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Making cross-curricular links between digital technology and other learning areas

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Duration: 2:55

At Aorere College, all year nine students take a whole year’s course called Digital Innovation and Design as a core subject. This gives students a foundation in digital fluency, digital technologies, and design to use across all learning areas. DP Stuart Kelly explains how students develop their digital fluency skills in the course by making connections to geography, maths, and sciences. Technologies teacher Angela White describes how students such as Lainey come to realise that maths is a key part of learning to create algorithms, setting the learning in an authentic context. Music teacher Brent Woods describes an activity that linked cultural identity and whakapapa with digital literacy using Google Earth.

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Title slide: Making cross-curricular links between digital technology and other learning areas

enabling e-Learning

Stuart Kelly, Deputy principal

In 9DID we are constantly ensuring that beyond the fundamental core skills that we are meeting the needs of the students in their other subjects. The two biggest emergences 

Outside of Aorere College building.

Students retrieving and using laptops in the classroom.

that we’ve seen in 9DID is we do a dedicated maps unit which has come out of geography. The NCEA standards in geography allow for increasing use of Google, street view, the different layers, and different strata. Stuart speaking to the camera.
So we actually teach the students how google maps actually work. We also tie it in with google earth, that came from feedback from the social studies department saying, hey can you get the students understanding the connections between for example, Google earth, street view, and also it enables students to see their place in the world. Students viewing Google Earth on a laptop.
The other one that we got a request for was to make sure that students had a Stuart speaking to the camera.
fundamental understanding of Google sheets because that is increasingly significant in the mathematics subjects, and in the sciences. So, after some initial hesitancy, Students working on laptops using Google Sheets.
we’re actually blown away by how capable the students were, picking up for example the basic arithmetic elements and also the basic set-up of Google sheets. The only way we can attribute the success of it, is that for the students it was just another unit. So they learn about Google sheets, and so that when they go to apply it in chemistry or physics or statistics or any other numerical context they’re at ease with it because to them it’s just another context of learning within the 9DID. Stuart speaking to the camera.

Angela White, Digital Technology teacher

We created a unit where students needed to look at Matariki and code a learning resource for a primary school. They had to code the stars with coordinates so the maths came in.

Students working at computers coding.
 “But this is maths, Miss!” And I said, “Well maths is important for everything." They start making connections cross-curricular about what they are learning in other areas is relevant – especially in technology because it pulls all the threads together. Angela speaking to the camera.

Lainey, year 12 student

With coding we mainly use numbers so most of it is 

Lainey speaking to the camera.
trying to create the angles. Knowing what we do in math helps with Two students coding at computer.
our coding especially, since coding does mainly use math. Lainey speaking to the camera.

Brent McGarva, Head of Music

I think the social sciences was the most interesting cross-curricular point that came in. Being a music teacher it is very outside of my area

Brent speaking to the camera.
but moving into Google earth, playing games on that and having the students show us through identity where they have come from, where their families have come from, Students at computers using Google Earth
was really interesting to see how far you can go from a cross-curricular perspective. Brent speaking to the camera.


Tags: Cross-curricular, Mathematics and statistics, Social sciences, Technology, Secondary, Coding, Design, Kia Ako