Digital Technology

How do digital technologies fit with the technology learning area?

Technology identifies five technological areas: 

  • computational thinking for digital technologies,
  • designing and developing digital outcomes,
  • designing and developing materials outcomes,
  • designing and developing processed outcomes, and
  • design and visual communication (DVC).


Why study digital technologies?

New Zealand is a digital nation. Digital technologies are transforming how we live; shaping our homes and our workplaces, changing the way that we interact with each other and live our everyday lives. Incorporating digital technologies into teaching and learning programmes will support young people to develop the confidence and skill not only to use digital technologies (DT) but to design and build digital systems.

Children and young people often already arrive at school knowing how to use digital technologies – but learners also need to be able to understand and create digital technologies to succeed in further education and the world of work. In our wider economy, businesses struggle to find people with the right skills to drive digital innovation and economic growth.

Computational thinking for digital technologies

Computational thinking enables a student to express problems, and formulate solutions in a way that means a computer can be used to solve them.

Students develop computational and algorithmic thinking skills, and an understanding of the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies. They become aware of what is, and is not, possible with computing, so they are able to make judgments and informed decisions as citizens of the digital world.

Students learn core programming concepts and how to take advantage of the capabilities of computers, so that they can become creators of digital technologies, not just users. They will develop an understanding of how computer data is stored, how all the information within a computer system is presented using digits, and the impact that different data representations have on the nature and use of this information.


Designing and developing digital outcomes

Students understand that digital applications and systems are created for humans by humans.

  • Students develop increasingly sophisticated understandings and skills related to designing and producing quality, fit-for-purpose, digital outcomes.
  • They develop their understanding of the digital information technologies that people need in order to locate, analyse, evaluate, and present digital information efficiently, effectively, and ethically.
  • They become more expert in manipulating and combining data, using information management tools to create an outcome.
  • They become aware of the unique intellectual property issues that arise in digital systems, particularly approaches to copyright and patents.
  • Students also become more aware of how to build, install, maintain, and support computers, networks, and systems so that they are secure and efficient.
  • Students develop knowledge and skills in using different creative digital technologies to create digital content for the web, and print. They construct digital media outcomes that integrate media types and incorporate original content.