Education in New Zealand: responding to the digital challenge

November 2017


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Today’s world is more digital and fast-paced than any previous generation. And it’s changing at an exponential rate, shaping our homes, our communities, how we live our everyday lives and how we interact with each other.

Ed in NZ


The worldwide demand for skilled people in an increasingly important digital economy far outstrips the skills supply. The challenge for the education sector is to recognise this change and embrace it to ensure today’s learners can be best equipped to thrive and succeed.

The OECD’s Education2030 project neatly sums up how the education sector needs to respond to be more future-focused. It challenges us to consider how to support schools and educators to investigate how they and their curricula need to adapt to be able to prepare students for more rapid economic and social change, for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, and to solve problems that were not anticipated in the past.

The positioning and content of Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko has been reviewed in The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. As a result, strengthened Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content was developed and to gain feedback the Ministry ran a public consultation process from 28 June to 3 September. Later this year a range of reports that illustrate what we heard and the key themes will be published to conclude the consultation process.

From 2018 it is expected that the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content will be available for schools and kura to begin including into their teaching and learning programmes. From 2020 all schools and kura should have integrated it into their local curriculum.

Forming part of the Technology Learning Area and Hangarau Wāhanga Ako, the key ideas for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko include:

  • understanding the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies
  • developing computational and algorithmic thinking skills
  • knowing how to develop instructions to control digital technologies and solve problems
  • understanding the digital world, how to use technologies ethically, and the implications of being a digital citizen
  • designing and developing digital outcomes while considering their role and responsibility as digital citizens.

Students will benefit from the strengthened Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko content as it will further enrich their skills at problem solving, collaboration and logical thinking. Students will be able to develop the capability and confidence to design and develop digital solutions in response to real-world challenges.

The Ministry of Education will also be delivering a package of support for teachers and kaiako from 2018 aimed at lifting capability and confidence needed to effectively teach the new Digital Technologies or Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content.

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