Learning about and with digital technologies will contribute to developing an informed digital society.
The Technology learning area has been revised to strengthen the positioning of digital technologies in The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. This is for all students from year 1–13. Students have the opportunity to specialise from year 11–13.
The goal of this change is to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to become digitally capable individuals.
The change provides a greater focus on students building their skills so they can be innovative creators of digital solutions, moving beyond solely being users and consumers of digital technologies.
“The digital curriculum is about teaching children how to design their own digital solutions and become creators of, not just users of, digital technologies, to prepare them for the modern workforce."
In this video from the Education Gazette, students, teachers, leaders, and employers explore why it is so important for students to be given the opportunity to become creators of digital technologies in our society.
In the Technology Learning area there are two new technological areas:
Computational thinking for digital technologies – Students will develop an understanding of computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies. They’ll learn core programming concepts so that they can become creators of digital technology, not just users.
Designing and developing digital outcomes – Students will learn how to design quality, fit-for-purpose digital solutions.
In the Hangarau Wāhanga Ako, there are two new tupuranga.
The new content has been designed to be flexible, so it can respond to new developments and technologies as they emerge.
This tool gives a model process and plan to support schools with teaching the revised Technology Learning Area. It is for school leaders, school teams, clusters of schools, and boards of trustees to help with change planning.
This guide is for technology curriculum leaders in primary and secondary schools. The guide outlines why learning in technology is so important for students and summarises what has changed in the learning area. It describes four high-impact practices to help you design and implement a school curriculum that will enable all your students to become confident technology learners.
Regularly updated information is available from the Technology Online website.
This downloadable resource helps you and your community learn more about:
Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko Digital Readiness Programme introduces teachers and principals to the new digital technologies and hangarau matihiko content in the technology learning area.
It is designed to prepare all teachers and kaiako to teach the new curriculum content. It consists of:
Raranga Matihiko are museum-led workshops that weave student and ākonga learning through digital technologies, creative exploration, and collaboration.
Inspired by museum taonga, primary and secondary school students, and kura ākonga will share their stories through a range of digital products.
Te Papa is working in partnership with Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, and MTG Hawke’s Bay to deliver Raranga Matihiko to students across Aotearoa New Zealand.
This programme is provided at no cost to the school. The costs covered include Teacher Release Day (TRD) for one planning day, transport while visiting the museum, facilitation, and technology use.
The programme includes professionally facilitated digital technology workshops for years 3–8 students in deciles 1–3 schools, fully mapped to the new digital technology curriculum and available in English or Māori Medium.
Tahi Rua Toru Tech is a national team-based challenge about creating solutions for real-world problems using digital technologies.
Visit these Enabling e-Learning pages for further information, stories, resources and research around particular aspects of Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes and Computational Thinking for Digital Technologies:
Computational thinking is about looking at a problem in a way that a computer can help us to solve it.
It is not thinking about computers or like computers.
Computational thinking for digital technologies – technological area
Computational thinking enables students to express problems and formulate solutions in ways that means a computer (an information processing agent) can be used to solve them.
In this area, students develop algorithmic thinking skills and an understanding of the computer science principles that underpin all digital technologies. They become aware of what is and isn’t possible with computing, allowing them to make judgments and informed decisions as citizens of the digital world.
Students learn core programming concepts and how to take advantage of the capabilities of computers, so that they can become creators of digital technologies, not just users. They develop an understanding of:
- how computer data is stored
- how all the information within a computer system is presented using digits
- the impact that different data representations have on the nature and use of this information.
The thinking undertaken before starting work on a computer is computational thinking.
Computational thinking is a two-step process:
For example, if you’re going to make a video animation, you need to:
Computational thinking is a problem solving process that includes a number of characteristics and dispositions.
Operational definition of computational thinking for K-12 education
Computational thinking is a problem-solving process that includes (but is not limited to) the following characteristics:
- formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them
- logically organising and analysing data
- representing data through abstractions such as models and simulations
- automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps)
- identifying, analysing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources
- generalising and transferring this problem solving process to a wide variety of problems.
