Kanaka Digital Technology


By Nā‘aiakalani Colburn

Young, motivated Hawaiians who would like to learn basic technology skills, while being immersed in Hawaiian values, cultural practices and language, can now earn a Micro-Credential in Kanaka Digital Technology.

EA Ecoversity is now accepting registrations for this latest EA E-Learning course with preference given to young Hawaiians ages 15-30 who want to become EA Ecoversity learners and work towards a diploma certifying them as educated 21st century Hawaiians. To apply visit kuakanaka.com. The Kanaka Digital Technology course opens on Nov. 1 but learners may continue to apply through Nov. 14 which is when registration for the course will officially close. Space is limited.

The course will run from November 2022 to February 2023 and introduce emerging Hawaiians to basic 21st century technology, of vital importance not only for pursuing higher education, but for all entering the workforce. Kanaka Digital Technology requires no previous knowledge of technology, however participants will need a computer and reliable access to WIFI.

And Kanaka Digital Technology is asynchronous, meaning activities can be completed anytime and anywhere there is internet access.

All lessons are highly interactive and designed from a Hawaiian worldview. No previous knowledge of Hawaiian language or culture required. In addition to basic digital tech skills, learners will learn how to use technology creatively and ethically as they kūlia i ka nuʻu (strive for the summit). All participants who successfully complete the course earn a Kanaka Digital Technology Micro-Credential displayed in their E-Portfolio, which they will create as part of this course.

“Currently 83% of Hawaiians have no post-secondary credentials, compared to 42% statewide, making it extremely difficult to survive in Hawaiʻi,” said EA Ecoversity Executive Director Pōlanimakamae Kahakalau-Kalima (27), a mother of three.

“We want to provide our generation with the economic power that will enable us to stay in our kulāiwi and raise our keiki here. One way to do this is to grow confident, self-motivated, culturally grounded Hawaiians who are proficient in utilizing digital tools to integrate ʻike Hawaiʻi as they become creators of information about Hawaiʻi and Hawaiians.”

Kanaka Digital Technology is one of many EA E-Learning courses sponsored by EA Ecoversity, a tuition-free culture-based higher education and career training program for young Hawaiians. EA stands for Education with Aloha since EA E-learning immerses participants in an atmosphere of aloha while they earn micro-credentials, captured in a digital portfolio. Kanaka Digital Technology was designed by the Kū-A-Kanaka EA E-Learning Team under the direction of award-winning educator Dr. Kū Kahakalau and is supported by the Kamehameha Schools. Kū-A-Kanaka is a Native Hawaiian owned and operated social enterprise headquartered in Hilo, providing culture-based products and services for a pono Hawaiʻi. Kū-A-Kanakaʻs fiscal sponsor is Hoʻoulu Lāhui, a Hawaiʻi Island nonprofit organization.

Since modern online learning platforms are all framed from a linear, Western perspective, Kahakalau and her team of researchers have spent the last decade conceptualizing and wireframing ʻĪpuka EA, an Indigenous Learning Exploration Platform that will set new standards in Hawaiian online education.

Fundraising efforts are currently underway to begin to code ʻĪpuka EA, which will allow young Hawaiians to earn FREE post-secondary Micro-Credentials that increase their employability, while educating Hawaiians of all ages about our native language, values and culture. Tax-deductible donations can be made at kuakanaka.com. For more updates or info about Kanaka Digital Technology, EA Ecoversity or Kū-A-Kanaka, follow Kū-A-Kanaka on Instagram or Facebook or visit www.kuakanaka.com.

Nāʻaiakalani Colburn is a native Hawaiian mother, educator, Hawaiian language advocate and community contributor. An employee of Kū-A-Kanaka, Colburn is a vital part of the EA E-Learning Team, as well as the ʻĪpuka EA Design and Fundraising Teams.