner with a range of education tech and PLD organisations and are excited about the collaboration opportunities. They are also engaging with universities and adult training organisations as there seems to be considerable interest from these sectors too.

Te Kete Hono’s impact research shows a clear trend of improved teaching practice in schools using SchoolTalk. Teachers have access at a glance to a heat map of the progress of every child in their class against a set of structured progressions (steps) and can differentiate their learning design to address the specific needs of each student. Student voice suggests that students love the visibility of what they have learned and where they are going next as well as the ability to self-pace. Parents and whānau report on how useful SchoolTalk is when their children are learning from home, and how much they love having complete visibility of what their children are learning. 

While the team at Te Kete Hono have been focused on the NZ school sector for the last two years, they are now expanding into Australia and the US.

Good luck Te Kete Hono as you expand and scale out to the world.

CEO Judy Newcombe and Samantha Craig, one of Te Kete Hono’s facilitators at a Te Atatu Kāhui Ako learning event.

Kylie Dawson, Head of School Support, Te Kete Hono presenting at the 2023 ULearn conference in Auckland.

Samantha Craig at the Reading4Learning (R4L) Conference in West Auckland. R4L is a Te Kete Hono partner focused on supporting schools to develop foundational skills for children in ECEs and entrant classes.

EdTechNZ EdTechNZ is the voice of EdTech in New Zealand, supporting the growth of the sector. Our purpose is to drive the creative use of technology, inside and outside the classroom, for better student outcomes. We aim to facilitate a world class education system for all New Zealanders and showcase local EdTech to the world.