Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    • Ngā Kiriahi
      Public discussion Created by Ngā Kiriahi

      There are many connections across school curricula with regard to what computational thinking is; by and large the one thing that everyone agrees on is that this is critical thinking which aids the creation of digital outcomes by learners. We may use slightly different terminology in the various contexts of our particular countries, however, we are all looking for the same outcome(s).

      Within my digital technologies classes I can see that we might have some fun with the sorting networks by using mathematical equations  - this would/could also challenge the students numeracy skills!

      - By Carolyn Milne
      • Tessa Gray
        Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

        Mahuika, that's me.

        - By Shirley Bastin
        • Tessa Gray
          Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

          I came across this article today:

          It reiterates the importance of the "empathise" step. In creativity terms, it's more important to understand your audience, and really dig into how they feel and see the world than to focus on the details of the problem you're trying to solve.

          - By Karl Summerfield
          • Tessa Gray
            Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

            I am so excited by the many opportunities and skills for students to learn through digital technology.

            My concerns are that training teachers are not been taught any in their studies!! Also, there are too many teachers who think using a digital device is teaching digital technology..... We need to make sure it is purposeful and related  back to the curriculum.

            - By Fiona jackson
            • Jacky Young
              Public discussion Created by Jacky Young

              Kia ora @Jacky.Young, @Chris.Dillon has shared the following resource in the DTTA community:

              Ready-Steady-Code by Seamus O’Neill, it's based on the Irish curriculum but very usable in our local context.The resources provided span the NZC Lv1-5 (up to Year 10), including the sum of angles in a triangle, the angle of the hypotenuse, and volume of solids.

              Joining the dots to our curriculum, in authentic contexts would be our wero or challenge.

              - By Tessa Gray
              • Ngā Kiriahi
                Public discussion Created by Ngā Kiriahi

                If you want to hear more about Steve's story, check out the latest Education Gazette Tukutuku Kōrero article 

                - By Tessa Gray
                • Tessa Gray
                  Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray
                  • Melissa Jones
                    Public discussion Created by Melissa Jones

                    Thanks for sharing @Hamish.Johnston it's good to know communities have value - especially when we're all in this learning together. smiley If you have any top tips for beginners or cool ideas from your experiences to share, that would be fantastic too. Technical support for loading media into Ngā Kiriahi can be found @

                    - By Tessa Gray
                    • Joanne Roberts
                      Public discussion Created by Joanne Roberts

                      Kia ora @Joanne.Roberts, so awesome to have you guide us through Pīkau videos and also here in our community. I'm glad you've bought up Scratch and ScratchJr, I see examples of Scratch in the Pikau videos and often hear teachers asking about which version to use. 

                      ScratchJr I personally like the graphic interface of ScratchJr that enables younger users to tell a story visually and then make this come alive with simple instructions. It looks less daunting than a blank canvas (for both teachers and students) in Scratch. I also see Gamefroot has that visually appealing look/feel too for making games. All have great tutorials and teaching resources.

                      Apart from the different interface and platforms (web, app) what would you recommend teachers use with lower/middle/senior primary students if they're just starting out themselves? Any examples to share as well?

                      Image source: Flickr: CC by 2.0 Maze game in ScratchJr by Wesley Fryer

                      - By Tessa Gray
                      • Tessa Gray
                        Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

                        Anyone who attended last week's Technology Online webinar will know how good it was - where several examples of Technology in action were shared that had natural links to designing/creating/presenting using digital tools and technologies. 

                        The resources for this webinar, including the presentation (PDF) can be downloaded from Technology Online

                        These powerful examples show how primary children are responding to human needs in authentic contexts. What do you think? Do you have any questions for presenters Deidre Senior or Cheryl Pym? 

