Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

Schools welcome digital integration

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Owhata Primary 5-year-olds Delayna Ohlson (left), Blake Herbert, Mana-Ariki Fleming and Kavarli Epapara embracing technology. Photo / Stephen Parker
Owhata Primary 5-year-olds Delayna Ohlson (left), Blake Herbert, Mana-Ariki Fleming and Kavarli Epapara embracing technology. Photo / Stephen Parker

Rotorua principals say digital learning is already a big part of education, but the move to formally integrate it into the community is a good move.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced this week digital technology was to be formally integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

The announcement was made at the NZTech Advance Education Technology Summit in Auckland.

Ms Parata said it was the first change to the New Zealand Curriculum since its introduction in 2007.

It reflected the Government's commitment to championing 21st-century practice in teaching and learning, she said.

Owhata School principal Bob Stiles said he thought it was "a great thing" as digital technology was a part of life.

He said pupils had to learn the basics such as reading, writing and arithmetic, but e-learning could be a much better way to do this.

"It's more flexible and caters to individual learning needs better," he said.

Kaharoa School principal Warwick Moyle said he believed most schools were using digital technology for learning across a wide area of the curriculum.

"The challenge for us is funding devices and at Kaharoa School we currently apply for funding through charitable trusts to upgrade our devices every few years."

He said some schools had introduced a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plan and others had lease or lease to own schemes.

"We elect to purchase and we are not at a point where we are ready to introduce BYOD. With BYOD there are the challenges around equity, setting up the platform for them to operate on, security of devices and teacher capabilities etc."

He said the school was working with Nga Pumanawa e Waru in developing its IT strategic direction and the focus was on increasing technical capability to support future-focused learning.

From now until the end of next year, the Government will consult with stakeholders, design new curriculum content and develop achievement objectives. It will be fully integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa in 2018.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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