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Year 9 and 10 Digital Innovation and Design course at Aorere College

With the introduction of the Digital Technologies into NZC and Marautanga o Aotearoa, some of us in primary schools might be asking, how do we fit everyone in and year 9 and 10 teachers we might be thinking how do we integrate Digital Technologies in our subject specific areas?

The revised curriculum reads, 

The technological areas provide contexts for learning. At primary school, teachers will generally take a cross-curricular approach, with students learning in the technological areas as part of a topic or theme that encompasses several curriculum learning areas. This approach can also be applied in years 9 and 10, before students begin to specialise in particular technological areas. (Technology in the New Zealand curriculum, page 3)

In broad terms there is an expectation that; digital fluency and digital literacy is an integrated part of all learning for all students, and that students will also be exposed to Technology learning each year to help build capability in that area. While most primary schools offer an integrated approach, authentic integration of Digital Technologies in Year 9/10 would be developed with the support of Technology specialist teacher/s, then students in Years 11-13 can choose their learning pathways to develop depth of that capability. So what might this look like for lower secondary?

Enabling e-Learning Snapshot

At Aorere College, all year nine students take a whole year course called Digital Innovation and Design as a core subject. This latest snapshot outlines the course content, why the school took this route, how the course was developed, and the impact for students and teachers.

Specialist teachers from across different learning areas develop and teach the Digital Innovation and Design course. This approach:

  • helps to introduce cross-curricular contexts for the students 
  • provides the teachers opportunities to better understand the technology learning area, which they can share with their own departments.

The course comprises of nine modules delivered  in a localised curriculum that reflects the multi-cultural diversity of the learners in their community. 

Students with Makey Makey.
  1. Going Google
  Students explore digital citizenship and are introduced to Chromebooks, Chrome, Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Sites, Classroom, Forms, Maps, Earth and so on. Through personalised challenges that help everyone to get to know each other.
  2. Spatial Learning
 – Students design and create characters, buildings and structures using Lego. They create custom car designs using an online CAD application. 
  3. Design
 – Students use magazines as a context for learning about design and visual communication then create their own.
  4. Coding for Animation
 – Students design and create programs to animate objects.
  5. Makey Makeys
 – Students use Makey Makeys to design and create an innovative original construction.
  6. Animation Design
 – Students design and create computer games.
  7. 3-D Originals
 – Students use hard materials to design and create animals, houses, vehicles etc.
  8. Animatron
 – Students design and create animations for a specific purpose.
  9. Sparkling visuals
 – Students design and create videos using a variety of contexts.


Having teachers from all subject areas teaching the course means:

  • the digital literacies and technologies explored in the course can be shared and applied across other learning areas 
  • contexts from across the curriculum can be applied to the course.

To find out more about the effective pedagogy, vision and values that sits behind this story, see Year 9 and 10 Digital Innovation and Design course at Aorere College

With a national focus on developing a responsive localised curriculum, how is your school integrating Digital Technologies in authentic learning contexts? Feel free to share your pātai (questions) or stories below. We'd love to hear more.

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