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Ministry of Education.
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  • Question

    Hi there just wondering if you have access to any teaching as inquiry topics that teachers have pursued over the years. Our tech team are looking at how to balance the teaching of skills versus design process. We know that they are interlinked but were wondering if there is any research or readings that would help?


    Below are a selection of video clips showing an inquiry learning based approach including the technology learning area.

    Flight inquiry:

    ANZAC and sustainability inquiries:

    The second project here may be of interest as the title suggests – learning in technology does not always have to be about technological practice and making products.

    Below are two written resources describe an inquiry that met an authentic need for the school:

    How it all fits together

    The 1995 curriculum was focused on skills and knowledge.

    The 2007 New Zealand Curriculum and the revision to the technology learning area in 2017, repositioned skills as one pathway to understanding about, and being a technologist (using a design process) to create outcomes that meet needs of users/stakeholders in an authentic/real-world, local context.

    The design process is the way students understand how technologists (students) solve issues/problems and is the purpose of the technological practice strand. The skills and knowledge a technologist needs whilst they are using a design process, are described broadly in the technological knowledge strand. The questions students have about the people and place the technologist is designing their outcome for, is the purpose of the nature of technology strand. To be successful designers of outcomes, students have to experience learning in all three strands. Students understand all this as they experience being technologists themselves. This is how the technology learning area differs from the other seven learning areas.

    Teaching as inquiry is different to inquiry learning. Inquiry learning guides students to solve issues/problems across all learning areas.

    Teaching as inquiry is intended to guide teacher decision making as they support students technology learning.
    Teaching as inquiry model of practice/pedagogy (New Zealand Curriculum, page 35) involves the teacher applying a three step process so they know what the impact of their teaching is on learning: 

    1. Focusing – What is important (and therefore worth spending time on), given where my students are at?
    2. Teaching inquiry – What strategies (evidence-based) are most likely to help my students learn this?
    3. Learning inquiry – What happened as a result of the teaching, and what are the implications for future teaching?
  • Question

    I need some advice on the link between "NCEA Standard - Achievement Objective - Strand" for DT NCEA level 1. Thanks,


    The NCEA standards at Level 1, are written to determine a student’s learning performance at level 6 (of 8) of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

    The achievement objectives provide the details of learning at each NZC Level and are the content for each of the three technology strands.

    Each of the three strands has components of technology, and each component has eight achievement objectives, one for each NZC level. For example, the nature of technology strand, has two components; characteristics of technology and characteristics of technological outcomes. At level 6, there is an achievement objective for each (see the technology indicators).

    For senior secondary, the resources on the senior secondary TKI site support educators in the task of designing their learning programmes to align the achievement objectives, with specialist courses like digital technologies. The senior secondary TKI site, has some excellent resources, in the teaching and learning guides. Using the section menu on right hand side of the technology teaching and learning guide shows how digital technologies at senior secondary relates to the technology learning area strands and the other technology areas.

    The revision to the technology learning area, saw the strengthening of digital technologies, and the addition of progress outcomes, which contain the significant steps for learning that students should take in order to progress their specialist digital, and broader technology understanding.


    The progress outcomes contain significant learning steps in both specialist digital concepts, and those contained within the mandatory technology strands. For a student to meet the requirements of the progress outcomes and the strands, an educator should plan learning activities using both progress outcomes and achievement objectives to ensure a rich, authentic, student centred, learning experience.

  • Question

    I have students completing a project at Level 3 incorporating AS91621 Implement complex procedures to make a specified product, and AS91623 Implement complex procedures to create an applied design for a specified product. My question is: Can the complex applied design be included as one of the complex procedures from AS91621.


    The complex procedures outlined in Explanatory note 3 of AS 91621 are:

    • joining materials with different properties, for example, jacket shell and lining, sailcloth on to tape
    • changing the characteristics of the materials, for example, interfacing, interlining, boning
    • managing special fabrics, for example, fine knits, sheers, satins, ripstop nylon, canvas
    • managing the inclusion of structural or style features, for example, tucks, pockets, openings, closures, weather proof storage
    • cutting on the bias.

    These relate to managing the fabric and the inclusion of structural and style features not applying a design to the fabric.

    The complex applied design would need to be separate to the complex procedures for AS 91621.

  • Question

    I am looking to introduce AS91624 to my Y13 Engineering class. I have been unable to find exemplars. Are there any available?


    NZQA has an annotated exemplar available: Technology - annotated exemplars level 3 AS91624.

    NZGTTA (New Zealand Graphics and Technology Teachers Association) is the recognised network of expertise in this area. They also operate an online discussion group where teachers can pose questions and share student work.
    To join see membership details on their website: wp.nzgtta.co.nz.

  • Question

    Are there any resources for User Experience Methodologies?


    Regarding AS 91901, Technology Online does not have resources with a particular focus on user experience methodologies as referred to in this level 3 NCEA standard.
    DTTA (Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa) is the recognised network for expertise for digital technologies within the technology learning area.
    As part of membership they have an online discussion group where teachers are able to pose questions and share teaching and learning resources. For membership information see their website: nzacditt.org.nz 
    The Ministry of Education also provides updates on this discussion group regarding when there are new modules available from Auckland University to support the new standards. These are available through the Senior secondary TKI site on the page:DT and HM Online for NCEA.

  • Question

    Can I use AS91357 to develop a bag (prototype)?


    Yes, the development of a prototype bag would be suitable for this assessment.

