More information on the curriculum change

Throughout 2018 and 2019, schools should take the time to become familiar with the new curriculum content.

Teachers and kaiako should embed the practice and grow in confidence as they become familiar with the content, and learn their own insights on what works for them to teach it.

We expect that schools and kura will begin developing teaching and learning programmes for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko throughout 2018 and 2019.

Each school or kura will be able to develop their own local curriculum around the Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko content to suit their own views and philosophies.

The Ministry will be making a package of supports available to schools and kura to assist with the introduction of the new content. This support will be ramped up over time to address the increasing demand of schools as they properly integrate the new content into their local curriculum.

By 2020, your school or kura will need to teach the new content.

How was the Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content developed?

Read more information about what we heard during the public consultation Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko consultation

The Ministry worked closely with experts in the education sector and with the digital technologies industry to develop early drafts of the curriculum content. This combined international experience and New Zealand research on key learning in digital technologies.

We worked with independent advisory groups to refine the content and the implementation plans. These Independent Advisory Groups represented a range of stakeholders from the education and teaching sector, unions, and the business and technologies industries.

The public consultation held from 28 June – 3 September provided an opportunity to contribute further voices from the education and teaching sector, unions, and business and technologies industries, as well as students, parents and whānau, community and iwi. 

Where did the idea to add Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko to the National Curriculum come from?

In July 2014 the Government launched the Science and Society Strategic Plan “A Nation of Curious Minds: Te Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara”. This was a joint plan between the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. It included the review of Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko in the National Curriculum.

On 5 July 2016 Minister Parata announced the strengthening of Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko (DT and HM) which would form part of the Technology Learning Area of The New Zealand Curriculum and the Hangarau Wāhanga Ako of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa from Year 1 through to Year 13.

Why have we strengthened Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko in the National Curriculum?

Digital technologies are going to continue to be an intimate part of our society and economy in years to come.

Our economy need workers with specific technological skills to enable innovation and support the infrastructure that firms, governments, commerce and users rely on. Industry have been among those calling for more learning about digital technologies, so that learners have the skills their future employers need.

The National Curricula needs to reflect that the world has changed, and to reflect that we now understand that our children and young people need to have greater capabilities in digital technologies.

The Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content strives to connect traditional Māori practices and knowledge with the skills and capabilities students need to confidently live in the digital world. It does this while reinforcing the critical importance of understanding the past to inform future practice that benefits people and the environment.

The New Zealand Curriculum was last reviewed in 2007, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa was developed in [2008]. Since then, technology has changed immensely:

  • A decade ago the first iPhone had just been released – now most New Zealanders own smartphones.
  • Self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and augmented reality have stopped being science fiction and started being our reality.

The Information Communication Technologies industry faces significant challenges recruiting people with the right skills to drive digital innovation and strengthen New Zealand’s potential for economic growth. We need to increase the number of students leaving school with these valuable digital specialist skills.

Will schools and kura be getting more funding for digital devices as a result of this curriculum change?

We are not funding digital devices as a result of the curriculum change.

A substantial investment of over $700 million has been invested into schools and kura to support digital infrastructure - get fibre to the school gate, upgrade schools’ networks and provide the managed network and uncapped data via the Network For Learning (N4L).

Additionally, the following support services are used to fund software for schools, lease laptops for teachers and provide support:

  •  Virtual Learning Network
  • e-learning modules
  • TELA laptop scheme
  • Microsoft licensing agreement
  • the Connected Learning Advisory service.

Underlying Principles of the Curriculum Development

Technology focuses on intervention by design for humans by humans.

Technology is much more than designing and making technological outcomes, it involves critiquing past, existing and possible future technologies, while considering their environmental, social and cultural impacts. Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko use that same approach, and use many of the same skills – such as identifying user needs and then developing responses.

The Hangarau Wāhanga Ako focuses on enabling ākonga to gather technological understanding, beginning with the Māori world-view and its relevance to the modern world. A strong focus is placed on the values, the skills, and the learnings in technology that ākonga are familiar with.

Why the focus on Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko instead of literacy, numeracy, or the arts?

Our learners need to have a basic understanding of digital technologies to succeed today and in the future.

Even if they don’t go into “tech industry” careers they will need digital technologies skills, knowledge and capabilities to become fully participating citizens and successful workers in our increasingly digital society and economy.

We expect that Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko learning will be integrated with other Learning Areas of the curriculum – so students might learn about the principles of programming in the context of mathematics, science or music.

The Content - what’s changed?

The Technology Learning Area in the New Zealand Curriculum now clearly outlines the expectations for learning in Digital Technologies. Two new technological areas have been introduced:

1. Computational thinking for digital technologies: computational thinking enables a student to express problems, and formulate solutions in a way that means a computer (an information processing agent) can be used to solve them.

2. Designing and developing digital outcomes: students understand that digital applications and systems are created for humans by humans. They develop increasingly sophisticated understandings and skills related to designing and producing quality, fit for purpose, digital outcomes.

What’s changed in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa?

The Hangarau Wāhanga Ako in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa has now been revised to include two tupuranga in Hangarau Matihiko. These two tupuranga are named Te Whakaaro Rorohiko and Te Tangata me Te Rorohiko. These integrate the essential elements of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga, digital citizenship and computational thinking.

What concepts and practices drive the Hangarau Matihiko curriculum?

The overarching concepts and practices in the Hangarau curriculum reinforce the critical importance of understanding the past to inform future practice that benefits people and the environment. The Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content strives to connect traditional Māori practices and knowledge with the skills and capabilities students need to confidently live in the digital world.

