Ask the Connected Learning Advisory

Issue: Volume 94, Number 10

Posted: 15 June 2015
Reference #: 1H9crM

The New Zealand Curriculum provides a vision for students as confident, connected, actively involved life-long learners. This month we focus on how schools can use mobile digital devices to support all learners to achieve this.

How can mobile digital devices be used to cater for every learner?

An inclusive classroom recognises that every learner is unique, builds on their languages, cultures, and interests and identifies and removes any barriers to achievement. Personal digital devices have a role in inclusive education because they can be used to remove barriers to learning. In today’s environment, where schools increasingly have the appropriate ICT infrastructure and internet connectivity in place, students have greater access to personal digital technologies.

Removing barriers with technology

Every learner brings different talents and interests to the classroom. Mobile digital devices offer students new options for engaging in learning, accessing curriculum materials and expressing their ideas. In the past, writing was often the only way that students could record their thoughts and ideas. Digital technologies now allow learners to express themselves, in a wider variety of ways. For example video, audio, animation, multimedia presentations, gaming formats or virtual reality activities can be used to support and show learning.

To support all learners, technology options can be embedded into an environment and hidden barriers to learning can be minimised. By providing digital versions of key content in the ‘cloud’, accessibility is dramatically increased because students can:

  • access content at any time and from anywhere
  • use more than one format for key content 
  • (eg use captioning for videos or include images with text)
  • have text read aloud using text-to-speech software (see the ‘text-to-speech’ blog(external link) in the Ministry’s Virtual Learning Network for more information) 
  • magnify text and images
  • change the font size and paragraph style to suit their needs (eg use dyslexia fonts)
  • convert text to braille or use a screen reader.

About the Connected Learning Advisory

The Ministry of Education’s Connected Learning Advisory – Te Ara Whītiki provides schools with free, consistent, unbiased advice on integrating technology with learning. If you have a query about using digital technologies to support teaching and learning, or you want to suggest a topic for this column, contact the advisory on:


BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 10:44 am, 15 June 2015

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