    See technology clarifications AS 91357 It is suggested that: Students could refer to materials and/or components, tools and equipment, and techniques and processes required in the subject specific 'implement' standards such as AS 91345 Implement advanced procedures using textile materials to make a specified product with special features

    AS 91357 does not outline the features required of a prototype. Rather, this standard assesses the ability of the student to undertake effective development to make and trial a prototype. However, the students do need to be developing a prototype to a brief (either developed by the student or given by the teacher) that will give them access to the criteria for this standard.

    If the student is going to make the product and be also assessed by an implement standard (for example, AS 91345) the trialling of advanced techniques as applicable to the implement standard could be used in both standards.

  • Question

    AS91621 (3.21) Implement complex procedures using textile materials to make a specified product. Can I have some clarification/examples of the following points... Explanatory note 3 managing the inclusion of structural or style features. Can I please have some examples of which pockets, openings and closures, are acceptable for this standard. E.g. is a cross crescent pocket and an invisible zip acceptable? If not please give some examples. Changing the characteristics of the materials, can it be as simple as applying iron-on fusing to a fabric to strengthen it in areas where needed? Thanks


    The style features examples given of a cross crescent pocket, installing an invisible zip, and using fusible interfacing to stabilise a fabric to produce an outcome to meet specifications are all acceptable for this standard.
    Please note the additional requirement for this standard as outlined in the technology clarifications for AS 91621.
    The selection of complex techniques must be the result of trialling different procedures appropriate for the particular selected materials and using this feedback to inform practice. Students will need to explore different ways of implementing at least two complex procedures (as in Explanatory note 3). For example, there may be several ways of inserting an invisible zip into an outfit that is made with a sheer fabric.

  • Question

    AS91623 (3.23) Implement complex procedures to create an applied design for a specified product. I understand from reading a previous question posted that the specified product does not need to be constructed by the student and therefore could be as simple as a plain, white t-shirt purchased from Kmart, am I correct? The student has developed their design that they wish to apply to the t-shirt and they have tested it with heat transfer vinyl pressed onto some similar t-shirt material and as textile ink screen printed onto t-shirt material. From testing and evaluation the two different mediums/techniques the student has identified that the heat transfer vinyl looks more professional and enhances the product more so than the screen printed option so has decided to apply their design onto their plain, white Kmart t-shirt using heat transfer vinyl. I understand the design itself must be complex (EN5 + EN6) Are we on the right track?


    Yes, it is acceptable for the student to apply the design to a purchased product.

    Technology clarifications for AS 91623 state: Students will need to trial to determine possible complex techniques, equipment, and materials to create the complex design.

    Explanatory note 5 gives guidelines around expectations for the complexity of techniques to be applied.

    Appropriate testing will demonstrate that the applied design enhances the product's aesthetics. The student has trialled possible complex techniques to create the complex design.
    The student will need to describe the testing they carried out to demonstrate the applied design enhanced t-shirt aesthetics. Testing could include visual testing by themselves and others against specifications for aesthetics. They could also test the response to laundering for the different techniques.
    The complexity of the design is the combination of artistic skill to enhance the aesthetics (shape, colours, texture, or dimensions) of a product with the technical skills to produce it.
    With heat transfer vinyl the complexity would need to be trialled and tested. A design downloaded from the internet then resized digitally before cutting the vinyl is not complex. Whereas, designing the image and manipulating it to create the desired effect, and cutting it from two colours of vinyl is more complex. Students need to be advised as to what is a complex applied design.
    For example; a design that is to be repeated could be complex in the number of repeats, or how many times it is printed on the fabric.

  • Question

    I am teaching year 7 and 8 technology and am wanting to know which level or levels of the technology curriculum should be taught and assessed at these two year levels. Also, when reporting what wording should be used to indicate where the students learning is at i.e. should we use below, at, exceeding or provide a specific grade? Thank you.


    The guidance within the New Zealand Curriculum shows how curriculum levels typically relate to years at school. As noted, many students do not fit this pattern. They include those with special learning needs, those who are gifted, and those who come from non-English speaking backgrounds. Students learning an additional language are also unlikely to follow the suggested progression.
    The students prior learning within the technology learning area also needs to be considered. You may wish to contact your primary schools to determine this.

    Schools will have their own systems for reporting. The Ministry of Education has recently released a comprehensive guide: Leading local curriculum design in the revised technology learning area: Equipping your students for tomorrow’s worldWithin the guide section, high-impact practice 3: Building coherent pathways, you will see you can use the technology indicators to help you plan a coherent technology programme. They can also be used as a basis for assessing and reporting on students’ progress in all five technological areas. You can also watch this video planning for technology at primary showing a primary school tracking progression using the indicators of progression.

  • Question

    Where would raranga fit in level 1 NCEA? I am wondering if there is a standard that would suit assessment of weaving a harakeke four-cornered rourou basket?


    AS 91058 could be used to assess the weaving of a harakeke four-cornered rourou basket.

    Explanatory note 6 in this standard states:

    Construction techniques include: 

    • one or more of measuring/marking out – techniques here could include the measuring and laying out of the harakeke, and determining the amount of weaving to create the correct size of the rourou
    • one or more of sizing/shaping/forming – techniques here could include the laying out of the harakeke to ensure the rourou is evenly woven, the structure of the weaving to produce the specified shape of the rourou, and the forming of the corners of the rourou
    • one or more of joining/assembling – techniques here could include the weaving techniques used with the harakeke to ensure a close weave
    • one or more finishing/detailing – techniques here could include the locking off of the weaving to secure the top of the rourou, and/or any patterns included in the rourou.

    If the student is developing a rourou for a specific purpose and engaging in technological practice you could also consider assessment against:

    • AS 91047 Undertake development to make a prototype to address a brief
    • AS 91045 Use planning tools to guide the technological development of an outcome to address a brief
    • AS 91044 Undertake brief development to address a need or opportunity.

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