Introducing Digital Technologies

The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa has been revised to include digital technologies as an integral part of educating New Zealand’s students.

All schools will need to integrate the revised learning area into their curriculum by the start of 2020, and now is the time to get your school ready.

The three strands

The three strands from the 1995 technology Learning Area, that is, Technological Practice, Technological Knowledge and The Nature of Technology, remain, but are now embedded within five technological areas:

Computational thinking for digital technologies
Designing and developing digital outcomes
Designing and developing material soutcomes
Designing and developing processed outcomes
Design and visual communication

The three strands provide the organisational structure for achievement objectives necessary in technological areas 3, 4 and 5, while they underpin the progression outcomes associated with technological areas 1 and 2 – Computational Thinking for Digital Technologies and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes.

Computational thinking for digital technologies

Computational thinking is not the act of thinking about computers or like computers. Instead, computational thinking enables students to express problems and formulate solutions in ways that means a computer can be utilised to solve them.

Students develop algorithmic thinking skills and an understanding of the computer science principles that underpin all digital technologies. They will learn what is and isn’t possible with computing, giving them the ability to make judgments and informed decisions as contributing citizens of the digital world.

Students learn core programming concepts and how to take full advantage of a computers capabilities. 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

For an operational definition of computational thinking download this K – 12 resource.

Download Resource: Operational Definition of Computational Thinking

Designing and developing digital outcomes

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.

The main objective is for students to develop their understanding of the technologies people need in order to locate, analyse, evaluate and present digital information efficiently, effectively and also ethically.

Students become more expert in manipulating and combining data, using information management tools to create an outcome while also developing understandings of how to build, install, and maintain computers, networks and systems so that they are secure and also efficient.

Finally, students will also be learning how electronic components and techniques are used to design digital devices and integrated to assemble and test an electronic environment.

Further reading

Your guide to finding support and getting ready

This resource will help you and your community learn more about the new digital technologies curriculum content, the supports available and how to access that support.

Read More

Revising the technology learning area to strengthen digital technologies in the New Zealand Curriculum

A resource for all stakeholders to help better understand proof of concept, development, and testing of the new digital technologies curriculum content.

Read More

Technology in the New Zealand Curriculum

A detailed overview of the revised curriculum that now accommodates the importance of digital technologies in an ever growing and changing society.

Read More

Linking Digital Technologies to other curriculum learning areas

The aim of these new areas is for students to be adaptable, participate in, create and thrive in a world that is marked by an accelerating pace of change. There are many links between the new focus and other areas of the curriculum, digital nature’s makeup is such that, like literacy and numeracy, it is embedded in all facets of learning, providing cross-curricular opportunities.

This cross-curricular approach will allow students to become digitally capable citizens without compromising the existing areas of the curriculum.

Speak to us about how you can implement digital learning throughout your school.

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Computational thinking

Computational thinking requires similar thinking and skills used in both mathematical and scientific thinking, while designing and developing requires the ability to utilise literacy and researching skills.

Progress outcomes

The progress outcomes describe the significant learning steps that students take as they develop their expertise in designing and developing digital outcomes.

Progress outcomes are separate to achievement objectives in the sense that they’re not achievement objectives that are distinctly measurable. In years 1-10 the digital technologies areas are implemented across other curriculum learning areas, integrating the technology outcomes with the learning area outcomes.

In years 11-13 students begin to specialise in particular areas ranging from using digital applications and systems with consideration to social, ethical and end-user considerations, to understanding how areas of computer science are underpinned by algorithms, data representation and programming.

You can view the progress outcomes structure in this infographic.

View the Progress Outcomes

Take the next step for your school

Digital technologies will soon be essential outcomes in your classrooms, speak to us today about how to prepare and best implement digital learning in your school.

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