Petone Central School

Digital Technology

Posted on 16 March 2022

Digital Technologies are now a compulsory part of the New Zealand Curriculum. When this first became part of the curriculum we did run a parents evening to share some of the ways digital technologies would be taught in our classes, however we are also aware some of you were not part of our school family at that time. We are unable at this time to run another parents evening, so here’s a quick update on what it is and how we teach it. 

Digital Technology is not just about using devices, although this is a small part of it. 

The two main areas of digital technologies are:

  1. Computational Thinking

  2. Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes

Computational Thinking

Students learn to use decomposition skills to break down simple non-computerised tasks into precise, step-by-step instructions (algorithmic thinking). They give these instructions, identify any errors in them as they are followed and correct them (debug). Students understand that there can be more than one algorithm for the same problem. Students will develop and debug ‘programs’ that use inputs, outputs, sequence and iteration (repeating part of an instruction with a loop).  Instructions need to be precise and clear, so practicing giving and following instructions is important too.

Students sort, create patterns and organise.

Students learn digital language and symbols. 

Students understand that digital devices store data using two states represented by binary digits (bits).

Computational thinking is mostly taught without the use of devices (unplugged).

Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes

Students may develop, manipulate, store, retrieve and share digital content in order to meet technological challenges. These outcomes and the thinking behind them are often begun offline. Some aspects may use devices to create the digital content aspect, but much is carried out without devices.

Below are some examples of this area in action:

  1. Undertaking technology/STEM challenges:

E.g., Where students are faced with a problem such as making a paper aeroplane fly the 

furthest distance, then design and create ever improving planes in order to better meet the challenge. Students would apply engineering, mathematical, and scientific thinking and design in order to improve the outcome of how far their plane flies.

  1. Stop Motion animation:

E.g., Where students use modelling clay, toys, backgrounds etc to create and take a sequence of still pictures that are then put together to produce the outcome of a short ‘movie’, turning still images into animation.

  1. Robotics:

E.g., Where students use algorithms (step-by-step instructions) to programme a robot/toy to make it move to the desired place or to undertake the desired steps.

Here are some pictures of come Digital Technology that has been taught so far this year:

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