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KS educators Alan Tamayose and Shantell De Silva collaborate to create a lesson for TED-Ed on Polynesian wayfinding and traditional navigation.

KS educators collaborate on TED-Ed Polynesian wayfinding lesson

June 19, 2018

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

This past Sunday marked the one-year anniversary since Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa officially returned home, completing her Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. The historic circumnavigationwas tremendously inspirational and the impact from what was accomplished is still felt today, with the waʻa still sailing around the pae ʻāina on a Mahalo, Hawaiʻi sail.  

Kamehameha Schools Senior Instructional Technology Specialist Alan Tamayose was inspired by the voyage and using newfound connections, saw an opportunity to extend learning to a wider audience.

“I was blessed to be a part of the TED-Ed Innovative Educators cohort this past school year,” shared Tamayose. “Having met the animators at TED HQ in New York, I saw the potential and reach of this platform. At the time, the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage was taking place and Disney’s Moana was all the rage.

“The timing was right.”

Tamayose collaborated with Hōkūleʻa crew member and KS Kapālama Dormitory Advisor Shantell De Silva. Together, they worked on a script with a team from TED-Ed (a writer, a voice actor, and an animator.) The entire process took about six months.

Ted-Ed launched the lesson in October 2017 and to date its received over two million views on Facebook and the Ted-Ed YouTube channel.

“I am pleased (and relieved) that the TED-Ed lesson has been well-received,” said Tamayose. “It was an opportunity to introduce a Hawaiian culture-based lesson to the world.

“I am proud that this lesson shared ʻōlelo and connected a global community of learners to the Hōkūleʻa. My hope is that the lesson will help to tell the story of the indigenous wisdom and ’moonshot’ achievements of our ancestors.”

See the Ted-Ed lesson.

The TED-Ed lesson video on Polynesian wayfinding has been viewed over two million times on the TED-Ed Facebook and YouTube channels.

Senior Instructional Technology Specialist Alan Tamayose was a participant in the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program and runs the TED-Ed Hawaiʻi group giving students an opportunity to express their voices.

KSK dorm advisor and KSK '85 alum Shantell De Silva served as a crewmember for leg 25 of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage along the East Coast of the United States.

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