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Kamehameha Schools Cultural Specialist Laiana Kanoa-Wong introduces the Holomoana portal on KS Digital. Holomoana features navigational lessons, learning resources, and games that teachers and families can use to educate students in preschool through high school.

KS’ new Holomoana website offers wayfinding lessons for kumu and haumāna

May 9, 2022

Kumu Sarah Prentice has never been on a waʻa, but her haumāna at Kamehameha Schools Kohala Preschool are exploring the world of voyaging thanks to engaging activities available through Holomoana, one of the newest portals on KS Digital. The site is a collaboration between KS and the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Holomoana features navigational lessons, learning resources, and games that teachers and families can use to educate students in preschool through high school.

“I was feeling a little bit intimidated by the subject because there is so much to learn,” said Prentice, who became a lead kumu at the beginning of the school year. “For me as a new kumu, it was really helpful to have a place I knew I could go – that the information was correct and appropriate and just right there at my fingertips. It was very easy to learn and very user-friendly.”

Holomoana is also part of a virtual canoe recently launched by PVS after Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia set sail for Tahiti last month., named after Waʻa Honua (Canoe for the Earth), is a digital platform that will link people to Polynesian wayfinding through the Kealaikahiki Voyage to Tahiti and back, and the Moananuiākea Voyage that starts next year.

“The ability of technology to advance Hawaiian culture-based education is powerful. KS Digital allows us to move closer to achieving our vision of reaching more people of all ages worldwide and personalizing their learning experience,” explained KS Information Technology Director Dean Tomita.

Holomoana also offers heritage lessons tied to the Kealaikahiki Voyage that were developed by the KS Kaʻiwakīloumoku Pacific Indigenous Institute. 

"Kamehameha Schools has been a key partner to PVS since our first voyage in 1976,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society CEO Nainoa Thompson. “With its strong commitment to ‘Ōiwi Leadership, KS has been connecting voyaging to classrooms for decades.  And now with the Holomoana website and PVS' Wa‘a Honua, KS will be sharing voyaging education and culture to people around the world."

KS is one of PVS’ educational and research partners and is providing content focused on developing the “navigator mindset.”

“To go far, we go together. As crew members on the third wa‘a, we partner, collaborate, and work closely with other crew members (partners) to focus on reaching our islands (goals),” said Mark Ellis, a senior instructional designer in KS’ Enterprise Technology Division.

KS is working on new lessons and activities that will be added to Holomoana this summer.

“We’re always building towards that full E Ola! learning experience,” said Jesse Lucas, an instructional technology resource teacher who is helping to develop Holomoana lessons for Nā Kula Kamaliʻi. “I’m really excited to try and include the technology and make it work for kumu.”

Keiki at KS’ Kohala Preschool cut out and assembled parts of a waʻa for a wayfinding activity.

Haumāna played a cardinal points game to guide their waʻa to an island.

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