                        Also see:

                        A recipe book: Linking technology and literacy

                        Primary playground redesign – a rich local curriculum opportunity

                        - By Tessa Gray
                        • Tessa Gray
                          Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

                          I'm excited about what robots and AI will be doing in the future. In someways it can be likened to when tractors took over from horses, a lot of people no longer had jobs but it created new jobs maintaining the tractors etc. My hope for the future is that robots/computers will do many jobs for us freeing up time for us to spend in the arts. I hope that in the future artists and their work will be valued like engineers and with computers doing the uncreative work more people can spend their time being creative. 

                          - By Joanne Roberts
                          • Tessa Gray
                            Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

                            Thank you @Donald.James1 I'll share your comments with them personally. Good point about supporting other kura too. Hopefully the Ahikāroa can put teachers and kaiako in touch with each other, to share ideas and help support effective integration of digital technologies. P.S, you'll love the other videos from the series as well - very powerful! yes

                            - By Tessa Gray
                            • Tessa Gray
                              Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

                              Really exciting to see the opportunities we can offer to our learning village.... in order for their voice to be part of the creating digital technologies rather than only being users of digital devices!  

                              - By Sina Lologa
                              • Tessa Gray
                                Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

                                Such a beautiful context for learning about digital technology. I love how much hands on creativity and collaboration is involved that gives the learners so much investment into the world they are creating. Wonderful to see that the video was created by students as well. I'll share this with everyone :)

                                - By Donald James
                                • Nicki Tempero
                                  Public discussion Created by Nicki Tempero

                                  If you like Jeremy Kubica's blog and his three books, you may also enjoy Linda Liukas' Hello Ruby or Carlos Bueno's Lauren Ipsum. They are all fantasy stories for young people that contain metaphors or allusions to concepts from computer science.

                                  - By Tim Bell
                                  • Tony Cairns
                                    Public discussion Created by Tony Cairns

                                    You're so right @Laura.Butler2 and Clive! I think it's timely to have well-rounded discussions about this space with our kids. Who makes the decisions? Who will they benefit? How do we know if the decisions are moral, ethical, just and fair?  

                                    As we face an increasing amount of global issues/wicked problems, then the effective use of AI may well help the human condition...just like this Microsoft AI advertisement I found myself being drawn to...

                                    This could become part of a localised electric garden project Laura for your juniors - tracking the growth of plants etc. smiley

                                    Long term, interesting to be aware of the potential implications of Artificial Intelligence for education and industry (CORE Education's Ten Trends, p57). What do you think, is this something we can take to the kids

                                    - By Tessa Gray
                                    • Tessa Gray
                                      Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

                                      Also, there is this guide to selecting products to support DT & HM on Enabling eLearning which uses the design thinking process as a way of thinking about what you might purchase. It includes:


                                      Start by considering your "end users" (teachers and students) and their needs:

                                      • Who will use the product?
                                      • What have they used before?
                                      • What is needed (skills, abilities, prior knowledge) to use it?
                                      • What do we already do in this space?
                                      • Why do we need a product?
                                      • How does it fit with our school’s vision for teaching and learning?



                                      • What do we need our products to do to support DT & HM?
                                      • What programming languages can be used and how appropriate are they for students at various stages?
                                      • What additional resources are available or might be needed?
                                      • How robust do the products need to be?
                                      • Will they work within existing school infrastructure and the types devices already available to us?
                                      • Are they well supported with a community and online resources?
                                      • Consider the choice and costs of peripherals, software, and add-ons that are likely to be needed up-front or in future. Think about:
                                        • storage
                                        • batteries/chargers
                                        • spares if parts are lost or damaged
                                        • software and hardware needed to program or control the product.



