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Q&A with the team

This year we welcome new EdTech Innovator Kiri Wilson to the TŌNUI Collab team and we also welcome back EdTech Innovator Jules Edwards.

Kiri has a background in education from Kohanga Reo, Primary and Tertiary and has taught at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and kura kaupapa around Aotearoa. Last year she worked with Digital Aotearoa introducing tamariki across Aotearoa to Electric Garden - a revolutionary learning tool mixing the art of growing food with computer programming and digital technologies.

Jules re-joins our team after an 8 month hiatus. Jules was a member of our team in 2018-19, juggling study life and work life as she completed her Bachelor of Computer Systems with EIT while also designing and teaching creative and innovative workshops for visiting school groups. In 2019, she took a break to welcome her first son into the world and we are excited to welcome her back into the lab.

We asked Jules and Kiri, along with Mac and Shanon, to share with you some of their tech tips for 2020....

What technology are you looking forward to learning more about this year?

KIRI: He ihiihi noku te whakatoo i te kaakano kia puawai ano te hua o Hine te wao. Ko ooku matiere ka rawekeweke, ko ooku karu ka aro, ki te rito e tipu mai ana i toonaa paa harakeke. Me whakapakari i te te taha matai karetao, tuhiwaehere, pakiwaituhi, kiriata, me ngaa aahutanga whakahaere.

I'm very excited to sew yet another seed of digital culture and research into my kete. I would appreciate support in Robotics, animations, more code, VR/AR. I'm sure there is a lot I need to learn and am very excited to do so.

JULES: I'm interested in learning about drone technology and how we can incorporate it in what we do at TŌNUI Collab.

SHANON: I’m excited about the Internet of Things (IoT) and I’m intrigued by how “smart home” technology is being used in the classroom. Did you know that Alexa can support your children’s spelling practice?

MAC: I can’t wait to have my first real go at 360 degree cameras. Taking 360 video footage and still images and then putting it in VR is a super exciting prospect!

What is the best app on your phone and why?

MAC: Nova Launcher is my favorite app. It’s actually a launcher which changes the way my home screen, apps drawer and pull down menus look. Highly customisable, easy to use and lightning quick interface. It makes my phone, MY PHONE and to boot… It’s free!

KIRI:GPS hei hoa matenga moku, I would be lost if it wasn't for this beauty.

JULES: Samsung health, i like to keep up my step count and challenge my friends.

SHANON: Te Reo Maori dictionary app - I am trying to increase my use and understanding of reo, the app is great for translating maori-to-english and english-to-maori.

What is your favourite pastime?

JULES: In my family we have anime night every Thursday. It's the best way to pass time. Never interrupt anime night! ;)

MAC: I can’t lie. I’m a huge video gamer. From Pong, to Super Mario to Street Fighter to Goldeneye 64 to Call of Duty… From the dawn of mainstream video games in 1983 till now. I love it all.

KIRI: Noho piri me taku whaanau, te tipi haere i te whenua, whakarongo ki ngaa waiata hei whakatau wairua.

Being with all my kids at the same time, traveling and listening to good music that soothes the soul.

SHANON: Last week I went out on the waka hourua with the team and it was AMAZING! I would love to spend more time on the waka and I'd also like to learn about celestial navigation.

Can you recommend a podcast?

SHANON: Without Fail by Gimlet Media. It’s candid conversations with people who have done hard things: what worked, what didn’t and why.

JULES: No I can't but, can you recommend a podcast?

MAC: I’m a huge sports fan as well, and I’ll regularly listen to The Herd with Colin Cowherd. He’s an outspoken, opinionated and a strong willed sports commentator and you’ll either love him or hate him. Regardless, as a sports fan he’s great to listen to!

KIRI: I'm very interested in listening to some podcasts if there are any recommendations around identity, self growth, matauranga maori.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our team about tech to use or podcasts to listen to, give us a shout out on Instagram at or drop us an email at

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