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Curriculum learning areas

Transform your teaching role through strategic and deliberate planning for the use of ICTs. 

  • Plan to integrate devices into everyday practices in the classroom.
  • Embed digital technologies effectively into needs-driven planning and practice.
  • Reflect on the way your learners can develop higher order understanding of the curriculum through effective use of digital technologies.

These pages provide NZ classroom examples of successful teaching and learning approaches to using digital technologies in the classroom. Each page contains collated resources to support teaching.

Why use digital technologies to support learning? 

Shifts and improvements in students’ learning occur when teachers used the devices to support:

  • multiple learning pathways
  • self and peer assessment
  • personalised learning.

Providing students with multiple pathways caters for diversity (different student learning needs and preferences). Learning is reinforced by exploring the curriculum from different angles, using different approaches. Students have more choice and variety in the ways they engage with their learning. Having multiple learning pathways helps to foster motivation in students because their interests and strengths are used as a vehicle for exploring new concepts and reinforcing learning. Using digital devices to construct and share their learning, students are able to develop competencies in authentic contexts.

By having easy access to a digital device students are able to interact with their learning, for example using video shows rather than tells students how to do something. Students can return as often as necessary to information anywhere, anytime if it is online. They can learn at their own pace and have a lot more control and agency over their own learning. Digital devices support student collaboration and reciprocity with peers, teachers, and beyond the classroom.  

Because students can easily modify their work in a digital format, they are more open to seeking feedback and making improvements. This facilitates more interaction between teachers and students, and between peers in the assessment process. Because students can replay work, or view and change work immediately, they are more inclined to challenge themselves. Assessment is no longer the responsibility of the teacher but a shared responsibility, where learning and improving alongside others goes hand-in-hand.

Effective teachers use e-learning tools to:
  • create new learning environments using technologies, allowing students to:
    • explore and experiment
    • think critically and work creatively
    • reflect and plan
    • use feedback and self-assessment
    • create new knowledge
  • make teaching and learning more effective and efficient by using customised tools that aid preparation, programming assessment, and reporting
  • customise learning experiences to recognise individual, cultural, and developmental differences
  • enhance communication and collaboration to build partnerships beyond the classroom, expanding the community of learners and enhancing the quality of learning
  • create new education communities by increasing the modes of teaching and learning, and the range of people who can be involved.

Enabling the 21st Century Learner, (p.10)


Teachers and students at Finlayson Park school share how using technologies is benefiting student learning in the classroom by providing more flexibility for learning. 

Identify how technologies can be integrated into curriculum areas 

Use the discussion starters in conjunction with the e-Learning Planning Framework  to identify how technologies can be integrated into curriculum areas for students and teachers at your school.

  • How can you support staff to understand how technology can enhance learning across the learning areas?
  • How can technology enhance rich, higher-order thinking in the learning areas?
  • Who are the school’s e-learning leaders who can help staff plan rich, authentic, and relevant e-learning experiences that align with the school’s curriculum and e-learning plan?
  • What kinds of technologies and resources are available school-wide to support specific learning areas?
  • What do you already know about the kinds of technologies that can help students engage in higher-level thinking in specific learning areas?
  • How do you make appropriate decisions about what technologies to use as part of your planning, teaching, and assessment?

Practical steps for integrating technologies into learning and teaching

Use these practical steps in conjunction with the e-Learning Planning Framework  to integrate technologies across the curriculum.

  • Support staff, through a range of professional learning activities, to understand how to use technologies to foster deep learning.
  • Check that classroom practice across the school is aligned with the vision for e-learning and strategic direction.
  • Encourage staff to regularly share innovative e-learning practices to support learning within and beyond school.
  • Through cycles of reflection and review, collect and analyse data to show impact on the attitude and achievement of all learners, particularly Māori and Pasifika students.
  • Student using digital technologies to support learning
    Based on students’ strengths and needs, co-construct the learning intentions and activities, then select appropriate technologies that will enhance or enable the learning.
  • Plan for learning experiences that use technologies to promote problem solving, communication, collaboration, and higher order thinking.
  • Make sure all students have access to good quality e-learning experiences that best suit their learning needs.
  • Provide e-learning opportunities where students can:
    • collaborate
    • personalise, interact with, present, and create their own content
    • deliberately build understandings about how to use technology appropriately and meaningfully, for example information literacy
    • reflect on their learning
    • understand how to be a responsible digital citizen, including making responsible decisions about how to share their work, who with, and acknowledging the source of images and others work.

Nigel Mitchell, HOD English at Tawa College, and students in his class talk about the benefits of using Prezi to collaborate and take control of their own learning. Using the Internet and solo taxonomy, students are involved in thinking about and selecting the information they want. Using this tool has allowed him to guide what students are doing rather than be the expert. Nigel reflects, "Students found much more information and it’s a lot more efficient and engaging for them as well because they own that stuff." 

e-Learning across the curriculum

School stories, snapshots of learning, and resources to support you with planning for using technologies in the classroom - enabling collaboration, personalised learning, and authentic learning experiences across the curriculum.

School stories demonstrating how technologies are used to provide personalised, authentic learning experiences integrated across a range of curriculum areas

Filter by: Primary Secondary


Geocaching was used at Papatoetoe High School to strengthen students’ "learning to learn" capabilities, and deepen teachers’ understandings of effective teaching.

