Kupu, the breakthrough mobile app, developed by Colenso BBDO, that helps people learn Te Reo Māori by translating photos of objects around them can now be utilised across more schools in Aotearoa thanks to the launch of a new version optimised for tablets and desktops.
Originally launched this time last year by Spark, Te Aka Māori Dictionary and Google, the app has had over 177,000 downloads, over 2.7 million translated images and circa 6,000 daily users since the start of Māori Language Week 2019.
Kupu is powered by Google Cloud Vision technology, combined with Te Aka Māori Dictionary translations. Te Aka Māori Dictionary brings with it a reputation for quality Māori language research and a pool of invaluable knowledge which has guided the project to ensure Spark had the right cultural engagement, awareness and guidance around the concept and creation of Kupu.
Says Mike Davison, CD, Colenso BBDO: “Bite-sized language learning that fits our daily habits is the benefit. But the long-term collaboration with the best technology, Māori language and digital platform experts our country has – that’s what has made this project humbling and memorable.”
The aim of the creative campaign is to translate the world around Kiwis – blanketing Kiwis with even more contextually targeted translations of everyday objects wherever they turn.
Colenso BBDO also created Kupu My Name, which uses Te Aka Māori Dictionary to find your ingoa (name) in te reo Māori, allowing users to generate images of their name in te reo with the Kupu custom font.
Spark’s Māori strategy lead, Lisa Paraku says the launch of a desktop and tablet friendly version comes off the back of overwhelming requests from teachers nationwide who have been wanting to use the app across a broad range of devices within schools.
Says Paraku: “The enhancements mean more teachers will be able to use Kupu as an educational tool and readily incorporate Te Reo Māori learning into their lessons with the use of smart technology – something we know our tamariki have embraced.”
Orewa College middle school teacher, Joel Langlands has been a user of Kupu since its launch and is pleased to hear the new enhancements will mean more teachers will now have access to it.
Says Langlands: “Learning and teaching languages can be quite tricky, so having an e-learning tool like Kupu available for any school, teacher, parent, family or kiwi at home is an incredible resource that will allow us to weave Te Reo Māori into our tamariki’s learning.”
Kupu 2.0 will also now include the ability for users to set push notifications on their mobile so they’re repeatedly prompted to learn new words throughout the day.
Dr Dean Mahuta of Te Aka Māori Dictionary and senior lecturer at AUT, says the app has helped showcase how technology can play a role in keeping Te Reo Māori thriving by making it available across different means of communication.
Says Dr Mahuta: “Integrating the push notification capability on the Kupu mobile app is a great step to empower individuals to keep up their journey of learning Te Reo Māori. Repetition is a technique frequently used for learning and in the context of language, learning new material can be enhanced through spaced repetition and practice.”
The Ministry of Education has adapted the National Curriculum to include digital technologies learning, which provides students with the necessary skills to take part, create and thrive in an evolving world. While these cover developing digital skills, technology such as Kupu is a great way for our kids to integrate digital learning with other subjects.
Says Paraku: “Kupu is a free and easy app for teachers to use. We hope these enhancements will add to the 56% of tamariki in Aotearoa already learning simple words, greetings or waiata in school.”
Kupu is powered by Google cloud vision technology, combining with Te Aka Māori Dictionary translations. Te Aka Māori Dictionary brings with it a reputation for quality Māori language research and a pool of invaluable knowledge which has guided the project to ensure Spark had the right cultural engagement, awareness and guidance around the concept and creation of Kupu.