Victoria University is the number one university in New Zealand for research. When the Faculty of Education’s Te Kura Māori department saw a gap in resources for teachers’ professional development, they came up with the idea for the Kura app.
The department had already created podcasts and videos but the idea of learning Te Reo through game play was completely new and there was nothing yet like it on the market.
Because this was such a new idea, the department says they were “very green” and needed to find developers who would be able to work with them on a concept that had not yet been fully scoped out.
By searching for local developers, they found LittleMonkey and chose us because we were able to have face to face meetings. After initial contact they felt we were the right fit for their needs and we started working together.
As Product Owner, Victoria University enjoyed being able to learn about game play throughout the development process and felt easily guided by the LittleMonkey team.
They loved LittleMonkey’s “can do” attitude and found that whatever they came up with we were able to find a solution for it. Nothing was out of the question and communication was always open. Having one person who they spoke to throughout the whole project made it straight forward and all questions and queries were responded to promptly with clear, simple and easy to understand answers.
The completed app is Kura, a cross-platform language learning game, featuring competitive play and customisable avatars.
It’s a fun and interactive way to learn Te Reo through games and can be used by all ages, from school children through to adults. It is available for both Apple and Android Smartphones and there is a PC version designed for use in education centres and schools with computer access.
Kura has been a wonderfully successful app. In the first month of release it saw over 2500 downloads on iTunes and more than 600 on the Play Store. Kura has been one of Apple’s top ten educational apps and it remains hugely popular with all twenty of the department’s schools playing it. Victoria University say they had no idea when they started that the Kura app would grow “into the beast that it has become today.”
After completing the Kura project, we were asked to create the follow up app, Puna, which is now available as another fun and interactive resource for learners and educators of Te Reo Māori.