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The purpose of this statement is to provide members with NZCETA policy on Digital Technologies in secondary schools. It can be used to:

  • Provide input to the development of an individual school's policy statement;
  • Provide information to be used in curriculum co-ordination exercises;
  • Develop an individual school's prospectus and curriculum programmes;
  • Provide information for use with students, parents and the wider school community.

Definition
Definition The term Digital Technologies is used to describe the use of digital tools, knowledge and skills to effectively find, analyse, store, manipulate, create, share and use information in a digital context. This encompasses the use of digital media tools, online tools, computer programming tools, electronic and robotic tools and a wide range of software applications.

Rationale
At present the terms “Computing, Information Technology or Information Management “are used to describe
Rationale NZCETA will use the generic title of “Digital Technologies” to categorize the wide variety of resources that support the teaching of Computational Thinking and/or Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes. This title will be used as an umbrella term to describe the variety of computer based programmes of learning being offered within schools. This will include subject titles such as: Digital Media, Computer Science, Electronics, and Digital Information.

Globalisation and technological change are two key features that are changing and shaping our lives. Robotics, artificial intelligence and advances in connectivity are all revolutionising our world, including our educational environment, businesses, industry and our communities. The jobs and social roles that people move into once they leave school are constantly evolving as a consequence of social, economic, and technological developments. In an increasingly globalised, interconnected, and interdependent world, people who are able to work confidently in digital environments and with knowledge are seen as a key resource1.

The New Zealand curriculum needs to keep pace with this fast-changing world and the strengthening of the positioning of Digital Technologies in The New Zealand Curriculum is one action to support this2. The new curriculum content sets out what students need to learn to become not just fluent users, but also skilled creators, of digital innovations and inventions.

To participate in this future focused digital era, students will need to be able to adapt to change, to think critically and creatively, to be resilient, work collaboratively to solve problems and share ideas and feedback, use online project management tools to plan, design, monitor, test, report, and collaborate when designing user-oriented environments and outcomes. They will also be expected to apply real-time thinking skills (the ability to process large amounts of stimuli at one time as in online gaming or online learning) in digital environments. In essence, students need to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to work, live and learn in a digital society.

The development of these skills in a robust, well-structured Digital Technologies programme will allow students to not only develop a growing variety of digital literacy skills (technical, cognitive, and socio-emotional competencies) but to confidently and competently perform tasks and solve problems in a diverse range of digital environments and contexts. These skills will place students well for the digital workplace and a digital economy.

Links with the New Zealand Curriculum
Links with the New Zealand Curriculum Digital Technologies contributes to the Technology Learning Area, as well as aspects from all of the other learning areas through the use of digital tools to access, extract, develop, design, test, model and/or implement digital outcomes. For example, English, mathematics, the sciences, the disciplines within The Arts area, the social sciences - including media studies and physical education.

Digital Technologies will address the New Zealand Curriculum requirements relating to the Principles, Values, and Key Competencies (Thinking; Using language, symbols and texts; Managing self; Relating to others; Participating and contributing): as well as the individual school’s Mission Statement and Strategic Goals.



1 Ministry of Education (2012) A curriculum that uses knowledge to develop learning capacity. New Zealand Curriculum update 26, October 2012.
2 Source: Hon Kaye, Nikki. (2017). Digital curriculum changes connect young people to the future. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/digital-curriculum-changes-connect-young-people-future.