$1m to engage young Kiwis in digital tech

Issue: Volume 95, Number 19

Posted: 25 October 2016
Reference #: 1H9d55

Nine successful applicants will receive funding for projects that support the new digital technologies curriculum.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced earlier this month that nine successful applicants have been contracted as part of a $1 million contestable fund for projects that will engage students in digital technologies.

“We’re funding providers who have innovative and smart projects that will capture teachers’ and students’ imagination and help them get skilled in using and developing digital technologies,” says Ms Parata.

The projects are part of a broader package of support for schools when the new digital technologies curriculum content starts to be rolled out in 2018.

The new digital technologies curriculum content will build on the existing key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum to further enable young people to develop the skills and confidence to identify local and global problems and opportunities, and design and develop digital solutions in response.

There was a high demand for the fund, with 74 proposals from education and digital technologies providers from around the country.

Among the successful proposals are Communities of Learning-based local projects, a project that will grow digital fluency in kura Māori, and a project that will support students to solve problems by generating digital technology solutions.

The nine providers receiving funding are:

Ministry of Inspiration

Students and teachers across the top of the South Island will use a Programmable Electronics Classroom Kit (PE Kit) to learn about STEAMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths, and Societal Issues). Students in years 7–8 will gain a deeper understanding of how to use electronics and coding in order to be active innovators and not passive users of technology.

King’s High School in Dunedin

Students and teachers in years 6–9 will learn how to capture real-world data, through digital devices that they have built, and to manipulate and analyse that data using digital applications (at the intermediate level) and through writing computer programs (at the junior secondary level). Examples of data to be collected include data from a local wildlife sanctuary and data about moisture in homes in South Dunedin.

The Technology Hub Ltd

This project sees teachers within Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako use teaching as inquiry to plan and teach digital technologies in years 6–8. Students will learn with Raspberry Pi computers and peripherals.

CORE Education: He Hui Matahiko ā-Takiwā

This project will grow and strengthen digital fluency in kura Māori. The project supports whānau engagement in learning and teaching by inviting the whole whānau into the programme.

The project will explore values, ethics and tikanga of good digital technologies practice as well as encourage innovation and creativity, design, prototyping and testing, and reflection and review.

CORE Education Ltd: Tech Futures

This project focuses on innovation between the education and business sectors. It comprises a package of creative, integrated, future-focused learning experiences for years 7–8 students in Canterbury Community of Learning and schools/kura, through partnering with the Ministry of Awesome. Students will solve the problems of today for a better tomorrow by generating digital technology solutions to address real issues.

Online Education Limited (Code Avengers)

This project gives teachers and students access to the Code Avengers interactive online learning platform, which teaches programming, web design, and computer science through coding tasks and other interactive activities. It will also build more digital technologies curriculum content at levels 1–5 for delivery via the platform.

Ruapehu College

This project has been developed by Ruapehu College and local iwi Ngati Rangi. The project will be delivered within a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and will include digital technologies teaching and learning resources for years 1–10, professional development for teachers, and support for student pathways and transitions.

University of Canterbury

This project supports teaching data representation, algorithms, and programming for years 0–8 through ‘plugged’ (using computers) and ‘unplugged’ (not using computers) lessons. The project will provide units of work, lesson plans, and resources and professional learning and development for teachers. It also supports teaching digital technologies through literacy and maths.

Pam Ferguson Charitable Trust, working with OMG tech

The project provides teaching and learning resources and services for years 1–13 science and technology, delivered through a blend of in-school and online services. This includes a workshop for teachers and students and facilitated planning for Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. It will support schools to engage with the digital technologies industry and, where appropriate, industry placement for students interested in working in digital technologies.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 7:03 pm, 25 October 2016

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