Digital Technologies – Preparing Students for the Digital World
Many predict that upwards of 65 per cent of today’s primary school students will earn a living in jobs that don’t exist yet 1, and as new technologies continue to develop at a phenomenal rate that number may yet continue to rise. Perhaps in a direct response to the reality of numbers just like this, the New Zealand Curriculum for years 1-13 has been revised to include two Digital Technologies areas – ‘computational thinking for digital technologies’ and ‘designing and developing digital outcomes’.
Today’s “students will need Digital Technology skills and capabilities in order to fully participate in society, both now and in the future, regardless of the career path they choose to follow.” 2 Through the addition of computational thinking and designing and developing digital technologies, the direct aim is to help students to become adaptable digital citizens that can participate, create and succeed amongst a world that is continually marked by an accelerating pace of change3.
“Computational thinking enables students to express problems and formulate solutions in ways that means a computer can be used to solve them.” 4 Encompassed within computational thinking you have:
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
Combining critical thinking skills with the power of computing can give students the strong foundation they need to make decisions, innovating solutions and unbox complex problems. Learning outcomes will focus on students developing algorithmic thinking skills and an understanding of the computer science principles that form the foundation of all digital technologies. But why? Through learning outcomes around these principles students learn what is and isn’t possible with computing, therefore enabling them to properly judge and make informed decisions as contributing citizens of the digital world 6.
Designing & Developing
This addition is specifically designed for students to “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.” 7
Designed to provide students with the foundational skills to compete for jobs in the digital world, this addition to the curriculum encompasses, but isn’t limited to 8:
- Students are able to manipulate and combine data, using management tools to create an outcome
- Students develop understanding of how build, install, and maintain computers, networks and systems
- Students learn how electronic components and techniques are used to design digital devices and integrated to assemble and test an electronic environment.
What does it all mean for you?
Having been available for implementation since the beginning of the 2018 school year, your school may already be on a path to full implementation, but if not, there are a number of things you need to acknowledge and assess on your path to full implementation by 2020. From a purely technology standpoint you need to assess the tools and devices you need to properly implement the new curricula and drive learning outcomes for your students.
A large focus of the new additions involves emphasis on students developing the ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution – so collaboration. Your students will need devices and software that fosters such practices. Microsoft Windows 10 is a great example of an operating system that is built for these practices. Pre-installed on HP Education Edition devices, you also get HP School Pack 2.0, an out-of-the box solution of digital tools and content designed for collaborative, standards-aligned and personalised learning 9.
Cyclone take the time to understand your school and community aims and how ICT forms a part of that vision. Achieving your desired outcomes through technology isn’t always a simple process. Provide your staff and students with the confidence that, regardless of the type of technology being used in your school they will have an IT solution that is fit-for-purpose and works.
With traditional methodologies being tested, new technologies being tested and new curricula on the horizon, Cyclone can give you a proven education focused experience and work with you to provide your students with the tools necessary to grow as digital citizens now, and into the future.
1 New Realities in Education, How virtual reality and augmented reality can help students succeed in the age of experience, Copyright 2018 HP Development Company
2, 3 Digital Technologies in the New Zealand Curriculum, Waikato Journal of Education, Volume 23, Issue 2: 2018
4, 6, 7, 8 http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum/Technology/Learning-area-structure#collapsible1
9 HP Education: New Tools for a New Future, HP Development Company, 2017