What is Digital Technologies
“The digital curriculum is about teaching children how to design their own digital solutions and become creators of, not just users of, digital technologies, to prepare them for the modern workforce."
Chris Hipkins, 2018
The technology learning area has three strands: Technological Practice, Technological Knowledge, and Nature of Technology. These three strands are embedded within each of five technological areas:
The first two of the five technological areas focus on developing students’ capability to create digital technologies for specific purposes. In years 1–8, these two areas are usually implemented within other curriculum learning areas, integrating technology outcomes with the learning area outcomes. These two areas also significantly contribute to students developing the knowledge and skills they need as digital citizens and as users of digital technologies across the curriculum. They also provide opportunities to further develop their key competencies.
Computational thinking for digital technologies
Computational thinking enables students to express problems and formulate solutions in ways that means a computer (an information processing agent) can be used to solve them. In this area, students develop algorithmic thinking skills and an understanding of the computer science principles that underpin all digital technologies. They become aware of what is and isn’t possible with computing, allowing them to make judgments and informed decisions as citizens of the digital world.
Designing and developing digital outcomes
In this area, students understand that digital applications and systems are created for humans by humans. They develop increasingly sophisticated understandings and skills for designing and producing quality, fit-for-purpose, digital outcomes. They develop their understanding of the technologies people need in order to locate, analyse, evaluate and present digital information efficiently, effectively and ethically.
Designing and developing materials outcomes
In this area, students develop knowledge and skills that enable them to form, transform and work with resistant materials, textiles and fashion. This allows them to create both conceptual and prototypic technological outcomes that solve problems and satisfy needs and opportunities. They develop knowledge about the systems, structures, machines and techniques used in manufacturing products, and they use manufacturing and quality assurance processes to produce prototypes and batches of a product.
Designing and developing processed outcomes
In this area, students develop knowledge of the materials and ingredients used to formulate food, chemical and biotechnological products. They form, transform and manipulate materials or ingredients to develop conceptual, prototypic and final technological outcomes that will meet the needs of an increasingly complex society.
Design and visual communication
In this area, students learn to apply design thinking. They develop an awareness of design by using visual communication to conceptualise and develop design ideas in response to a brief. In doing so, they develop visual literacy: the ability to make sense of images and the ability to make images that make sense. They apply their visual literacy through using sketching, digital modes and other modelling techniques to effectively communicate and present design ideas.