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

A year of integrating technology in primary – toys, straws, and birdfeeders

Student's toy plane

This resource describes how a primary teacher integrated the technology learning area throughout a year’s programme.

It provides examples of interesting ways to integrate learning about components in the technology learning area with learning in other areas.

You could explore these examples with your colleagues or on your own to develop ideas for teaching strategies.


Exploring inventions, both those of others and their own helped to develop students' understandings of the characteristics of technology component.

Colonial clothes

Dorothy has a collection of colonial clothes. (Your local museum or a theatre group may also be a good source of colonial clothes.)  Students began considering technologies in the past by trying on some of these.

Appliances – past and future

Students looked at other technologies of the past and designed appliances for the future.

When designing appliances for the future the class discussed the way that technologists work. Dorothy encouraged them to design in order to address a need or problem, and not to be inhibited by the limitations of current technologies.

For example, one student designed a portable washing machine that would be carried in a bag. Students discussed the possibility that in the future, there could be other technologies available for cleaning clothes that may not require water. In fact, they noted that some clothing is already cleaned without water for example, dry-cleaned. 

Read about how a British designer and inventor worked to turn students’ inventions into real products.

How technologists work

The students also discussed how technologists work. They noticed that technologists work as a team and draw on multiple knowledge bases. One technologist may come up with a creative idea, and others resolve aspects of the design using their knowledge from other disciplines.

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