Tags: Cross-curricular, Health and physical education, Social sciences, Utilities/tools/gadgets, Lower secondary, Secondary

Switch it! Maker 2 and Choose it! Maker 2

Switch it! Maker 2 and Choose it! Maker 2 were used to help a 10 year old student, who was non-verbal, communicate activity choices with a single press head-switch at Kaka Street Special School.

Tags: Cross-curricular, Diverse learners, Assistive technologies, Utilities/tools/gadgets, Lower primary, Lower secondary, Middle primary, Primary, Secondary, Upper primary, Upper secondary

Year 9 and 10 Digital Innovation and Design course at Aorere College

At Aorere College, all year nine students take a whole year course called Digital Innovation and Design as a core subject. This snapshot outlines the course content, why the school took this route, how the course was developed, and the impact for students and teachers.

Tags: Computational thinking, Cross-curricular, Design, STEM/STEAM, Technology, Lower secondary

Year 9 and 10 Integrated programme at Orewa College

In January 2020 Orewa College trialled an integrated curriculum approach. Year 9 and 10 students no longer had timetabled specialist subjects. Instead, they designed a local curriculum in which students undertook eight topics during the year with each topic being taught by three specialist teachers. This snapshot outlines why the school took this route, how the approach was developed and the learnings from the evaluation after six months.

Tags: Cross-curricular, Lower secondary, Secondary

Developing a STEAM programme for years 9-13

Teachers at Westlake Girls High School developed a STEAM programme teaching science, technology, engineering, arts (including social studies), and mathematics in an integrated way rather than as discrete subjects.

Tags: Cross-curricular, Design thinking, STEM/STEAM, Secondary

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Key resource

TPACK (Technology–Pedagogy–Content Knowledge)
A useful framework to help you align students' learning intentions, choice of learning activities, and choice of technologies.

New Zealand e-learning resources to use in your classroom teaching and learning programme. 

Digital Technologies Guidelines

  • a range of tools and learning experiences aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum
  • a set of achievement standards to assess knowledge and skills not covered by the generic technology achievement standards
  • for years 11–13.

DigitalNZ – Ā-tihi o Aotearoa

  • Access more than 19 million NZ images, articles, videos and sound files in digital format. 
  • More than 150 organisations contribute to the service including Te Papa, the National Library and Television New Zealand, as well as many other universities, libraries, museums and government agencies. 
  • New Zealand's most complete collection of digital content, with much of it available for reuse in the classroom. 

Free to mix: An educator’s guide to reusing digital content

  • A downloadable teacher's guide to explore digital storytelling, copyright, and data reuse, written in conjunction with the National Library 
  • Help for you and your students to confidently create a remix from material you know you have the rights to reuse.
  • Shows students why copyright and licensing exist, how they work, and how they can apply licences to their own work through simple information, suggestions for activities, and links to more resources.

LEARNZ online field trips

Free, supported online experiences that take students and teachers to places throughout New Zealand and beyond, where they link with experts to investigate and explore their world.

Netsafe's Learn Guide Protect framework

Information about digital citizenship. Learn Guide Protect is divided into three components:

  • the skills students learn to keep themselves safe
  • the guidance they access to learn how to manage challenges
  • the protective mechanisms schools can use to improve their immediate safety.

Online Māori classroom resources

Practical digital resources, including interactive games and apps, to support student learning about Māori language and tikanga. These include a selection of resources to support Māori language week. 

Online Pasifika classroom resources

Practical digital resources to support student learning about Pasifika languages and culture. 

Software for Learning

Snapshots of Learning demonstrating the seamless integration of digital technologies in learning and teaching to raise student learning outcomes in the classroom.

Arts Online  – resources to support your teaching of the Arts using ICTs. 

  • Music resources  – Music software and general software used in case studies in New Zealand schools.
  • Visual arts resources  – Visual arts software used in case studies in New Zealand schools. 

e-ako maths
An NZ Maths resource to support students with developing a sound knowledge and understanding of place value, fractions, algebra, and basic facts. e-Ako maths provides a pathway of interactive learning modules (e-ako) for students to work through. Register each student for their own account so that they can explore the material at their own pace.

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Education apps and e-books
e-books from the Ready to Read series and other apps, are available on iTunes or GooglePlay as free downloads.

The Volume Purchase Program  – allows educational institutions to purchase iOS apps and books in volume.

English Online resources
Links to classroom resources useful for teaching English.

Learning Languages with ICTs
Case studies describing the use of ICT in learning languages from years 7–10.

NZ Maths
Digital learning objects to support your classroom teaching and learning programme.

School Journals
Suggestions for using School Journals with your students. Available in digital and print. 

School Journal Story Library
Suggestions for student lessons and activities. Available in digital and print. 

Science Learning Hub
Online resources for teachers to use for planning and with students in years 5–10.

Curriculum-based online activities and games for primary and intermediate students.

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.

The move to an integrated curriculum and inquiry learning
A study of primary and intermediate schools using Inquiry/integrated approaches. These approaches were also trialled with years 9 and 10 students in three of the four secondary schools in the study.

Sabbatical report – Implementation of ICT
A variety of different approaches New Zealand schools have taken to implement and integrate ICTs.
Phil Straw, principal Tokoroa Intermediate.

Literacy teaching and learning in e-learning contexts
The findings of a research project on literacy teaching and learning in e-learning contexts carried out by CORE Education and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) for the Ministry of Education in 2009.

Online community discussions