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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore to tātou waka e ū ki uta

So you're teaching technology

These six introductory modules present some key concepts, resources, and insights from research for you to explore with your colleagues or on your own.

They may be particularly useful for teachers who are new to technology education (or to teaching technology in New Zealand) and for teachers in charge of technology.

Module 1: What is technological literacy?

The aim of technology teaching and learning is for students to develop “a broad technological literacy”. 
The term “literacy” implies a level of skills, knowledge, and understanding that collectively add up to fluency and a well-founded confidence.

Students visiting a milking shed

Technologically literate young people:

  • have a broad understanding of how and why things work
  • understand how technological outcomes (products and systems) are developed
  • can critically evaluate technological developments and trends
  • can design and evaluate their own technological outcomes in response to needs and opportunities.

Like any other literacy, technological literacy is developed by exposure to a wide range of relevant experiences over time.

The structure of the learning area, with its three strands and eight components (sub-strands), is designed to facilitate this.

The strands – know how, know why, know what

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Technological practice

In the technological practice strand, the emphasis is on knowing how. Students are given opportunities to engage in their own technological practice and to reflect on the practice of others.

Nature of technology

In the nature of technology strand, the emphasis is on knowing why. Students come to understand technology as an intervening force in the world and learn that technological developments are inevitably influenced by (and influence) historical, social, and cultural events.

Technological knowledge

In the technological knowledge strand, the emphasis is on knowing what. Students come to understand key concepts that underpin all technological development and the resulting technological outcomes.

Teaching technology means teaching technological literacy

All three knowledge types – how, why, and what – contribute to the development of a sophisticated technological literacy.

Questions to think about or discuss

  • Think about your own technological literacy: how did you acquire the technological skills, knowledge, and understanding that you now have?
  • If you are new to technology teaching, how does this definition of technological literacy align with your expectations?
  • If you have taught technology in another country, how does this definition of technology education align with or differ from what you have been used to?
  • What are some of the implications of this aim (technological literacy) for your teaching and learning programme?
  • Why, do you think, is it unlikely that a student will gain a broad technological literacy from technological practice alone? 

Module 1: What is technological literacy? | Module 2: Teacher knowledge | Module 3: Key resources | Module 4: A coherent teaching programme across levels | Module 5: Insights from research | Module 6: Next steps  

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