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Research and readings

This section provides links to up-to-date research, which supports the development of e-learning capability.

Read research reports   from the Ministry of Education.

Equitable digital access to the internet beyond school: A literature review
A study, commissioned by the Ministry of Education, analysing the evidence to answer the questions:

  1. What is the educational value of home internet access?
  2. How can the educational value of home internet access be maximised?

Authors: Louise Starkey, Elizabeth Eppel, Allan Sylvester, Rana Daoud and Tho Vo
Published: July 2018

Educationally powerful connections with parents and whānau (November 2015)
The Education Review Office (ERO) evaluated how well 256 schools worked with parents and whānau to respond to students at risk of underachievement. Of particular interest is the Focus on the use of technology  in the Findings section, which gives examples of schools had working with parents and whānau to accelerate and support progress and improve achievement using technologies.
Author: ERO
Published: November, 2015

Educationally powerful connections summary
A 2-page PDF summary of the Educationally powerful connections with parents and whānau report. This includes key findings, quotes from students, parents, teachers, and leaders, and an inquiry framework that teachers and leaders may find useful when thinking about how to improve learning partnerships with the parents and whānau of students who are not achieving.
Published: 2015

Education for Māori: Relationships between schools and whānau
This report brings together information about relationships between families and schools. It gives examples of practices that build effective relationships and highlights the importantance for Māori to know who the people behind the school gate are, as well as what those people do. Whānau, primary, and secondary schools were surveyed to find out what they thought about their relationships.
Author: Report for the controller and auditor-general Tumuaki o te Mana Aratoke
Published: 2015

Educational leaders sabbatical reports: Leadership and ICT

The Ministry of Education hosts principals’ sabbatical reports on Educational Leaders as part of the sabbatical scheme agreements. While the sabbatical reports may be of interest to viewers, their content is not owned, controlled, or necessarily endorsed by the New Zealand Ministry of Education.

Learning with digital technologies – findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools
This chapter starts with principals’ perspectives on digital technologies and their use. It then looks at some ways students are using digital technologies for learning, including growth in activities such as gaming and coding. Teacher views on the value of digital technologies for learning are then described, followed by their views of the new Digital Technologies outcomes.
Author: Cathy Wylie and Jo MacDonald, NZCER
Published: June 2020

On Your Marks...Get Set...Go! A Tale of Six Schools and the Digital Technologies Curriculum Content
ERO conducted case studies of six schools’ implementation of the digital technologies curriculum content in Term 1, 2019. Schools that had successfully integrated the curriculum had leaders who promoted a growth mindset for teachers and looked to integrate digital technologies into existing curriculum. Timely professional development for teachers and positive community connections also enhanced schools’ ability to integrate the digital technologies curriculum.
Author: Education Review Office
Published: January 2020

The Leadership Strategy for the teaching profession of Aotearoa New Zealand
The Leadership Strategy supports the growth and development of leadership capability for all registered teachers across English medium and Māori medium settings, in positional and non-positional roles. The Strategy sets out a guiding framework for teachers to develop their leadership capability – aiming to make leadership development accessible to everyone.
Author: Education Council NZ
Published: August 2018

The Educational Leadership Capability Framework
The Capability Framework is designed to support the Leadership Strategy to advance educational leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand. It outlines the core educational capabilities needed for effective leadership across different levels of the profession. The Capability Framework provides all teachers with a practical tool to identify, grow, and develop their leadership capability. It illustrates what leadership looks like in practice, in kura, schools, and early childhood education services.
Author: Education Council NZ
Published: August 2018

Leading innovative learning in New Zealand schools
The Education Review Office (ERO) visited 12 schools to see how they were preparing their students as 21st century learners. Leaders were innovative, rethinking and transforming teaching and learning to equip students with the knowledge, skills and qualifications required for their future. In doing so, they also maximised learning opportunities offered by digital technology and flexible learning spaces.
Author: Education Review Office (ERO)
Published: April 2018

New Zealand education in 2025: Lifelong learners in a connected world
The Government's vision for NZ Education as a highly connected interdependent system that equips students with skills for the future, fosters students' identity language and culture, preparing them to be successful citizens for the 21st century.

Towards digital fluency
An overview of the range of initiatives for Digital Technologies in education to ensure all New Zealand schools are equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, teachers get the support and resources they need to be digitally fluent, and every student benefits from the advantages of digital technologies for learning.

