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  • In terms of what can be integrated I would say most of it can be at the primary school level. I'm a big believer in learning in context and so much computational thinking can take place within the context of, for example, a literacy task such as...
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  • What aspects of Digital Technologies can be fully integrated? Will any parts have to be standalone?
    Comments
    • JMKellow

      In terms of what can be integrated I would say most of it can be at the primary school level. I'm a big believer in learning in context and so much computational thinking can take place within the context of, for example, a literacy task such as creating a narrative story using Scratch or Tynker. Or students learning about geometry, measurement and position and movement while programming a Sphero or Blubot to travel through a maze. The amount of computational thinking I have seen go into tasks like these is amazing, As teachers we can introduce them to the correct language, talking about them de-bugging for example as they try to work out why their robot went off-course. I think they can learn to code alongside coding to learn.

      As students move on to more advanced types of coding there will need to be some more explicit teaching but I still believe this needs to be in authentic, engaging contexts and programs like Tynker provide nice bridges for students moving from block coding into more advanced languages like Python and Java.

      I have worked with learners as young as five using programs like Scratch jnr and have never spent more than a few minutes "teaching" them how to use it. They do a very good job of working this out for themselves by experimentation and asking each other, with just a little guidance needed when they come across something really tricky.

      The Digital Outcomes strand is even easier to integrate. We need to make our thinking known to students and verbalise why we make decisions around technology choices and giving them the power to make choices for themselves. For example,  with younger students: "I'd like you to use either app A or app B for this task because they are easy to use, you can add photos and video and you'll be able to share them to our class blog.If you know how to use another app that can do the same things and want to use that come and talk to me about it". Or with older students asking them what the app/site/program will need to be able to do so they have some criteria, then letting them choose what to use from a number of apps/sites/programs they are familiar with. All of this is within the context of an existing task, not one specially developed to teach digital technologies.

      There may need to be a little time spent learning about the way networks work for example but most learning will be from "teachable moments" that occur, we just need to keep track so that we know which bits we need to have some explicit teaching on because they haven't been dealt with already. Even so it could be done in the context of an inquiry or debate. "Should we buy laptops, Chromebooks, ipads or desktop computers for our classroom?", "How can we make an educational app that is user-friendly, engaging and teaches x?" "How can we improve the effectiveness of our classroom wireless?" for example.

      I'm very excited about the possibilities of the new curriculum areas and love watching how excited students get about it.

    • Warren Grieve

      Hi Jan-Marie. Great thoughts. I agree with you in the main, especially that most aspects can be integrated. It requires the teacher to have a firm grasp of DT curric to integrate well as you want to see that the pupils are expanding their areas of knowledge, skills and picking up the Digital Citizenship values that are important. 

      I think in some cases that teachers (depending on their own confidence) may need a reasonable amount of assistance to integrate. In other cases taking them and pupils through some less integrated lessons in the first year of "Sandpit" play may be a better choice so that basic literacy and knowledge of DT is built.

      Warren

    • JMKellow

      I agree that teacher understanding of the curriculum is essential. Some teachers may, for example, choose to use some of the pre-prepared lessons that are available e.g. Hour of Code or Google's C.S. First until they improve their own understanding well enough to be able to integrate the curriculum and use it in authentic contexts.
      My hope is that PLD provided to teachers will help them to both understand the curriculum and understand how they can integrate it.

  • Chris Dillon commented on the blog Reflections on New Curriculum
    I was actually really disappointed by the article, and it is unfortunate that the platform doesn't allow comments so we can't discuss the points directly. I believe the article itself has missed the point in several instances. I...
  • Warren Grieve published a blog post Reflections on New Curriculum
    t wasn’t that a digital focus was coming to our curriculum that shocked me (it is well overdue), but rather the rigidity and narrowness of the document.
    Comments
    • Chris Dillon

      I was actually really disappointed by the article, and it is unfortunate that the platform doesn't allow comments so we can't discuss the points directly.

