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Designing and developing digital outcomes in secondary schools

Secondary schools have been teaching computer science for a while now (since 2011), so we're lucky to have a passionate group of experts and gurus in the DDTA (The Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa) association to help share resources, communicate and talk all things computer science. You're invited to become a member if you aren't already.

As part of Techweek NZ, we're also lucky to see how several talented students are using digital technologies to transform how we live; shaping our homes and our workplaces, changing the way that we interact with each other and live our everyday lives. Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko

Check out these amazing stories below.


For more stories of how digital technologies are supporting and facilitating learning for all, see Enabling e-Learning's Media Gallery.

Anyone interested in entering their students in national competitions in problem solving and computer programming might also like:

Do you have a shout out for other secondary school teachers about developments in e-learning and/or computer science? We'd love to hear more smiley


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2018 10:04am ()

    If it's Digital Technologies at a secondary level you're interested in, then you wont want to miss out on this series of webinars (3) from Technology Online: NCEA level 1 digital technologies achievement standards.

    Hear Julie McMahon (HOD Technology, St Hilda's Collegiate School) and John Creighton (HOF Technology, Burnside High School) discuss these revised assessment tools and how they can be utilised in programmes of learning. 

    Part one: The new structure of the technology learning area (14.35in)

    Part two: New terminology common to the digital technologies achievement standards (12.26min)

    Part three: Changes to specific achievement standards (34.00min)

    For more, see Technology Online and professional learning support available. Both Julie and John are part of this community (and DTTA), do you have any questions for them about any of these changes?

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 21 Aug 2018 2:41pm ()

    For those who missed it, here’s the Technology Online webinar, Getting started with Years 9 and 10 digital technologies programmes with Julie McMahon (HOD technology St Hilda's Collegiate School) and Cheryl Pym (Accredited Curriculum and Learning facilitator, Otago University) talking about possibilities when designing programmes of learning that align with the digital technologies progress outcomes.

    This webinar recording is well worth watching for those looking for more authentic ways to integrate Technologies in and across the curriculum.

    To start, Cheryl placed an emphasis on planning and designing programmes with the Technology strands (these are compulsory). She made mention that while learning opportunities can combine the technological areas and make links with other learning areas, there’s still a need to keep the integrity of the strands and learning outcomes for Technology as a learning area.

    She invited teachers to start by looking at what they’re doing already and to see what they can add or strengthen to in programmes - in relation to the achievement objectives and progress outcomes, that  best fit within each context or unit. Realistically not all AOs and POs will fit or can be taught.

    CT progress outcomes

    Cheryl also clarified that the achievement objectives and progress outcomes are not assessment tools, they are designed to support teachers make judgments about what the learning looks like (at one point in time), what the students can do and what is needed in the learning progressions to get to the next point.

    The examples of authentic student work (trialled and tested, research-based) are also designed to help teachers unpack what the students’ learning looks like, as evidence of outcomes achieved at a particular level. The exemplars ensure the learning progressions work with students and teachers, so that next steps for learning can be defined.

    Year 9 technology projects

    When planning, both Cheryl and Julie recommended teachers start with rich, real world engaging contexts – something that sparks students to have a passion or interest for, where they can see a real purpose or problem to address; then find natural ways to integrate the AOs and POs. For a coherent approach, timetables may need addressing and opportunities made available for staff to plan collaboratively together.

    Julie went on to demonstrate how she has planned with the strands in an interdisciplinary way, that combines technological learning areas as well as DDDO and CT. For example,

    Sparkfun electronics

    • Finding out about pixel art, how colours are represented and creating digital imagery 
    • Learning about mathematical concepts like angles, modulo, algorithms, creating digital games to teach those concepts
    • Collecting, tracking and analysing data with rockets by coding electronic sensors like Accelerometers, Gyros and IMUs.
    • Creating interactive, informative art installations with conductive paint and electronic circuits like Makey Makey in Te Reo Māori
    • Combining materials to design wearable art using conductive thread and led lights. WOW awards here they come!

    Julie also shared how her Year 10 student undergo a cohesive design process for designing physical spaces (container mall) and information apps - all demonstrating the creative and interactive design aspect of integrating technologies with an emphasis on end users their social, ethical and cultural capital in mind.

    You can download the slides from Technology Online. Cheryl and Julie also made mention of the following, which can be found in Enabling e-Learning (TKI):

    Image by SparkFun electronics (Flickr)

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