These skills are supported and enhanced by a number of dispositions or attitudes that are essential dimensions of CT. These dispositions or attitudes include:
- confidence in dealing with complexity
- persistence in working with difficult problems
- tolerance for ambiguity
- the ability to deal with open ended problems
- the ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution.
Designing and developing digital outcomes – technological area
In this area, students understand that digital applications and systems are created for humans by humans. They develop increasingly sophisticated understandings and skills for designing and producing quality, fit-for-purpose, digital outcomes. They develop their understanding of the technologies people need in order to locate, analyse, evaluate and present digital information efficiently, effectively and ethically.
Students become more expert in manipulating and combining data, using information management tools to create an outcome. They become aware of the unique intellectual property issues that arise in digital systems, particularly with approaches to copyright and patents. They also develop understandings of how to build, install, and maintain computers, networks and systems so that they are secure and efficient.
Students develop knowledge and skills in using different technologies to create digital content for the web, interactive digital platforms and print. They construct digital media outcomes that integrate media types and incorporate original content. They also learn how electronic components and techniques are used to design digital devices and integrated to assemble and test an electronic environment.
The progress outcomes describe the significant learning steps that students take as they develop their expertise in designing and developing digital outcomes.
In this video, Joanne Roberts and Melissa Jones share examples of conversation prompts to use with students. See also the following Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko resources:
Digital Technologies is learning about technology. It involves learning to be a creator in the digital world, not just learning to use systems.
The Technology learning area has the three strands: technological practice, technological knowledge, and nature of technology. Below this are five technological areas:
The three strands provide the organising structure for the five technological areas:
Getting started with years 9 and 10 digital technologies programmes
A webinar with Julie McMahon (HOD technology St Hilda's Collegiate School) and Cheryl Pym (Accredited Curriculum and Learning facilitator, Otago University) discussing designing programmes of learning to align with the digital technologies progress outcomes and learning progressions. Accompanying resources are provided.
Getting started with the learning progressions for digital technologies in primary
In this webinar recording, Phillipa Dick (Hatch Education), Rebecca Allnutt (Maori Hill School), and Ryan Inglis (Kaikorai Primary School) share their enthusiasm for digital technologies – and discuss the progress they are making together on their digital technologies programmes.
"Learning in digital technologies links to learning across all learning areas and wāhanga ako."
The technological areas provide contexts for learning. At primary school, teachers will generally take a cross-curricular approach, with students learning in the technological areas as part of a topic or theme that encompasses several curriculum learning areas. This approach can also be applied in years 9 and 10, before students begin to specialise in particular technological areas.
This video demonstrates an approach to integrating digital technologies across the curriculum. This is a demonstration of an activity from the Computer Science Unplugged collection of games and activities. It demonstrates Computer Science without using computers. For more information, see the activity called "Treasure Hunt – Finite-State Automata" at http://csunplugged.org .
In this video, Julie McMahon from St. Hilda's Collegiate School explains how year nine and ten students have made cross-curricular connections.
The Digital Technologies technological areas involve students learning how to create digital solutions through the use of information systems and specific ways of thinking about problem solving. Through the application of the logical reasoning (computational thinking) students learn how to tackle problems by breaking them down into appropriate chunks and then creating a set of steps and decisions (algorithmics) that can be carried out using a digital device to create a solution. Its emphasis is more on developing students’ ability to think computationally, rather than on the use of a range of digital devices to produce information.
e-Learning primarily involves students using digital technologies to effectively communicate, collaborate, and create resources. The development and application of these capabilities involves the use of digital technologies or ICTs. This contrasts starkly with the Digital Technologies curriculum where much learning occurs unplugged, however, students will still apply their ICT capabilities to help their learning in Digital Technologies.
Digital fluency is about using a digital system effectively. It means understanding how to use digital technologies, deciding when to use specific digital technologies to achieve a desired outcome, and being able to explain why the technologies selected will provide their desired outcome.
Digital technologies involves computational thinking – learning to be a creator in the digital world, not just learning to use systems. Digital Technologies is not about learning with technology (e-learning), it's learning about technology.
