9 Jul 2013

Fewer than half of kura use Maori computer tools

7:45 am on 9 July 2013

A Waikato University lecturer says fewer than half of kura kaupapa are using te reo Maori versions of search engines and computer software.

More than 50 people in the Maori IT sector gathered in Wellington on Monday as part of the three day Net Hui conference.

Computer science lecturer Te Taka Keegan surveyed kura kaupapa about whether they used the Maori-language version of tools such as Google and Microsoft.

He says Google has about 10,000 clicks a day in te reo, but only 45.8% of the surveyed kura said they used it or similar Maori versions of tools.

Dr Keegan says a third of respondents didn't know the option existed, and many were put off by the new Maori words used in the computer science field. He says many teachers see the internet as a Pakeha tool.

Dr Keegan says children today have grown up with technology, and it needs to be used more to interact with them in te reo, as a way of revitalising the language.