In New Zealand, primary school students created a prototype ‘Let’s Learn Samoan” iPad app to learn their native language

After their teacher moved to a local high school, Samoan students at Bromley primary school in New Zealand built an iPad app to continue to learn their native language. The school educates some of Ōtautahi Christchurch’s underprivileged communities and its Principal, Scot Kinley is a firm believer in making technology accessible to students for their empowerment, and Apple’s iPad is their chosen device.

At Bromley School, every teacher and middle school student has their own iPad. There’s an Apple TV in every classroom, and a fleet of Macs for coding. Since introducing iPad, Bromley students are setting the bar for what’s possible when you inspire the minds of young learners. They’re winning regional digital creativity competitions, taking an active role in their learning successes, pitching their ideas to local community groups and investors, and sharing their experience with other schools.


Primary school’s Digi Navigators build a prototype app on the iPad to learn their native Samoan language

The New Zealand students’ achievement is posted in Apple’s Newsroom feature to inspire and motivate other students to take the lead in creating digital solutions for real-world issues. Principal Kinley says that,

“We challenge our students to think big — we want them to make a positive difference in the world. It’s our job to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills they’ll need to thrive. We know we can do that by fostering independent and self-directed learners, and iPad is a key tool in this mission.”


And that is exactly what his, young Digi Navigators did; students from grade 3 to grade 6 formed an inquiry group with a teacher with limited knowledge of the Samoan language to explore “apps, books, and websites they thought might help” and when nothing appealed to them as a learning tool, they created their own ‘Let’s Learn Samoan app’ with the help of their teacher Mele Togiaso.

The Digi Navigators created their app prototype in Keynote, the powerful presentation tool that comes included with most Apple devices, because it allowed them to combine text, drawings, audio recordings, animations, and hyperlinks in one place — all essential elements of their dream app.

Togiaso used the App Design Journal from the Everyone Can Code curriculum, available as a free download from Apple, to help guide the group through the app development process. “It’s super helpful,” Togiaso says. “I share the Journal with anyone that asks how we created our app, because it provides such an easy, step-by-step process to follow.”

Currently, Apple sells various mid-to-high range iPad models:

  • iPad mini (2, 3, and 4)
  • iPad (5th, 6th, and 7th generation)
  • iPad Air (1st, 2nd, and 3rd)
  • iPad Pro (9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, 11-inch and 12.9-inch)

Apple successfully expanded itself from just a devices manufacturer to a community builder. In addition to funding various learning initiatives for Black and female developers and founders, the company supports educational initiatives all over the United States like expanding partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Community Educational initiative, and more.

About the Author

Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.