What do you mean by ‘digital technologies?’

 Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko is learning about digital technologies, not learning using digital technologies. 

  • Learning about digital technologies is about developing the skills, knowledge and capabilities needed to understand and innovate to come up with digital technologies solutions.
  • Learning using digital technologies is about becoming capable at using individual devices or pieces of software.

What are the Progress Outcomes for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko?

Progress Outcomes have been developed for the Digital Technologies content to provide clear descriptions of the most important learning steps. 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.

Learning progressions describe significant learning steps as students develop their expertise (key skills, knowledge and attitudes) in Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko, and illustrate what this learning looks like through annotated exemplars of rich task design and student responses.

Progress Outcomes are a new development for the National Curriculum. Over the implementation period we will continue to work with the sector to ensure they receive the support they need to implement them

How will this impact on the non-digital areas of the Technology Learning Area in the New Zealand Curriculum?

Achievement Objectives for Technology have been retained but are reorganised into the contexts in which learning takes place.

Is there new curriculum content at senior secondary level and how does this impact on NCEA?

The new curriculum content for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko Level 1 Standards and Resources has been available since December 2017. Level 2 and 3 will be available from 2019.  

We’re going to extend the Level 3 transition year to two years, meaning that the old standards will be phased out at the end of 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.

This would mean that students who complete the old NCEA Level 1 standards in 2018 will be able to continue to work towards the old standards for Levels 2 and 3 in 2019 and 2020.

Find out more information

How ready are schools and kura to integrate the new content?

Most will have some sort of emerging digital technologies programme but will need guidance on how to identify the gaps on where they need support.

Some will just be getting started and will benefit from seeing good practise from other schools.

And some schools and kura will have established opportunities for students to learn, use, and create digital technologies. We want to support this group to share their great practice with others and stay ‘cutting edge’ 

From 2018, how should parents and students be involved?

We want to encourage students and parents to get involved at their local curriculum level.

We expect that schools and kura will need to take some time to absorb the new content, and start to design their approach to integrating the new content. Depending on the readiness level of the school, students, parents and whānau should encourage open conversations about the new content during the two year implementation period beginning in 2018.

Why is the new curriculum content being introduced from as young as Year 1?

We want all of our youngest learners to know that having these skills presents exciting opportunities in careers that can’t yet be imagined.

We want to get rid of current stereotypes in the computers industry. Clever digital technologies thinking can support any industry: agriculture, construction, fashion, banking, and the medical field.

We’re going to need all types to help us with solving the challenges of the future. By making this new curriculum available from Year 1 – we are signalling that diversity is welcome.

Additionally - similar to maths, you wouldn’t try and teach calculus before having basic maths concepts understood.

The foundations of digital technologies learning are formed by developing a sense of language, number, symbol, relationship, communication, following instructions and so on. We are starting at Year 1 so that basic digital technologies learning can be understood before they get onto more complex material. 

This isn’t just about learning to use electronic devices, this new curriculum content will support learning how digital technologies work and also the key competencies of ethics, team-work and problems solving.

The new skills that this content will focus on will help students to become digitally fluent and capable.

A digitally fluent person can decide when and why to use specific digital technologies to achieve a specific task or solve problems.

A digitally capable person can create their own digital technologies solution. Students will already have a level of knowledge, this curriculum content helps to enhance and grow that knowledge.

What does our school or kura need to do as a result of the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content being available?

From early 2018 we encourage school leaders to review any teaching of digital technologies in current teaching and learning programmes, as well as the confidence of your teaching staff in working with the new content. Those schools and kura that are a part of a Kāhui Ako should consider how digital technologies learning can be strengthened across their learner pathway and community.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, schools should take the time to become familiar with the new content. Teachers and kaiako should get to embed the practice and grow in confidence as they become familiar with the content, and learn their own insights on what works for them to teach it.

We expect that schools and kura will begin developing teaching and learning programmes for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko throughout 2018 and 2019. Each school or kura will be able to develop their own local curriculum around the Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko content to suit their own views and philosophies.

The Ministry will be making a package of supports available to schools and kura to assist with the introduction of the new content. This support will be ramped up over time to address the increasing demand of schools as they properly integrate the new content into their local curriculum.

By 2020, your school or kura will need to teach the new content.

Is learning about privacy, intellectual property, responsible use of digital devices part of the new curriculum?

Many of these topics will be involved in Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko learning – for example, students will consider ethics and the impacts of products they design on people.

Additionally, these topics align against the key competencies within the National Curricula, and would be seen as an important part of self-management learning in in this digital age.

We have / don’t have BYOD – will we be funded to buy devices?

Schools and kura will continue to have the flexibility to determine the learning needs of their communities best.

If schools don’t guarantee a device for all students, will this compromise the learning of those who don’t have their own devices?

No, the introduction of Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko will not require that each learner has their own device. No further funding will be provided attached to this curriculum change for schools and kura to buy new digital devices.

The new curriculum content is about learning about how digital technologies work – in many cases, this will not even require a device. Where a device is required, we expect that schools’ existing infrastructure will be sufficient. We are developing support and resources to help teachers implement the content into their local curriculum. 

The ‘Digital Equity for all Fund’ will be rolled out in 2018-2019 so that students have equitable access to digital technologies learning programme support.

When will reporting begin for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko

Schools and kura will begin reporting on Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko after the content becomes compulsory, from 2020.  The Education Review Office will formally start monitoring schools after 2020.

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