Teachers create 'O is for Omanu' book

By Sonya Bateson

Two Omanu Primary School teachers have made e-learning their own with help from a local children's author.

Tommy 'Kapai' Wilson has launched his T is for Tauranga book, created in collaboration with engineer Geoff Payne, to a group of teachers from around the Western Bay.

The book is an A to Z of Tauranga and the region, with QR codes on each page that can be scanned with a smart phone or tablet computer to take the reader to a relevant website offering more information on the subject.

Omanu School teachers Hannah Mortimore and Jacqui van der Beek used the idea behind Mr Wilson's book to create a new, fun way of bringing social studies to their students and get them learning about the area they lived in. Mrs van der Beek said she brought one of Wilson's books into her classroom and the effect was "magic".

The idea prompted the school's own O is for Omanu, containing QR codes directing readers to online snapshots of the children's work or websites relating to the topics on its pages.

Mrs van der Beek said the kids got excited when they scanned the codes and their own art or poems came up on the screen. She said it was a spin-off she didn't expect from Wilson's books.

Wilson, a Bay of Plenty Times columnist, said having a QR code to scan not only made the books more attractive to children, they learned more as they were taken to further reading on the internet.

Also at Thursday's launch at Omanu School were members of Western Bay of Plenty Energy Trust for Education (WEBET), who helped fund the project.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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