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Technology

We've revised the Technology learning area to strengthen the positioning of Digital Technologies in The New Zealand Curriculum. The goal of this change is to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to become digitally capable individuals. This change signals the need for greater focus on our students building their skills so they can be innovative creators of digital solutions, moving beyond solely being users and consumers of digital technologies. 

Schools will be expected to fully integrate the revised learning area into their curriculum by the start of the 2020 school year.

Technology learning area title.

What is technology about?

Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe;
e kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta.

Technology is intervention by design. It uses intellectual and practical resources to create technological outcomes, which expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities.

Design is characterised by innovation and adaptation and is at the heart of technological practice. It is informed by critical and creative thinking and specific design processes. Effective and ethical design respects the unique relationship that New Zealanders have with their physical environment and embraces the significance of Māori culture and world views in its practice and innovation.

Technology makes enterprising use of knowledge, skills and practices for exploration and communication, some specific to areas within technology and some from other disciplines. These include digitally-aided design, programming, software development, various forms of technological modelling, and visual literacy – the ability to make sense of images and the ability to make images that make sense.

Progress outcomes

Computational thinking for digital technologies

The progress outcomes describe the significant learning steps that students take as they develop their expertise in computational thinking for digital technologies.

The diagram below shows the alignment between levels 1–5 of The New Zealand Curriculum and the progress outcomes for computational thinking. The uneven spacing of the progress outcomes reflects the different learning and time required for each outcome and is based on data collected during the development of the digital learning progressions.

Progress outcomes 6–8 set out the learning expected for students engaging in more intensive and specialised digital technologies programmes for NCEA 1, 2 and 3. For this reason, they are directly aligned with levels 6–8 of the curriculum.

Computational thinking for digital technologies.

The alignment to levels 1–5 of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is tentative and theoretically derived until teachers have had the opportunity to implement the digital progressions.

Progress outcome 1

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students use their decomposition skills to break down simple non-computerised tasks into precise, unambiguous, step-by-step instructions (algorithmic thinking). They give these instructions, identify any errors in them as they are followed, and correct them (simple debugging).

Progress outcome 2

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students give, follow and debug simple algorithms in computerised and non-computerised contexts. They use these algorithms to create simple programs involving outputs and sequencing (putting instructions one after the other) in age-appropriate programming environments.

Progress outcome 3

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students decompose problems into step-by-step instructions to create algorithms for computer programs. They use logical thinking to predict the behaviour of the programs, and they understand that there can be more than one algorithm for the same problem. They develop and debug simple programs that use inputs, outputs, sequence and iteration (repeating part of the algorithm with a loop). They understand that digital devices store data using just two states represented by binary digits (bits).

Progress outcome 4

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students decompose problems to create simple algorithms using the three building blocks of programing: sequence, selection, and iteration. They implement these algorithms by creating programs that use inputs, outputs, sequence, basic selection using comparative operators, and iteration. They debug simple algorithms and programs by identifying when things go wrong with their instructions and correcting them, and they are able to explain why things went wrong and how they fixed them.

Students understand that digital devices represent data with binary digits and have ways of detecting errors in data storage and transmission. They evaluate the efficiency of algorithms, recognising that computers need to search and sort large amounts of data. They also evaluate user interfaces in relation to their efficiency and usability.

Progress outcome 5

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students independently decompose problems into algorithms. They use these algorithms to create programs with inputs, outputs, sequence, selection using comparative and logical operators and variables of different data types, and iteration. They determine when to use different types of control structures.

Students document their programs, using an organised approach for testing and debugging. They understand how computers store more complex types of data using binary digits, and they develop programs considering human-computer interaction (HCI) heuristics.

Progress outcome 6

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students determine and compare the “cost” (computational complexity) of two iterative algorithms for the same problem size. They understand the concept of compression coding for different media types, its typical uses, and how it enables widely used technologies to function.

Students use an iterative process to design, develop, document and test basic computer programs. They apply design principles and usability heuristics to their own designs and evaluate user interfaces in terms of them.

Progress outcome 7

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students analyse concepts in digital technologies (for example, information systems, encryption, error control, complexity and tractability, autonomous control) by explaining the relevant mechanisms that underpin them, how they are used in real world applications, and the key problems or issues related to them.

Students discuss the purpose of a selection of data structures and evaluate their use in terms of trade-offs between performance and storage requirements and their suitability for different algorithms. They use an iterative process to design, develop, document and test advanced computer programs.