Digital technologies for learning: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016
Parents and whānau were asked about the importance they placed on their children having opportunities for learning with digital technology. Teachers and principals were asked:

  • how students were using digital technology in the classroom, and how this was benefiting their learning
  • about their school’s digital infrastructure, and the degree of support they had to help them make good use of this for teaching and learning
  • about the role of digital technology in supporting teachers’ own professional learning and networking.

Author: R. Bolstad
Published: 2017

The OECD handbook for innovative learning environments
This handbook provides practical tools for teachers and leaders to develop innovative learning environments. It focuses on: using the principles of learning to design learning environments, the 7+3 framework, evaluative thinking, and transformation and change in learning ecosystems.
Author: OECD
Published: 2017

Four year plan and statements of intent
This section Ministry of Education website provides access to our Four Year Plan 2016-2020 and previous statement of intent publications, setting out key elements of how the Ministry of Education will contribute to the delivery of Government themes and ministerial priorities for education, the actions that will be taken to achieve those outcomes and budgets for the year.

Digital fluency and digital citizenship
Netsafe presents a revised model of digital citizenship. Digital citizenship combines the confident, fluent use of:

  • skills and strategies to access technology to communicate, connect, collaborate, and create
  • attitudes, underpinned by values that support personal integrity and positive connection with others
  • understanding and knowledge of the digital environments and contexts in which they are working, and how they integrate on/offline spaces.

Author: NetSafe
Published: November 2016

Teaching excellence through professional learning and policy reform: Lessons from around the world
A comprehensive report prepared for the OECD based on data and comparative analysis from several recent OECD publications. The report covers:

  • what knowledge, skills, and character qualities successful teachers require
  • what policies can help teachers acquire knowledge and skills they need
  • what governments can do to implement education policies effectively
  • professional teachers and successful reforms

Author: Andreas Schleicher
Published: 2016

Raising student achievement through targeted actions
The national picture for targeted actions in primary and secondary schools is summarised in this report. It provides examples from the schools that were doing best in setting targets and taking actions that raised student achievement.
Author: ERO
Published: December 2015

What works best in education: The politics of collaborative expertise
The greatest influence on student progression in learning is having expert teachers and school leaders working together to maximise the effect of their teaching on all students in their school. School leaders have a major role in harnessing the expertise in their schools and to lead successful transformations. Support, time, and resources  need to be given for this to happen. In this paper, Hattie describes what a model of collaborative expertise should look like and how to make it a reality. He breaks it down into eight tasks.
Author: John Hattie
Published: 2015 

Professional inquiry report on professional collaborative inquiry and technology
This paper focuses on the question – how are schools supporting collaborative professional inquiry with technology? It provides a snapshot of four primary schools and looks at how technology supports the conditions for effective collaboration and inquiry into practice.
Author: Nick Rate
Published: October 2015

Evaluation of the Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy
Findings from the year one evaluation of a pilot initiative called the Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy (MDTA) are outlined in this report. The pilot was set up to help keep initial teacher education programmes up-to-date with 21st century changes in education.
Author: Rosemary Hipkins, Jenny Whatman, and Jo MacDonald (New Zealand Council for Eduactional Research)
Published: October 2015

Schooling redesigned: Towards innovative learning systems
What does redesigning schools and schooling through innovation mean in practice? How might it be brought about? These questions have inspired an international reflection on “Innovative Learning Environments” (ILE).
Author: OECD
Published: October 2015

Extending innovative e-learning leadership
In this project the researchers worked with experienced principals to identify and analyse effective e-learning leadership strategies, and make these visible and accessible for other school leaders.
Authors: Dr Niki Davis, Dr Julie Mackey, and Carolyn Stuart
Published: September 2015

Students, computers, and learning: Managing the connection  
Based on results from PISA 2012, this report discusses differences in access to and use of ICT. The report examines the relationship among computer access in schools, computer use in classrooms, and performance in the PISA assessment. As the report makes clear, all students first need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills so that they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitised societies of the 21st century.
Author: PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris
Published: September 2015

Inclusive practices for students with special needs in schools
How well students with special education needs are included in New Zealand schools is examined in this report.
Authors: ERO
Published: March 2015

Future-focused learning in connected communities
The report focuses on transforming teaching and learning, enabled by technologies that are widespread in our society. It suggests ten strategic priorities for 21st century skills and digital competencies.
Authors: Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye's 21st Century Learning Reference Group
Published: May 2014

