Digital technologies to become part of the national curriculum

Issue: Volume 95, Number 13

Posted: 27 July 2016
Reference #: 1H9d3B

On 5 July Education Minister Hekia Parata announced digital technologies will be fully integrated into The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa from 2018.

Digital technologies have revolutionised how we live and work, and are increasingly influencing almost every facet of our lives. To participate successfully in society and get the jobs and careers they want, today’s students need to be confident using and creating a broad range of digital technologies in a variety of settings.

In recognition of their significance, digital technologies will be fully integrated into The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa from 2018. The announcement by Education Minister Hekia Parata on 5 July signals the first change to the national curriculum since it was launched in 2007.

The new digital technologies content will build on the latest curriculum work from across the globe and be tailored to a specifically Aotearoa New Zealand context.

In The New Zealand Curriculum, digital technologies will be recognised as a part of the Technology learning area. In Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, it will be recognised as a whenu (strand) within the Hangarau Wāhanga Ako. Learning in digital technologies will link to learning across all Learning Areas and Wāhanga Ako.

The new content will support students to develop a way of thinking, and to consider their own and others’ learning opportunities and wellbeing in digital learning environments. The new content will be shaped around six themes:

  • Algorithms.
  • Data representation.
  • Digital applications.
  • Digital devices and infrastructure.
  • Humans and computers.
  • Programming.

Work is ongoing to determine how to centre the new digital technologies content in a Māori world view.

A cross-agency group, including sector unions and representatives from both education and industry, across both English and Māori medium, ensured that advice received during consultation provided good coverage from the beginning of schooling through to tertiary options and beyond.

Developing new content and professional support

From now until the end of 2017, the Ministry will work with the education sector, business and industry, and parents, families and whānau to share expertise and develop and publish new draft content and a suite of support materials for both English and Māori medium.

The initial focus will be on completing the curriculum design and progressions, at all levels from years 1–13, before working with sector groups and NZQA to review current standards and draft new achievement standards and whāinga paetae where required across the whole learner pathway.

The Ministry will work with industry to see how their expertise and resources can support teaching and learning of the new digital technologies curriculum content.

The Ministry wants all students to have equitable opportunities to meet the new achievement objectives and to be able to have the support of their parents, families and whānau to do so. Schools, kura and Communities of Learning will be supported to include the teaching of digital technologies in their programmes.

The package of supports, to be developed with the sector, will cover:

  • resources for teachers and kaiako to show how the content can be covered as part of integrated curriculum delivery in years 1–13
  • incorporating new content into a kaupapa Māori learning environment
  • pre and in-service professional development, including professional networks
  • building on the many examples of great digital technologies teaching and learning practice that’s already happening in our schools and kura
  • trialling a number of approaches to implementation with schools, kura and Communities of Learning already teaching digital technologies to design practical supports for both students and teachers
  • ensuring that learning in digital technologies can contribute credits towards the NCEA qualifications
  • working with tertiary institutions and industry partners to share expertise and curriculum support.

A phased approach, working closely with the sector, will ensure school leaders will have time to manage the process of change within each school, kura and Community of Learning.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:11 pm, 27 July 2016

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