                                      • Research possible products and the pros and cons of each.
                                      • Look for examples, experiences, reviews, and recommendations from a variety of sources such as a range of commercial suppliers, other schools, and online communities. To do this you could:
                                        • talk with teachers and students in other kura or schools that have similar needs and technologies to understand their experiences
                                        • consider joining the Digital Technology Teachers Aotearoa  and follow the active discussions
                                        • add a discussion topic to the Technologies section of the Virtual Learning Network  or in other online forums or social networks
                                        • read online reviews of the technology, ideally about its use in kura or schools.
                                      • Research the level of support available for the product in terms of:
                                        • the presence and vitality of a community that also use the product
                                        • the breadth, suitability, and quality of resources provided by the manufacturer and others to assist you in implementing the product into your teaching programmes
                                        • the after-sales service provided by the reseller and manufacturer.
                                      • See:
                                      • Visit Technology Online .
                                      • Read blogposts.
                                      • Filter to narrow down to a few possibilities.



                                      • Get hands-on with as many possible products as you think you need to. A variety of products will enable students to be exposed to a range of approaches suitable for their particular stage of development or interests.
                                      • Seek feedback from a range of teachers and students. Are the products fun to use and easy to get started with? This will mean they are likely to be more engaging.
                                      • Test whether the product meets the level of quality that will be suitable for your needs.
                                      • Are the products robust, versatile, open-ended, and able to be used to solve authentic problems rather than narrowly focused on a particular functionality?



                                      • How do the products measure against your criteria?
                                      • Purchase test products for piloting/trialling.


                                      Procurement considerations

                                      Focus on purpose

                                      Be clear about the intended vision and desired approaches to learning. Ensure you are able to justify your procurement in terms of how it will support and improve learning for your students.

                                      Involve others

                                      Take a team approach to procurement. The risks and complexities are too great for one person to be able to determine and manage effectively. Consult with staff and students about what they think their needs and preferences are.  

                                      Overall cost includes time

                                      The purchase cost of digital technologies are just part of the overall cost. Integrating digital technologies takes a lot of time. The time costs include:

                                      • time to get the technologies set up and working
                                      • time for maintenance
                                      • time for professional learning
                                      • time for the end-user as they learn how to use the technology.

                                      The various costs of people’s time are usually greater than the initial purchase cost.

                                      Local versus international suppliers

                                      We now have easy access to overseas online marketplaces such as These sites can provide cheaper alternatives to procuring from a local reseller. The Commerce Commission offers the following quick tips for buying online:

                                      • Be savvy: if you have any doubts or the offer seems too good to be true, don’t proceed.
                                      • Know who you’re dealing with: search the seller online, look at their online auction feedback, check review sites, social media, Scamwatch  and similar to see what other customers have experienced. Check where the business is based and that it provides its name, street address, phone, and email details.
                                      • Know what you’re buying: read the description of the goods or services closely, especially any fine print. Read the terms and conditions, including what happens if there’s a problem.
                                      • Work out what it will cost: factor in shipping, exchange rates, insurance, or any applicable extra charges, such as customs duty.
                                      • Shop around: search online and compare prices, terms and conditions.
                                      • Protect yourself: only buy if you are comfortable with the payment method and keep a record of the transaction details. Purchasing by credit card or a secure payment system like PayPal should give you more protection than a cash transfer.

                                      Before purchasing from an international supplier, consider:

                                      • finding out from others if they have used or know about the online provider and what their experiences are
                                      • how easy will it be to return faulty products in future or get other kinds of after-sales service?
                                      • how can you be sure the quality of the products is good enough?
                                      • how easy will the overall transaction be?


                                      Price versus value

                                      The overall costs during the lifetime of the technology need to be determined. Technology that costs more up-front but lasts longer because it is more robust may give better value than something that has a lower initial cost but has a shorter lifetime. Similarly, something may cost more up-front but will have lower running costs, such as consumables like batteries. Also, consider the longevity of your product – how long will it be until the product becomes too out of date to be useful?


                                      - By Clive Francis
                                      • Tessa Gray
                                        Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

                                        I've found that teachers like this poster as it helps them to think about the differences between each aspect and to reflect on what aspects their students are already doing. In most cases, teachers realise that their students are already doing at least some aspects of the new content. It's a great way to think about what more could be done as a next step.

                                        - By Clive Francis
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