      I believe the article itself has missed the point in several instances.

      I don't doubt that Megan wants the same for her students as any of us, but she made several poorly attributed comments and assumptions, not least that teachers have not being involved in the process of drafting the documentation: NZACDITT executives have been on the reference panels from the inception (including the Curious Minds sector consultation), Association members have been feeding back on language and outcomes throughout the draft, secondary digital technology teachers, primary specialists, and national academics have been involved in developing exemplars with actual NZ school students, using internationally recognised best-practice, and Professor Tim Bell from UC will be fronting the national consultation that begins this week.

      It is not true that the entire process has been dictated to or driven by industry, although industry representation was sort and was present within the reference groups, but so were teachers, MoE, academia, and the teacher unions.

      The intention of the document is not as a stand alone LA, and makes it plain that DT | HA is firmly embedded within the Technology Learning Area with all the richness that entails. Another area of confusion in the article seems to be in the differences between "teaching Digital Technology" and "teaching with digital technologies" (or as MoE puts it Digital technologies for teaching and learning). With all best intentions one of the biggest barriers we face to becoming a digital economy is if our learners remain as consumers of others producers products (rather than developing the insight to be active and willing producers of their own learning product). Quoting Curious Minds:

      Technology is intervention by design: the use of practical and intellectual resources to develop products and systems (technological outcomes) that expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities. Adaptation and innovation are at the heart of technological practice. Quality outcomes result from thinking and practices that are informed, critical and creative.

      Technology makes enterprising use of its own particular knowledge and skills, together with those of other disciplines. Graphics and other forms of visual representation offer important tools for exploration and communication.

      The proposed Digital Technology strands (within the 5 Technology Strands) - Computational Thinking (CT) & Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes (DDDO) have elements of Technological Practice, Technological Knowledge and the Nature of Technology embedded into the Progress Outcomes.

      As an aside, the NZACDITT supported by MoE, Google and University of Canterbury, held a weeklong symposium for 40 regional representatives of Primary, Intermediate and Secondary teachers in week 1 of the break, under the headings of CS4PD and CS4Teachersfocussing on just how we can teach DT across the curriculum.

      Nothing in this documents excludes or precludes the use of Digital Technologies from other Learning Areas and in fact as discussed at CS4PD and anticipated (especially in Primary provision) the specific skills should wherever possible be disseminated interdisciplinary and cross-curricular. I am aware of Science teachers for instance who use robotics in their delivery, English teachers who look at algorithms, or Social Science teachers who readily generate Infographics, and I can imagine a Maths class supported in their numeracy by an csunplugged activity. All of these are supported by and in turn support the proposed DT Progress Outcomes, and none of this precludes the existence of a strong and growing DT | HA subject within Secondary provision.

      The document is still - as it says on the cover - a draft, and there are probably some errors, omissions, or works-in-progress. Currently there are snapshots of exemplars, which will in turn be presented along with a body of knowledge and teaching and learning guides to accompany the curriculum, but that is partly what the consultation is for.

      Full implementation is not required until 2020, although as Digital Technology teachers many schools will begin implementing the newly aligned NCEA standards as soon as we are able. We have moved on from 2007, making the best of problems in the previous standards implementation for 10 years now. Reading the new standards (and trialing beginning this term) I am very pleased with the breadth of potential experiences now possible for my senior classes.

  • Kia ora koutou I am pleased to inform you that the resources developed for the Strengthening Digital Technologies Seed Project, A coherent NZC Digital Technologies Teaching and Learning pathway for years 6-8+ with the Raspberry Pi from The...
Digital Technologies: Ideas, implementation, inspiration for the new curriculum.

Digital Technologies: Ideas, implementation, inspiration for the new curriculum.

A group to help us explore the new Digital Technologies curriculum as it unfolds. Join today to share your thoughts, ideas, experiences and resources.