Conditions for effective smart learning environments
Smart learning environments (SLEs) are defined in this paper as physical environments that are enriched with digital, context-aware and adaptive devices, to promote better and faster learning. This paper provides an analysis of how "human learning interfaces" are used to identify the conditions for the development of effective smart learning environments.
Author: Rob Koper
Published: 2014

Primary and intermediate schools 2013
The main findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools, conducted in July and August 2013 are presented in this report. The views of principals, teachers, boards of trustees and parents are given. The report covers many aspects of school experience, including school resources, school interactions with government agencies, The New Zealand Curriculum in schools, National Standards, student wellbeing, and use of technology.
Authors: Cathy Wylie and Linda Bonne, NZCER
Published: 2014

Future-focused learning in connected communities 
This report aims to help inform government planning around 21st century skills and digital competencies. It suggests ten strategic priorities, including the creation of modern learning environments that are vibrant and safe, investment in high-quality content and systems, and development of collaborative networks for teachers and leaders to share ideas. The report covers potential device policies and further professional development for teachers.
Authors: Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye's 21st Century Learning Reference Group
Published: May 2014

Curriculum integration: What is happening in New Zealand schools?

This NZCER research report presents findings on teachers’ rationales for curriculum integration; the approaches and practices used to integrate curriculum; and the learning opportunities these approaches provide for students.
Published: 2019

Games, gamification, and game design for learning: Innovative practice and possibilities in New Zealand schools

This report discusses the potential of games to support learning, and what innovative game-based (or “gameful”) learning and teaching practices can look like in a range of New Zealand school settings.
Authors:  Rachel Bolstad and Sue McDowall
Published: 2019

Closing the STEM gap: Why STEM classes and careers still lack girls and what we can do about it

This American research, commissioned by Microsoft, focuses on understanding what causes girls to lose interest in STEM subjects and careers and the strategies and interventions with the greatest potential to reverse the trend. Findings indicate conditions and context can make a significant difference. Showing girls how STEM is applicable outside the classroom to make the world a better place influences choices.
Author:  Dr. Shalini Kesar and Microsoft
Published: 2018

Digital technologies for learning: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016
Parents and whānau were asked about the importance they placed on their children having opportunities for learning with digital technology. Teachers and principals were asked:

  • how students were using digital technology in the classroom, and how this was benefiting their learning
  • about their school’s digital infrastructure, and the degree of support they had to help them make good use of this for teaching and learning
  • about the role of digital technology in supporting teachers’ own professional learning and networking.

Author: R. Bolstad
Published: 2017

A research inquiry investigating how some forward thinking secondary schools are maintaining future focused and innovate practice despite their traditional settings. 
Author: Rowan Taigel
Published: 2016

Educators who believe: Understanding the enthusiasm of teachers who use digital technologies in the classroom
This study used qualitative methods to explore why some teachers embrace the use of digital game-play (DGP) in the classroom. A summary of the research is on the Digital Education Research Network (DERN) blogpost – Teachers and digital games in the classroom .
Authors: C. Stieler-Hunt and C.M. Jones
Published: 2015

Preparing for a renaissance in assessment
The authors argue that current assessment methods are no longer working, and new technologies will transform assessment and testing in education. It itemises steps in a "Framework for Action" that the authors suggest should be taken for policymakers, schools, school-system leaders, and other key players to prepare for the assessment renaissance.
Authors: Hill, Peter; Barber, Michael
Date Published: 2014

Towards digital enablement: A literature review

This report is a literature review looking at digital technology and the role this plays in education.
Author: Charles Newton, Commissioned by the Ministry of Education
Date Published: December 2018

Browse all BES cases
A complete list of all 32 cases from across the best evidence synthesis (BES) publications on Education Counts. The best evidence syntheses bring together research evidence about ‘what works’ for diverse (all) learners in education.

 

Closing the STEM gap: Why STEM classes and careers still lack girls and what we can do about it
This American research, commissioned by Microsoft, focuses on understanding what causes girls to lose interest in STEM subjects and careers and the strategies and interventions with the greatest potential to reverse the trend. Findings indicate conditions and context can make a significant difference. Showing girls how STEM is applicable outside the classroom to make the world a better place influences choices.
Author:  Dr. Shalini Kesar and Microsoft
Published: 2018

Ngā hangarau matihiko i ngā kura ara reo Māori | Māori-medium ICT research report 2016: Digital technologies
This report presents the findings from the 2016 survey on how Māori-medium kura are using digital technologies. The key findings of the survey are described in relation to the key areas of inquiry in the survey: school-wide strategies, access, use, usefulness, impact, barriers, te reo Māori, and communication.
Authors: Hineihaea Murphy and Dee Reid, Haemata Limited.
Published: May 2017

