Three steps to integrating the new digital technology curriculum

Posted 29 Oct 2018 3:09pm

The new digital technology curriculum is officially part of the NZC now and schools have until 2020 to ensure that it is fully integrated into their local school curricula. Before then, you could (and should) be building staff capability so that you are confident that your teachers are trialling appropriate activities and have the understanding required to do this. There are two new areas computational thinking (developing problem-solving and algorithmic thinking skills) and designing and developing digital outcomes (understanding and creating digital content). So how do you go about building understanding and ensuring that your teachers are confident to implement these areas?

Firstly, decide if your teachers and learners are digitally fluent. Are they able to choose, use and justify their choices, from a variety of devices for a variety of learning purposes, and are your learners building capability and adaptability in the same way? If not, then it may be a good time to apply for professional learning in digital fluency for your whole school. This could be centrally funded (MOE) or, alternatively, employing a short or long term facilitator, funded by your school or COL. Digitally fluent teachers and learners are critical thinkers, confident users and producers of digital content and are also said to be digitally literate because they can apply technical skills to a variety of learning tasks.

Secondly, if you believe that your teachers and learners are digitally fluent as described above, then you could apply for centrally funded digital technology curriculum professional learning, or approach a provider for school-funded professional learning about the new curriculum and how your learners can work towards the progress outcomes (the learning steps for your students). These progress outcomes describe crucial steps which learners achieve along the way toward understanding of these curricular areas. They differ slightly to achievement objectives in other curriculum areas, because they are not necessarily aligned with curriculum levels, and are in the order in which they are most commonly achieved. Teachers and learners learn to understand how computers work, how computers respond to different inputs, how digital outputs can be designed and achieved, often with differing representations of data, and the impact that the design and creation of digital outcomes have on humans.

Thirdly, there are a variety of free online supports which will enable your teachers to move at their own pace to integrate the new curricular areas into their programmes, whether they are at the beginning stages or more advanced. Kia Takatū ā Matihiko is one example of these, and the other is the Digital Passport from Mindlab. These online supports can be studied in your school’s professional learning groups to maximise learning.

Author: Leigh Hynes

Wherever you and your school may be on this journey, our expert team of digital technology facilitators are happy to assist you with help, from applying for centrally funded professional learning, to working with you directly to achieve the outcomes that you want for all of your learners. Just contact us at