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Computing Classes

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Started by Leigh Hynes 03 Sep 2013 9:21pm () Replies (18)

What is the state of play with computing classes? Do they still exist and if so, what fabulous things are they doing and where?. Would love to hear some stories, please.


  • Nicola Kenny (View all users posts) 19 Nov 2013 1:23pm ()

    We have a few different ways of tackling "Computing" as a school.

    We use a mixture of the Technology standards and the Digital Technology standards to offer two courses. Both of these are full year courses, firstly Games Design and also a Print/Web Design course.

    We have also created a workshop based subject (with a class set of netbooks) that we have called Digital Engineering. This course consists of a mix of three strands from the Digital Technology Curriculum. Electronics/Networks/Programming. 


    Lastly we still offer a traditional “Computing” course offering unit standards. This course has its place at the moment but will eventually be phased out.


    As an observation. The Games Design course and the subject Digital Engineering has over a 90% take up by boys. 

  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 12:21pm ()

    Awesome, thank you, Gerard, this certainly does answer many questions for me and will help me when I talk to the principal who has asked advice about what other schools are doing.  Keep those stories coming everyone, it is really good to share, so others can get ideas.

  • Gerard Macmanus (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 11:54am ()

    What a big question...

    Secondary schools have been develivering the new digital technologies achievement standards that are now on offer. This is split into five strands, Digital Information, Digital Media, Programming and Computer Science, Digital Infrastructure and Electronics.

    These are under the Technology curriculum which also allows us to assess technology concepts of brief development, planning, conceptual design, prototyping.

    There are still some of the "old" computing classes that exist, however with students wanting to get their NCEA endorsed and the change of University Enterance these courses are disappearing. Though there is still the National Certificate in Computing qualification for students to attain.

    There has been a number of negative articles throughout the year in stuff http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/8577142/Education-not-in-sync-with-IT-goal and http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/8192851/Major-flaw-spurs-call-for-IT-course-review that with the introduction of NCEA level 3 have potentailly fixed. Though there is a need for Professional Development. New skills are required for the technologies that are coming out. As well as new curriculum is needed for teachers.

    There have been some moves around PD, with both the University of Canterbury and Victoria University offering CS4HS, Computer Science for High Schools two day conferences to help teachers obtain the new knowledge and ways to teach the students these concepts. As well as the University of Otago has made available resources in level 2 and 3 java or python textbooks. These are invalable to teachers that had taught computing.

    There is also a University of Canterbury Special Topic course now available called Curriculum Implementation for Computer Science which a group of teachers are currently studying to develop their knowledge in this area as well as ways in which to allow students to learn the content.

    Also the introduction of codeworx.co.nz which is a competition to get students to develop using the Raspberry Pi and associated electronics. My own students have been working on a librarybox, similar to the piratebox idea.

    Digital media looks at a range of different media, print, video, sound production, websites, animation. It is a area which is open for students and teachers to both discover.

    Digital Information looks at information systems as externals, yet students can delve into databases in level 2 and level 3 of ncea, there are some schools that are changing there systems at school based upon what the students designing.

    The other two I cannot comment on, electronics and digital infrastructure as I do not teach them at my school, but with skiils.org.nz assisting with the development of work for electronics and the likes of mindkits.co.nz working on electronic robots to assist with delivery in the courses I see many a new brightsparks competition entry.

    Someone asked before about the stats of students doing these acheivement standards. I include a link to all technology acheivement standards statistics from 2007-2012, the ones filled in yellow are specific digital technologies standards.


    I hope that I have answered some of your questions, feel free to ask more and I will try and answer them to the best of my abilities.

  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 11:50am ()

    Hi, Sylvie.  Thanks for sharing this information in this forum.  There are so many permutations of how access to ICTs are set up in different school, and it is very interesting to hear about the different models.

  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 11:47am ()

    Thanksfor sharing your pd structures, Terry.  It sounds like a really effective way to share skills.  PD just in time.

    Basically, I am trying to find out if computing classes are still widespread in secondary schools and, if not, are the digital technology achievement standards dispersed throughout the school for teachers to assess or have they just been abandoned.  Does anyone know where I can get statistics on the numbers of student s sitting Digital Technology standards easily? 

  • Terry Hokianga (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 11:30am ()

    I am not too sure as to what the original thought was in terms of this post but at our school in Dunedin we are slowly getting to grips with the ICT world both in terms of the teachers and our pupils perspectives. We have and are still active in Teacher PD with IPADS, Classroom active boards and team sessions improving ICT knowledge general or other wise. My leadership activity is to pair teachers who lack skill with those who do and many teachers have identified Knowledge net (our school wide system) as an area where they wish to improve. These grow goals are shared between the mentor and teacher and a plan put in place to improve knowledge over an agreed time between the two. This system seems to be very useful for our Principal and of course our ICT team who assist where necessary. You can imagine the excitement then as the teacher has the power and in turn takes it back to his/her class to share with class. Having fun is the big picture while learning.

  • Sylvie Vasar (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 9:52am ()

    Hi Leigh,

    At Rotorua Intermediate we do have an ICT suite with 30 desktop computers. Each class has a minimum of 6 devices. Teachers bring their students to the ICT room on a time-tabled basis and whatever the students work on in the ICT suite is integrated into their learning. It could be working collaboratively on a research project, inquiry based, movie making and editing or students could be working on a "statistics" unit, etc.

  • Jenny Smith (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 9:41am ()

    Other classrooms don't have even a pod of computers, just the teacher laptop. All classrooms have a mounted projector and many have Apple TV too as staff have iPads also.

  • Jenny Smith (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 9:39am ()

    Hi Leigh,

    We are not a laptop school as such although students can bring in devices if they wish (although we don't have a formal BYOD programe as yet). Most don't, other than phones and some use iPads, but mainly for games during breaks at the moment. 

    Students often use the computer labs in other classes as the rooms can be booked by staff when not being used for ICT lessons in Years 7-10.

    The only students where a laptop is compulsory is my Year 11-13 students. It was a decision made on the nature of their courses, especially gaining continuity in their programming.

    We don't offer NCEA. CIE only is our pathway.


  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 9:22am ()

    Hi Neil, What do you mean the computer room is reversed? Other than Cambridge exams do the students sit NCEA Exams as well?

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