Digital technologies in schools 2016-17
The 20/20 Trust Digital technologies in schools report presents findings and information from the Digital Technologies in Schools survey coordinated by the Trust. The survey objective was to ascertain how New Zealand schools manage access to, and the use of, digital technologies as a medium for curriculum delivery and student learning. It includes results of developments into future-focused learning, school ICT infrastructure, the use of networks, software, teaching applications, internet access and usage, ICT planning and funding, e-learning developments, professional development, and use of social software.
Authors: Mark Johnson, James Maguire, Annita Wood for 20/20 Trust
Published: April 2017

NZTech advance education technology summit: Leading for 21st century learning
This briefing paper provides insights from the NZTech Advance Education Technology Summit, including key observations from the Leaders Forum discussions about achieving digital fluency.
Author: NZ Technology Industry Association
Published: August 2016

The effect of fibre broadband on student learning
About two students at an average-sized primary school will reach the National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics because of the school’s access to fibre broadband. The study from Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust (NZ) uses the fact that schools gained access to UFB at different times to evaluate the effect on academic performance. It is the first research anywhere in the world to specifically evaluate the effect of fibre broadband on educational achievement.
Authors: Arthur Grimes and Wilbur Townsend
Published: 2017

Innovating education and educating for innovation: The power of digital technologies and skills
The available evidence on innovation in education, the impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning, the role of digital skills and the role of educational industries in the process of innovation is discussed in this report. The report argues for smarter policies, involving all stakeholders, for innovation in education.
Author: OECD
Published: 2016

Manaiakalani: The hook from heaven
Improvement in student learning outcomes following five years of one-to-one learning using Google Apps and Hapara teacher dashboard are highlighted in this case-study.
Author: Hapara Inc
Published: 2015

Clever classrooms
There is clear evidence that well-designed primary school classrooms boost children’s learning progress in reading, writing, and maths. Three types of physical characteristic of the classrooms were assessed: Stimulation, Individualisation and Naturalness – the SIN design principles.
Authors: Professor Peter Barrett, Dr Yufan Zhang, Dr Fay Davies, Dr Lucinda Barrett – University of Salford, Manchester, UK
Published: December 2015

Digital Technology – Safe and responsible use in schools
This guide provides general advice for schools about preventing incidents by promoting safe and responsible use of digital technology. It is a companion to the guidelines for the surrender and retention of property searches.
Author: NetSafe for the Ministry of Education
Published: 2015

This report also draws from over 8000 requests for help and incident reports that NetSafe received from individuals, businesses and other organisations in 2014. These provide a unique snapshot of the digital challenges that New Zealanders face, and approaches to combat them. It highlights the realworld
challenges that all Kiwis can experience online regardless of their age, location or even how "digitally savvy" they are.
Author: NetSafe
Published: 2015

Digital technologies in New Zealand schools 2014 report
Findings from the 2014 Digital Technologies in Schools survey. Findings include: planning with digital technologies, access and use of digital devices, use of technologies in learning, the impact of digital technologies, professional development, and community engagement.
Authors: Research New Zealand, prepared for the 2020 Communications Trust
Published: October 2014

Disrupting the boundaries of teaching and learning: How digital devices became a resource for transformative change in a time of crisis
Findings from The Pegasus Digital Devices Project, an initiative of the Greater Christchurch School Network (GCSN), in response to the earthquakes of Christchurch in 2010 and 2011. The Pegasus Digital Devices Project saw the integration of 600 digital devices into 11 primary schools from the eastern Pegasus Bay region of Christchurch. The report outlines how the project came about, who was involved, how the devices were integrated into schools, and the learning and change that occurred for teachers, students and the community as a result.
Authors: Louise Taylor, Tara Fagan and Merryn Dunmill (CORE Education) for Ministry of Education
Published: April 2014

Ngā hangarau matihiko i ngā kura ara reo Māori | Māori-medium ICT research report 2016: Digital technologies
This report presents the findings from the 2016 survey on how Māori-medium kura are using digital technologies. The key findings of the survey are described in relation to the key areas of inquiry in the survey: school-wide strategies, access, use, usefulness, impact, barriers, te reo Māori, and communication.
Authors: Hineihaea Murphy and Dee Reid, Haemata Limited.
Published: May 2017


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