Kia ōra, my name is Tayla. I am a Year 13 student at Fiordland College in Te Anau, and this is my third year in NetNZ’s Economics course.

I first started the course as a Year 11, and at the time, I knew close to nothing about Economics. So looking back now, I can see just how naive and timid I was about the new experience. I remember that joining the class spooked me because answering any questions, let alone asking any seemed impossible. However, when I joined that first group call back in 2020, I found that those sitting across the screen felt the same. They were curious to see what it would be like underneath a blanket of apprehensiveness. I especially remember how welcoming everyone was, which made me feel supported. This comfort was also found in how easily digestible the content was.

Studying economics is best accompanied by discussion amongst peers and casual conversation. One hour-long video call a week seemed ominous at first because I didn’t think I would be able to learn everything that I needed to. However, I was wrong. Instead, I found that during all three years, the classes have been able to create a community bustling with noise from conversations filled with different theories and ideas. The teachers were also able to both support and prompt these exchanges further by continuing to ask questions. Using software including ‘Padlet’ and ‘Google Classroom,’ my classmates and I continuously built on our ideas. Economics through NetNZ did not sacrifice any discussion. I had feared losing that because the class was not like a traditional learning environment where everything is face to face. But it was not.

So thank you to NetNZ and my teachers from the past three years for creating a learning environment that has allowed me to connect with others across Aotearoa. I feel truly fortunate to have had the capability to take this course for three years. I am so grateful for the opportunity that has allowed me to reach a potential I would not have known I could fill without taking this course. 

By Tayla Roberts