Learning for eight-year-old Joe has not been easy while the COVID-19 pandemic rips through the world.
Like so many young people in New Zealand and around the globe, Joe’s schooling has been disrupted, and alternative methods needed to be found to ensure he kept up with his work.
Joe, who lives in South Auckland and attends Remuera Primary School, spent lockdown with his family, including his aunty Mele Atiola, a teacher in South Auckland.
She says online learning from home meant Joe had to complete work, with minimal adult support, as many of his whānau are essential workers or adults working from home.
“We couldn’t give all-day support due to having our own workload,” Mele explains.
Left somewhat to his own devices, YouTube has become one of Joe’s favourite learning tools.
With distance learning during endless lockdowns due to COVID-19, Joe, who is of Tongan heritage, has been inspired by different “YouTubers” and the knowledge they share, and aspires to assist his peers with their learning.
“Joe is especially fond of YouTube videos about famous soccer players, facts about United States Presidents, and he has recently developed interest in basketball,” Mele says.
The impressive year four student has created his own YouTube channel, Education with Joe, and he has made several videos, which Mele has shared with her students, online.
Joe’s videos share Mathematics strategies he uses to solve equations, while one video also covers learning Te Reo Kīwaha.
He currently has seven videos on his channel but is hoping to make a lot more, and he wants to expand his video content to share knowledge about other areas of the curriculum.
Eventually, he hopes to create videos related to his Tongan culture and other Pacific cultures.
Joe has many other ambitions, including making it as a famous footballer, and YouTuber, but also gaining a good, solid education so he can one day support his mum, his sister Lute and his grandparents.