Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

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

Characteristics of technology

Technology is defined as “purposeful intervention by design”, and technological practice as the activity through which technological outcomes are created and have impact in the world.

Technological outcomes are designed to enhance the capabilities of people and expand human possibilities. They change the made world in ways that have positive and/or negative impacts on the social and natural world.

Technology uses and produces technological knowledge. Technological communities endorse technological knowledge as valid when it is shown to support the successful development of technological outcomes.

All technology exists within a historical context, influenced by and influencing society and culture.

Technological practice is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, relying more than ever on collaboration between the technology community and people from other disciplines.

Related resources

Indicators of progression

Indicators of progression

The indicators of progression describe the knowledge, skills, and understandings that students should be demonstrating in the Characteristics of technology component of the Technology learning area.

Indicators are provided for each level of the curriculum and are accompanied by guidance for teachers.


Characteristics of technology in primary

In this video series, the teachers at Green Bay School develop their students' understandings of the characteristics of technology component.

Teaching snapshot

Exploring technology with junior students

Characteristics of technology and characteristics of technological outcomes components were introduced to a years 1–2 class with a classroom technology folder that students could take home. It proved so successful that it was used as a resource for professional development with teachers. 

If the shoe fits

Year 12 students created shoes using parts of existing shoes. Within the characteristics of technology component, it was an opportunity to understand how technological development expands human possibilities and how technology draws on knowledge from a wide range of disciplines.

Student showcase

Top scholar DVC: An efficient heater that looks good too

A year 13 student designed a multi-purpose heater that was versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and would evoke a positive, emotive experience. He carried out extensive research into heater attributes and the psychology of heating that informed his creativity, allowing him to critically evaluate his ideas, and push boundaries in his design.

Technology in the School Journal and Connected

"Tupaia: Master Navigator", School Journal, Level 3, August 2019

This is the story of Tupaia, a navigator and high priest from the island of Rā'iātea. Use this story to look at characteristics of technology including how technology has impacted the social and natural world over time.

Characteristics of technology: Key ideas (Word 2007, 156 KB)

Acknowledgment: This paper is derived from an earlier version by Dr Vicki Compton and Cliff Harwood.

Return to top ^