Both are important, but if we teach students only to use digital devices, they will be consumers limited to making do with whatever the makers of digital technologies produce, and as a country we will be buying in technology rather than creating it and selling it to others.
Tim Bell (University of Canterbury)
For students to have the basis for understanding future digital systems, they need to develop:
The technology learning area structure, achievement objectives, and progress outcomes.
Technology online provides information, exemplars, and snapshots of learning.
Technology Online answers the most common questions educators have been asking about digital technologies within the revised technology learning area.
Technology Online glossary of terms associated with the technology learning area.
A range of resources, case studies, and innovative ideas are now being developed for you to access and use.
Achievement objectives, indicators, and teacher guidance for Levels 6-8 on Technology Online.
2018 Connected Series All have a focus on computational thinking for digital technologies and designing and developing digital outcomes.
This resource aims to equip you with the knowledge, practical skills, and tools to start your continuing learning journey in Computational Thinking. It also offers a range of extension opportunities for diverse learners.
This site contains resources to support the proposed Digital Technologies strand in the Technology Curriculum. This site has been developed by the Digital Fluencies team of the Institute of Professional Learning at the University of Waikato and Independent Facilitators to provide supporting resources for schools.
The Computer Science Field Guide (CSFG) is an online resource for teaching Computer Science to students. It is aimed directly at students. The project is open source and available on GitHub . If you are a teacher (or involved in education), you can join the CSFG teachers group to receive updates and access the teacher's version of the guide.
An English website, which supports primary educators with the confidence, knowledge, skills, and resources to teach computer science. It includes free lesson plans and activities, designed to help teachers gain confidence in bringing computer science to life in the classroom. Teachers from any country can register and access the resources.
A collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons, and lots of running around. Suitable for all ages. The material is available free of charge, and is shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence .
ISTE's website provides and explanation of computational thinking and links to their Computational Thinking Toolkit.
Education Gazette Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko Series (2020)
A series of five articles with accompanying video clips:
Adding Digital Technologies curriculum content into primary classrooms may feel, to many primary teachers, like a new burden and more work—but many aspects of computational thinking can be explored in the context of our existing mathematics programmes. This article highlights the connection between computational thinking and mathematics, and presents examples of classroom activities that teach computational thinking and mathematics in ways that are meaningful and discourse-rich.
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.
This NZTech briefing paper (published August 2016) provides insights from the NZTech Advance Education Technology Summit, including key observations from the Leaders Forum discussions about achieving digital fluency.
A talk given by Tim Bell (University of Canterbury) as part of an international on-line conference in 2016. It includes demonstrations with students.
A free online programme for NZ teachers and principals introducing the new digital technologies and hangarau matihiko curriculum content and teaching strategies.
As part of the Ministry of Education Digital Technologies for All Equity fund, the Raranga Matihiko programme delivers innovative digital technologies to those with limited digital learning opportunities, while increasing access to national and local exhibitions and collections. This programme is provided at no cost to the school. The costs covered include Teacher Release Day (TRD) for one planning day, transport while visiting the museum, facilitation, and technology use.
The aim of the association is to create a community of teachers to share resources, communicate, and speak with one voice to get Technology recognised and supported. They are now welcoming primary school teachers, and offer great support and sharing.
A group in the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) to explore the new Digital Technologies strand in the Technologies curriculum as it unfolds. Join the group to share your thoughts, ideas, experiences, and resources.
Website for the annual free professional development week for high school teachers, held at the University of Canterbury in 2016. The event is a collection of workshops focused on preparing New Zealand educators for teaching the computer science and programming achievement standards for NCEA.
Workshops are focused on preparing primary school teachers to integrate Computer Science into their classroom programmes.
A free online course for teachers to support understanding of computational thinking. It provides practical examples of how to integrate computational thinking into your classroom programme.
A website for New Zealand Digital Technology and Hangarau Matihiko educators.
Information about the curriculum and supports provided to schools and kura to assist with implementation.
Information about the consultation process to develop the curriculum.
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