Digital Technologies in the Technology learning area
In 2017 there were changes to the Technology learning area. Two new technological areas were added, collectively known as the 'Digital Technologies content'. They are sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as the digital technologies curriculum.
The two new technological areas are:
The digital readiness programme
Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko (Digital readiness)
The official source of infomation and assistance for teaching the new digital content is the National Digital Readiness site. Sign up for a free account and explore this rich site!
Pīkau/toolkits : The heart of the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko site is the huge bank of online learning, broken up into pīkau, or toolkits. Each takes about 45 min to 1 hour to complete. They don't have to be completed in any particular order, and will take you from knowing nothing to being knowledgable and confident with the new content. Login required (it's free)
Other resources: There are a large number of other resources available, including resource toolkits to help integrate DT with Technology and other curriculum areas, stories of practice and posters for your classroom and staffroom. Links in the "resources" menu don't require you to be signed in.
Self review tool: Can be used as an idividual or as a group. Designed to be taken multiple times and progress tracked. All results are person to you, unless you choose to share them. Login required (it's free)
Ngā Kiriahi / Online community: A place to explore ideas in DT with other teachers, as well as access English and Māori medium facilitators. Login required (it's free)
Ahikaroa / Meetup & webinars: Register for free PLD. Sometimes held face to face, and often virtually, KTaM meetups and webinars are a great way to interact with knowledgable and friendly facilitators, as well as connect with other teachers from around the motu. Login required to register for meetups (it's free)
Why have these changes been introduced?
The Aotearoa perspective
As the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, said in 2018:
“The digital content 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."
When the new digital content was released in 2017, Nicky Kaye – Minister of Education at the time – said the following:
"Robotics, artificial intelligence and advances in connectivity are all revolutionising our world, including our businesses, industry and community.
"From New Zealand’s work in movie-making to Rocket Lab launching rockets into outer space, world-class technology is playing a major role.
“The new curriculum content is about ensuring that students across all year levels have access to rich learning aimed at building their digital skills and fluency, to prepare them for this world…
"…Our curriculum needs to keep pace with this fast-changing world. The new curriculum content sets out what students need to learn to become not just fluent users but
also skilled creators of digital innovations and inventions."
Pīkau/Toolkit 01 on the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko website introduces you to the digital content.
An international perspective
Aotearoa has joined a global movement to introduce our ākonga to the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies. Australia, the UK, USA, and other countries in Europe have all added digital technologies into their school curriculums.
There is recognition that this 'digital stuff' isn't going away, and we need to prepare our ākonga to be confident creators and critical users of digital content.
Pīkau/Toolkit 04 on the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko website explores the international perspective. This pīkau is useful because many of the resources for computational thinking are international, and you’re likely to come across slightly different ways of talking about the topic when looking at material from overseas. It will also help you to see how our curriculum content lines up with that used elsewhere.
Resources for digital leaders
Leading the implemtation of DT in your school?
There are a suite of resources to help:
Te Pā Pouahi (Digital leaders): In a pā, the pouahi kept the fires burning. For the teachers who are tasked with stoking the fires of Digital Technologies there are a series of 4 pīkau/toolkits on the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko site. They cover getting a team together as well as reviewing aspects of your school infrastructure, pedagogy and community. There is information about engaging staff, facilitating meetings and other tasks you may need to perform.