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Digital Curriculum

How are schools using digital technology in the classroom?


The inclusion of digital technologies in education comes as a necessary response to a changing world. Advancement in digital technologies have progressed more quickly than any innovations throughout history, and digital fluency (the competent and effective use of technology, including producing content) is now recognised as an essential skill for students.

Currently, there is a lot of variation in how schools interpret the Ministry of Education’s technology area of The New Zealand Curriculum, which aims to give students opportunities to become digitally capable. Differences occur not only from school to school, but also from classroom to classroom.


How much are children using devices?


Globally, the use of digital devices in class is not frequent, including in the world's richest countries. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published a comprehensive report on technology in education in 2023, and found in the majority of countries, young people use digital technologies to learn once or twice per week.

New Zealand students have amongst the highest use of digital devices for learning in the world, and the highest use of internet in class in the world, from young ages.


While the uptake of digital technologies in schools is well intended, recent research findings about the impact that frequent and extended digital device use can have on health, wellbeing and learning outcomes have been raised as a concern. Experts are increasingly calling for regulation.

'Digital technologies have the potential to enhance learning, but currently in New Zealand there are only few situations where this is occurring, alongside many situations where devices may be disadvantaging students.' New Zealand Ministry of Education.

McCallum & Brown, 2022

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