Progress outcome 8

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students evaluate concepts in digital technologies (for example, formal languages, network communication protocols, artificial intelligence, graphics and visual computing, big data, social algorithms) in relation to how key mechanisms underpin them and how they are applied in different scenarios when developing real world applications.

Students understand accepted software engineering methodologies and user experience design processes and apply their key concepts to design, develop, document and test complex computer programs.

Designing and developing digital outcomes

The progress outcomes describe the significant learning steps that students take as they develop their expertise in designing and developing digital outcomes.

The diagram below shows the alignment between levels 1–5 of the New Zealand Curriculum and the progress outcomes for designing and developing digital outcomes. The uneven spacing of the progress outcomes reflects the different learning and time required for each outcome and is based on data collected during the development of the digital learning progressions.

Progress outcomes 4–6 set out the learning expected for students engaging in more intensive and specialised digital technologies programmes for NCEA 1, 2 and 3. For this reason, they are directly aligned with levels 6–8 of the curriculum.

Designing and developing digital outcomes.

The alignment to levels 1–5 of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is tentative and theoretically derived until teachers have had the opportunity to implement the digital progressions.

Progress outcome 1

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students participate in teacher-led activities to develop, manipulate, store, retrieve and share digital content in order to meet technological challenges. In doing so, they identify digital devices and their purposes and understand that humans make them. They know how to use some applications, they can identify the inputs and outputs of a system, and they understand that digital devices store content, which can be retrieved later.

Progress outcome 2

In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students make decisions about creating, manipulating, storing, retrieving, sharing and testing digital content for a specific purpose, given particular parameters, tools, and techniques. They understand that digital devices impact on humans and society and that both the devices and their impact change over time.

Students identify the specific role of components in a simple input-process-output system and how they work together, and they recognise the "control role” that humans have in the system. They can select from an increasing range of applications and file types to develop outcomes for particular purposes. 

Progress outcome 3

In authentic contexts, students follow a defined process to design, develop, store, test and evaluate digital content to address given contexts or issues, taking into account immediate social, ethical and end-user considerations. They identify the key features of selected software and choose the most appropriate software and file types to develop and combine digital content.

Students understand the role of operating systems in managing digital devices, security, and application software and are able to apply file management conventions using a range of storage devices. They understand that with storing data comes responsibility for ensuring security and privacy.

Progress outcome 4

In authentic contexts, students investigate and consider possible solutions for a given context or issue. With support, they use an iterative process to design, develop, store and test digital outcomes, identifying and evaluating relevant social, ethical and end-user considerations. They use information from testing and apply appropriate tools, techniques, procedures and protocols to improve the quality of the outcomes and to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and meet end-user requirements.

Progress outcome 5

In authentic contexts and with support, students investigate a specialised digital technologies area (for example, digital media, digital information, electronic environments, user experience design, digital systems) and propose possible solutions to issues they identify. They independently apply an iterative process to design, develop, store and test digital outcomes that enable their solutions, identifying, evaluating, prioritising and responding to relevant social, ethical and end-user considerations. They use information from testing and, with increasing confidence, optimise tools, techniques, procedures and protocols to improve the quality of the outcomes. They apply evaluative processes to ensure the outcomes are fit-for-purpose and meet end-user requirements. 

Progress outcome 6

In authentic contexts, students independently investigate a specialised digital technologies area and propose possible solutions to issues they identify. They work independently or within collaborative, cross-functional teams to apply an iterative development process to plan, design, develop, test and create quality, fit-for-purpose digital outcomes that enable their solutions, synthesising relevant social, ethical and end-user considerations as they develop digital content.

Students integrate in the outcomes they develop specialised knowledge of digital applications and systems from a range of areas, including: network architecture; complex electronics environments and embedded systems; interrelated computing devices, hardware and applications; digital information systems; user experience design; complex management of digital information; and creative digital media.

Updated on: 08 Dec 2017

Digital technologies

Equipping students with skills for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko learning
Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko is about teaching students the theory of how technology works, and how they can use that knowledge to solve problems.

Digital technologies in the curriculum
In The New Zealand Curriculum, digital technologies will be recognised as a part of the Technology learning area from the beginning of 2018. 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.

Enabling eLearning has a support section to help educators get prepared.

Supporting TKI communities

Technology Online

A site dedicated to all those with an interest in technology education in New Zealand, with examples of contemporary teaching and learning and curriculum support materials.

Technology in the NZC explains the knowledge and practices underpinning the learning area's three strands and eight components, and stresses the importance of technological literacy.

NZ Senior Secondary Curriculum Guides – Technology
Helping teachers create quality teaching and learning programmes.


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