Upskilling in the new digital technologies content

Issue: Volume 98, Number 8

Posted: 20 May 2019
Reference #: 1H9u9Q

When Kerikeri High School’s head of technology learned that the National Curriculum had been updated and that there was a revision to the Technology and Hangarau Learning Areas, he found himself facing the challenge of leading the implementation change for his school.

Steve Clark took advantage of the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko | Digital Readiness programme and its kanohi ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) meetups, which were provided as support for schools and kura to learn about the revised Technology Learning Area and Hangarau Wāhanga Ako in the curriculum.

Initially it was a bit daunting, Steve says, but he soon got over that once he started networking and seeing the possibilities in the Technology Learning Area.

“It is amazing watching students light up when they realise that the magical devices they are surrounded by can actually be understood, taken to bits, and used to solve problems they have identified.”

Steve, who is head of technology at Kerikeri High School, networks through the free nationwide professional support programme.

“I’m getting ideas and inspiration from primary teachers that have no background in coding, and I’m helping them out with the coding and the basic skills,” he says. “I’m not just coming away with a few ideas, I’m coming away more enthusiastic myself.”

Meetup opportunities

The programme also provides meetup opportunities and these are useful because others share how they are teaching the new curriculum content, and that helps to demystify what it is about, he says.

“For example, a new entrant teacher shared how she taught concepts about algorithms to support her students to prepare for swimming.

“First they created cards with pictures on them for all the steps that it takes to get ready. A group of students was then given the task of putting the pictures in the order that they agreed was needed.

“The problem they had to solve was that both boys and girls needed to follow the same steps, except they needed to get changed in different places. They solved this by making a card for each place and drawing arrows to each place.

“The teacher observed that the students were very fast at getting changed and they were very proud that they had solved a problem in their classroom.”

This learning activity was based on the Ministry-supported resource: 'Fitness Unplugged(external link)'.

Mutual support

Steve says that everyone can problem solve together and support each other; there is no need to be an expert before starting to teach the new content.

“One of the best ways to learn is through teaching students, and have those students coming back and teach you. We are developing our skills through our experiences with them.”

Steve’s journey of connecting with others to support his own learning has been so influential that he is now a regional hub leader for Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa (DTTA) and is supporting other primary school colleagues throughout the Northland region. DTTA has a network of regional hubs across New Zealand and is one of the many organisations creating local meetup events throughout Aotearoa as part of Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko.

Regardless of whether you are starting out or have experience, being able to connect and support each other is important while you try something new and grow your comfort zone, he says.

“Separately we sort of survive. When we start linking up, we thrive.”


Steve’s questions:

Question 1 : 
How did you get involved in Digital Technologies(external link)?

Question 2:
What have you achieved so far(external link)?

Question 3:
What are your aspirations going forward(external link)?

Package of support for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko Curriculum

The Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko | Digital Readiness programme is just one of the innovative range of professional supports on offer to support learning around the revised Technology Learning Area and/or Hangarau Wahanga Ako. For more information and for information on other networks of expertise, go to: Technology online(external link) or Hangarau Matihiko(external link)

The Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko | Digital Readiness programme is designed to support all teachers, kaiako, tumuaki and school leaders teach the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content.

Key components of Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko:

  • Online learning, collaboration and review

    Te Tokorima-ā-Mahuika | Self Review Tool: teachers can get a sense of their individual and group ‘readiness’.

    Pīkau | Toolkits provide specific resources for individuals and groups to understand the revised curriculum content.

    Online collaboration groups are hosted in Ngā Kiriahi | Online Community to provide teachers with a, ‘flipped classroom’ style forum.

  • Face to face learning, supporting and growing together

    Ki Te Ahikāroa | Meetups are free to attend, regionally based facilitated professional support sessions targeted at those leading the change for their school. Meetups are led by DTTA, AATEA Solutions, Kia Ata Mai, Code Club, Te Papa, Core Education. Fostering and supporting individual and collaborative learning relationships.
  • Leading learning of others

    Te Pā Pouahi | Digital Leaders

    Leaders, both experienced and new to this area, support their community by leading the learning of others.

To find out more about meetups happening near you and to register for the programme, go to Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko(external link), join the discussions on link) or link).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 8:50 am, 20 May 2019

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